AN IRISHMAN is writing a controversial play about a gay affair between a Dublin drugs mule and an ISIS jihadi.
Dubliner Ian Begley, 25, has submitted ISIS: A Gay Love Story to this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival and hopes the renowned arts festival will give him the platform to take his play to major theatres.
ISIS, the Middle Eastern jihadist militant movement, has been vocal about its anti-homosexual doctrine – and because of this, Mr Begley wanted to challenge them.
“Being a member of the LGBT community, I am all too aware of the savageries that ISIS inflict on gay people – they are often pushed off tall buildings as part of big public demonstrations,” he told The Irish Post.
“In many countries having relations with members of your own sex is illegal, but in reality you cannot help who you fall in love with even if it contradicts your religious beliefs or country’s laws.”
ISIS: A Gay Love Story tells the fictional tale of a Dublin man called Owen, who is attempting to make his fortune by smuggling €1million worth of cannabis into Syria.
He is captured by Islamic State militants and ends up meeting a military commander called Omar, who is secretly homosexual and the pair eventually fall in love.
“I think some people will be shocked at the concept of this play, but I sincerely hope it will portray a powerful message of morality and stay with the viewer long after leaving the theatre,” Mr Begley said.
“People from all around the world have contacted me to express their support and to ask questions about how my play is going so far.
“To get such positive feedback really gives me the confidence to keep going.”
Begley is close to the end of the writing phase now and hopes the Dublin Fringe Festival will put spotlight on the play.
“I would bring my play to the UK in a heartbeat if given the opportunity,” he said.
“As a firm believer of free speech, I feel it’s very important to show that we’re not afraid of creatively expressing ourselves even if it’s at the extent of royally pissing off a group of people who deplore our ideals and way of life.”
Begley has an Irish actor in mind for ISIS: A Gay Love Story, if he gets it onto a major stage.
“It’s a long shot but I would really like Robert Sheehan to play the role of the Irish protagonist, Owen,” he said.
“I thought he was fantastic in Love/Hate and think he would be very well-suited for this role.”