Talks Theatre

The Making of a RIOT

The Magic of Party & Politics in Performance



Tue, Oct 24, 2017



Box Office


Irish Arts Center
553 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019


Join the founders of production company THISISPOPBABY, Jennifer Jennings and Phillip McMahon, and one of the stars of RIOT, Rory O'Neill (also known as Panti Bliss), for an artist talk and Q&A on the creation of their groundbreaking theatrical show.

RIOT, described as “both party and politic, a love letter of hope to the future, a clarion call on the state of the nation and a celebration of Ireland,” broke box office records and won Best Production at the 2016 Dublin Fringe Festival. Its U.S. premiere will be co-presented by Irish Arts Center and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in February 2018.


RIOT, the jaw-dropping theatrical highlight of 2016 and winner of Best Production at Dublin Fringe Festival, makes its U.S. debut! Thrilling, exhilarating, uplifting and utterly unique—this theatrical explosion will set hearts soaring and pulses racing once more for a very limited run this February at NYU Skirball.

A disorderly cocktail of wild theatre, gut-punching spoken word, banging jigs, slapstick comedy and eye-popping circus, RIOT will leave you dazzled and dizzy. Infusing the magic of theatre with the excitement of variety and the energy of the dance floor, it's your big night out, with a delicious twist. Its premiere run sold every ticket available and broke box-office records, while the #RIOTdublin hashtag set social media ablaze. RIOT is both party and politic, a love letter of hope to the future, a clarion call on the state of the nation and a celebration of Ireland. The all-star cast features Queen of Ireland PantiEmmet Kirwan (Dublin OldschoolHeartbreak), Up & Over ItLords of StrutMegan Riordan (Once The Musical, Dublin), Ronan BradyAlma KelliherNicola Kavanagh and Adam Matthews, with frocks by James David Seaver and set design by internationally renowned graphic artist Niall Sweeney.

"Sensational" —The Irish Times

"★★★★★ While the performers are all excellent, the strength of this show is how it makes its audience feel. I walked out believing change is possible, believing that I can make a difference in the world." — 

"★★★★★ Gorgeous, with glitter on top" —The Daily Mail

"★★★★★ The poster clearly states – RIOT is thrilling, exhilarating, uplifting and unique…this doesn’t even come close" The Sunday World

"Thrilling, hilarious, joyous and well, riotous!" —Hot Press

Our Supporters

Irish Arts Center programs are supported, in part, by government, foundation, and corporate partners including Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; Howard Gilman Foundation; Jerome L. Greene Foundation; the Charina Endowment Fund; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; M&T Bank; The Ireland Funds; Northern Ireland Bureau; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of Ireland in New York; Tourism Ireland; and thousands of generous donors like you.

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