Posts Tagged ‘performance’

Mix Tape by Droichead Youth Theatre

April 19, 2011

The Drogheda Arts Festival will welcome Mix Tape to their stage on Saturday the 30th of April for three nights. Mix Tape is a collection of short plays written, devised and directed by Droichead Youth Theatre. With a cast full of fun and energy Mix Tape is definitely one not to be missed!

Mix Tape

Interview with Niall Cleary, Director and Co-ordinator of  Droichead Youth Theatre.

Hi Niall, so can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved in Droichead Youth Theatre?

I’d been working as an actor for a few years when the Director of the Galway Youth Theatre asked me to direct a show for GYT.  I was quite reluctant at first but it was one of these scary things you got to do!  I did and I loved it.  I’ve been working with youth theatres ever since.  I then  did a course called ArtsTrain with NAYD, shortly after the post as Director of Droiched YT came alone.  I applied  and here I am!

So whats Mix Tape all about?

Good question!  The nature of any devised piece is that you are constantly searching for it until you perform.  We put a proposal together for NYCI to create unconnected scenes written and directed by the youth theatre and put them together and we’re amazed to find that we all felt like we we’re watching a tv chat show.  We persued that idea and we’re still chasing it.  Richard and Judy meets the Front Line meets MTV!

What are the cast like that you work with?

The cast are fantastic to work with.  The challenge of working with a big group is hearing all the voices and sharing ideas without descending into chaos!  The group are from the town and surrounding areas.  All aged between 14 and 18.  We’ve got a very mixed bag of personalities working on Mixed Tape.  Pardon the pun.  They are a talented group that keep on surprising me.

If you could describe Mix Tape in three words what would they be?

Live. Controlled. Chaos.

Is everyone looking forward to the show and what is it like now in rehearsals with only a little over two weeks left until they preform?

Two Weeks aaaggghhhh!  We’re looking forward to the the show.  It’s exciting to engage with an audience.  You need that interaction to motivate you towards the final push.  It’s hard work at times, easy to get carried away having fun.  I’m starting to put my serious face on.  The group aren’t fazed.  We want to have fun with our audience!

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La Locandiera – a real Italian feast on Thursday

November 2, 2010

Are the rainy autumn nights getting to you? Did the hour change put you in a bad mood? No plans yet on Thursday evening? La Locandiera contains all the ingredients for a fun and delicious Thursday evening treat. Food, fun, laughs and entertainment is the perfect cocktail to cheer up a dreary autumn night.

Not convinced yet? Read the article below, written by journalist Vanessa Moore and I’m sure you will be.


Mirandolina! – everyone’s in love with Mirandolina.’ Born in 1753 Mirandolina has been a hit ever since. This able woman keeps her inn full of paying by guests, with flirtatious ways and obliging manners, and never drops her guard. This is 1750s Florence after all, and independent women entrepreneurs like her are few and far between.
Enter the Ulster Gentleman, a man who professes to hate women: “I have never loved a woman, I have never put a woman onto a pedestal, and I have always believed that woman is man’s insupportable infirmity.” This remark challenges Mirandolina to “use Art to cut down, conquer and crush the barbarous hard-hearted enemy.”

And so begins this new English translation by director Alice Coghlan, performed in the cosy candlelit restaurant for the night – or is it Mirandolina’s Inn? This Inn is an open, happy, “allegra” place, where the characters entertain the audience through Italian music and song.

Goldoni is Italy’s greatest comic playwright, but his plays are very rarely performed in Ireland although there is sure to be a Goldini performance in Italian theatres on any day of the year. This production offers an audience the chance to see this classic comedy in a very intimate setting. Audiences will find the play’s characters seated at their tables, serving food and wine and latterly sword fighting all around them – much as they did for Wonderland’s sell-out hit Georgian house version of Molière’s The Miser and Afternoon Tea version of The Picture of Dorian Gray

A classic play of love, hate, romantic rivalry, rank and seduction, it is above all a humorous play, and one to sweep an audience away for the night.

For more info and tickets, check out our website or contact our box office on 041 9833946.

What the folk?

September 30, 2010

Droichead Arts Centre is very much looking forward to the site-specific interactive performance by Siamsa Tire Theatre Company called ‘What the Folk?’ It will take place in the drawing room areas of An Grianan in Termonfeckin, Drogheda on the 5th, 6th and 7th of October.

