6th – 29th August
Two Fingers Up is a journey back through the highs and lows of coming of age and finding your own ecstasy in a less than forward thinking country. Part of the Culture Ireland programme at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021, and winner of the 2019 Abbey Theatre and Dublin Fringe Creative Thinking Award, Two Fingers Up has been reimagined for film and will join the Summerhall digital programme for 2021.
70% of children in Northern Ireland receive their ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’ from Love for Life, a Christian charity selling their abstinence only beliefs, 25% are educated directly by the church and only 5% receive sex education from independent sources. Two Fingers Up creators Gina Donnelly and Séon Simpson know that without thorough, non-biased education, Northern Irish women are left at risk of non-consensual relationships, without a full understanding of safe sex, and simply not knowing how to fully enjoy their own bodies and sexuality.
Two Fingers Up brings three women on a journey back to their teenage selves and takes them on a journey of self-discovery. It is a celebration of owning your body, enthusiastic consent and of learning to make yourself come. Like those chats over wine with your friends that are better sex education than you’ll get anywhere else, join Two Fingers Up onscreen for a frank, hilarious and celebratory performance about sex.
Co-writers and directors Gina Donnelly and Séon Simpson, said:
“We made this show because … “ We were angry. Two Fingers Up was born from our fury at the Ulster Rugby Rape Trial, never before have we seen with such clarity that as women we will always be on trial, always forced to prove our humanity, we are always guilty until proven innocent but boys will be boys for the rest of their lives. At an I Believe Her protest rally we learnt that 2 of the 4 men involved had received their sex education from Love For Life, the same place as both of us, the same place as the majority of Northern Irish students. We started talking about our memories of this organisation, the thinly veiled religion, the slut shaming, the £5 entry to be taught that sex is a sin-the fact that our schools and government see no issue with this. We wanted to talk about consent and sexuality, but we were sick of seeing restaging of violent rape as the go to format to spark disucssion. We wanted to make theatre for a Friday night, to start impassioned conversation without recreating trauma and so we made Two Fingers Up. For all of us who worked on the show there has been a monumental freedom in reclaiming our sexual experience and sticking our two fingers in the air to those who let us down, and we hope our audiences will continue to feel that same freedom and are delighted at this opportunity to reach a bigger audience than ever before.’
Looking to recent discourse around sex on stage and screeen, and dipections of assault and violence, Donnelly and Simpson were immediately focused on the joy on owning your autonomy and placing that story on stage. As Mihaela Coel famously said in her BAFTA acceptance speech, spaces where sex, intamacy and assault are relevant to performance – we have to ensure that space is not allowing for further ‘exploitation or abuse,’ SkelpieLimmer, in presenting work about young people and their sexual idenity and ownership of sexuality, have a keen awareness of their responsibity to further this conversation.