Irish social issues tackled in London Irish Films

Irish social issues tackle London Irish Films
Panti Bliss – The Queen of Ireland

Marriage Equality and the Eight Amendment film focus

The Irish Film Festival London has announced the UK Premiere of Twice Shy and a very special screening of The Queen of Ireland.

A modern coming-of age-drama, Twice Shy centres around a young couple, Andy & Maggie, who set off on a road trip from Ireland to London as the result of an unplanned pregnancy. While on the road they reflect on their relationship and find themselves facing difficult decisions that will change the rest of their lives.

Irish social issues tackle London Irish Films
Twice Shy

Twice Shy explores an incredibly timely issue, that of the daily exodus of young women from Ireland (where abortion is still illegal under all circumstances) to London, in a remarkably sensitive, nuanced and non-judgmental manner by writer/director Tom Ryan and features a supporting cast that includes celebrated actors Ardal O’Hanlon and Pat Shortt.

Even this week in London there was a Repeal the 8th London Open Meeting, which, due to overwhelming pre-registrations, had to move to a bigger venue.

The Queen of Ireland meanwhile, follows Rory O’Neill, better known as Drag Queen Panti Bliss, as she rises from ‘giant cartoon woman’ to fearless activist. The film begins as a classic caterpillar-to-butterfly drag queen bio, but expands into a richly peopled and deeply considered account of cultural change in Ireland and the hard-fought campaign for same-sex marriage and is beautifully realised by Director Conor Horgan.

Speaking on the decision to include these films in the Festival Director Kelly O’Connor said:

“These two films stand out for us as important documents, reflecting the socio-political landscape in Ireland. Their consecutive programming is no accident and we hope to provide a forum for discussion around these issues. With these films, we are proud to celebrate the recognition given to Irish same sex couples, and fully support the hard work of the pro-choice movement.”

Twice Shy and Queen of Ireland screen at Regent Street Cinema on Thurs 23rd November. Twice Shy screens at 6.45pm, followed by a Q&A with Director Tom Ryan and cast, while Queen of Ireland is at 8.45pm, followed by a Q&A with director Conor Horgan and Niall Sweeney, longtime collaborator of Rory O’Neil / Panti.

Tickets are available at

The Irish Film Festival London runs from 23rd to 27th November 2016. See for more details.


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