One of my favorite experiences when I was in Berlin this summer was my going to see the Berlin Bombshells Roller Girls in a warehouse in Fridrichshain. So when I returned and Sara told me that there was a newly formed branch of Dublin Roller Girls I had to go to see what it was like.
Obviously it’s all well and good going to see something as exotic as roller derby in Germany, where there is a carefully crafted alternative scene, but it’s another thing going to see it in Ireland. Visions of a kind of Father Ted gettup, set inside a backarse-of-nowhere community centre with the local parish priest telling the girls to “gesh oush there and just, y’know, have a bish of fun wish ish” and a couple of mothers and the odd father hanging around the tea and biscuits table:
– Doesn’t she look greash in her gettup, Mary
– Fantastic, sure she looks fantastic.
– And sure aren’t they havin’ a ball rollin’ around in the little circle ‘dere
– And beatin the shite out of each other.
– And, sure, beatin the shite out of each other.
But when I get there (and I manage to pull in a good few people with Muid and Julianne already knowing some people involved and Ruth and Andrew coming along for shits and giggles as well) I find that there’s just as much of an atmosphere and quite a big crowd gathered for the occasion. The music is blaring and the focus is as much on having fun and enjoying the whole theatre of the affair. OK, so, sure, the crowd is definitely a little more sedate than the Berlin crowd and the PE hall’esque gym of a sports centre doesn’t pack the alternative punch of a warehouse in Friedrichshain but sure, fuck it, we still have a ball watching the girls rollin around in a circle and, y’know, beatin’ the shite out of each other.
I definitely plan to go again some time soon when I have a telephoto lense for my camera and can get some better action shots.
If you’re interested in Dublin Roller Derby feel free to check out: