Wannabe Popstar, XNTHONY, has announced his intention to represent Ireland at the next Eurovision Song Contest. The artist, turned popstar will seek the guidance of the public in selecting a song for the competition in a series of special performances, titledDouze, in Smock Alley as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival.
XNTHONY is making a comeback.Equipped with as many fizzy pop songs as he can muster he’s on a mission to bring the Eurovision back to the people.He is building a platform. He wants to be your representative.Will the public support XNTHONY in his dream. Or will someone else rip it from his clutches?
XNTHONY chose to make his announcement outside the Gaiety Theatre where Eurovision favourite,Riverdance, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.Ireland is renowned for its record of the country with the mostwins in Eurovision history and XNTHONY is keen to bring the country back to the glory days of Johnny Logan and Linda Martin. Buoyed by a desire to let the public have a greater say in selecting their entry, XNTHONY has armed himself a host of catchy songs and his backing singers, The Penny Slots, to presentDouze, a collection of intimate performances to let the public help in deciding what song they want to represent the country.
XNTHONY is a graduate of NCAD and a former first runner up in the Alternative Miss Ireland competition. His work combines theatricality, media-making and music to create performance which unfolds both on stage and online. Recent works includeKITSCHCOCKandMy Name is B,an endurance pieceinspired by obsession andThe Red Shoes.
XNTHONY speaks to The Public Reviews Ireland ahead of his upcoming show to tell us a little bit more.
1) Tell us a little bit about XNTHONY?
XNTHONY is a pop star wanna be and performance artist. Pronounced X-anthony, the name came about a few years ago during a difficult time in my life. I used Xnthony as a way to escape. Subsequently it became something really positive for me and the name stuck! Now Xnthony stands for self-expression, empowerment and freedom to be who you want to be!
2) What’s your latest show,DOUZE, about?
DOUZE is a show about the Eurovision! in the show I am presenting lots of new music, with the view to getting the public’s approval of at least one to then be entered into the Eurovision in 2016.
Each of the songs we have made is markedly Eurovision, each with a particualar angle and sense of humour. Some of the songs speak about drinking culture, the EU or aboslutely nothing.
We are trying to skip the antiquated Song for Ireland system and instead we’re asking the public directly for their support. in another way the show is really about asking for approval from people, asking people to like you, asking for support to succeed, because without your community you cannot survive.
3) Why are you trying to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016?
Why not? Why me? I am always attracted to open competition. I entered the last Alternative Miss Ireland in 2012, and did so because it afforded me a platform to express myself to a wide audience. Similarly, the Eurovision is an exciting way to reach out to people. It’s open for anyone to apply.
4) Are you just a novelty act?
Not at all. I think people like to think it’s a novelty act because it’s coming from a different angle. I’m not interested in being a gimmick or a quick flash. The tools in which we use to reach people might be fun and gimmicky but well…that’s the Eurovision?
5) Who has inspired you?
I am really inspired by the great Barry Humphries. And Madonna. I like to think of myself as Madonna and Dame Edna Everage mushed into one fabulous glittery lump! I’m really interested in how both worlds of comedy, pop and theatre can collide. I’m trying to figure out ways in which these worlds can merge.We are living in a world swamped by information and I want to see how these can merge and mutate.
6) Do you feel there’s a connection between XNTHONY and Ireland?
XNTHONY belongs to Ireland. He is Irish. Pale and catholic. XNTHONY doesn’t have much use abroad, like London for example. His purpose in Ireland is to shake and tumble people into being a little bit more fabulous.
7) What sort of songs do you have lined up with the show?
Each of the songs we have made is markedly Eurovision, each with a particualar angle and sense of humour. Some of the songs speak about drinking culture, the EU or aboslutely nothing. One of my favourite songs is Numbers, where we literally sing…numbers until 1 trillion! We skip a few in between but it is such a romp. And I’m surprised by how many people don’t know how to count!
8) Is it just you on stage?
It’s mostly me…but I do have the Penny Slots as well. They are joining me on the road as my backing support. I found them through an open auditioning process. Well they were the only two people to respond so they automatically got offered the job. But behind the scenes they both been key figures in building show and facilitating my ideas.
9) What Eurovision act do you aspire towards?
Myself. There’s no point on looking at the past. What we need for Eurovision lies in the future.
Photo courtesy of Tiger Dublin Fringe. DOUZEruns from September 8thto 13thin Smock Alley Theatre Black Box as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe at18:30with a matinée on Saturday September 12that 1:15. Tickets fromhttp://fringefest.com/festival/whats-on/douze