Originally commissioned for the Fringe Festival in Dublin, this piece gives an insight into the beautiful world of traditional folk songs and dance in Kerry as opposed to the competitive music and dance industry. Siamsa Tire Theatre Company describes it as ‘…an intimate and revealing session for the culturally curious – part storytelling, part impromptu knees-up, looking beyond the clichés to the passion and pain of a lifetime of practice, graft and dedication.  Find out about the bubble wrap horses, how the steps talk and fingers dance, the 40 sheep, the embarrassing scenes and the amorous undertones. ‘

The performance gets a great review in the Irish Theatre Magazine. ‘As the representatives of the National Folk Theatre speak informally of their repertoire, deliver songs as casually and proudly as party pieces and gingerly trace step dances from armchairs, we are treated like guests for a discreet display of tradition. What is surprising is that this gentle introduction soon becomes an unbridled release of genuine feeling’. Click here to read more.

There are only 25 places per performance, but all 3 nights have shows on at both 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Tea and some delightful cakes are also part of the performance! For more info and tickets call our box office 041 9833946 or check out of website www.droichead.com.

Swirling in the air with Fidget Feet

May 26, 2010

On Monday Fidget Feet gave a workshop on aerial dance in our venue in Stockwell Street. It turned out to be splendid and spectacular. All the participants were incredibly enthusiastic to be trying out acrobatic dances while climbing up and down fabric and swirling in cocoons. Take a look at the amazing pictures underneath.

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Did you know that we regularly organise workshops such as drawing classes, summer camps, theatre workshops … Interested? Just keep an eye on our website for the latest announcements.

What exactly is aerial dance?

May 12, 2010

We are delighted at the prospect of having “Madam Silk” lined up in the programme of Droichead Arts Centre this month. Madam Silk is the new aerial dance performance by Fidget Feet. For a preview of the show and the making off, have a look below.

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Aerial dance, it sounds impossible, it looks amazing. What exactly is it? I was talking to Sheenagh Gillen, the general manager and Chantal McCormick, the artistic director of Fidget Feet, to get an insight in who they are and what they do.

What does Fidget Feet do?

Fidget Feet is Ireland’s foremost Aerial Dance Theatre Company, originally from Donegal.  The company creates spectacular indoor and outdoor work and has become renowned internationally as a company that stretches the boundaries between several arts forms, combining aerial skills with contemporary circus and creating theatre fused with aerial dance, music and video art. In short, making contemporary circus and aerial dance accessible is what we’re aiming for.

Fidget Feet create spectacular contemporary circus suspended from cranes, trees, buildings and boats. Fidget Feet also specialise in aerial dance, making site-specific work for theatres and festivals. Our mission is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of our audience.

What exactly can we expect from contemporary circus?

There is new contemporay circus movement happening in Europe, which is mainly taking place in  France, Belgium, UK and other countries. Using twenty years of circus traditions this new movement is bringing circus techniques out of the big top and into the theatres – no animals included, only the human body and a new circus artistic way of creating dance movement in the air. Fidget Feet and Drapés Aérien have co-produced a new aerial spectacle from this new contemporary movement. “Madam Silk” is a haunting and visual stunning piece of aerial dance, which combines a unique mixture of many art forms including dance, circus, video art alongside original music. This makes it something for everyone, from young to the not so young! Fidget Feet is influenced by Canada’s amazing aerial company Cirque du Soleil.

Could you explain what aerial dance is?

Contemporary circus is also known as aerial dance, so mixing circus traditions with dance, dancing in the air! Aerial dance is unique and fills the whole stage with aerial acrobatics.

What is Madam Silk about; is there a story or concept behind the performance?

Madam Silk is inspired by French writers such as Anaïs Nin and Gustave Flaubert from the romanticism period. The show evoles within a journey of time with each of the three performers representing some extraordinary woman from history. The piece rises and spirals through the past, the present and the future, not unlike one of Charles Dickens famous stories “Scrooge”.

The show opens in an empty house where the memories of Madam Silk lay forgotton under sheets of fabric. The winds of time blow through the window and awaken her and each scene represents a different century and has been influenced by different writers.

How do you create a performance like Madam Silk, from start to finish?

Chantal McCormick, the artistic director of Fidget Feet, met Fred Deb’ in America years ago when she was teaching at an aerial dance festival. After this she invited Fred to teach a 4 day aerial course in Newcastle in the UK and attend Fidget Feet’s “Remember her”. There and then Fred and Chantal decided to work together.

In November 2008 we started researching at Firkin Crane in Cork working on dances with fabric. Then in February and April 2008 we spent 3 weeks working on a 40 minute version, adding aerial hoop trousers and cocoons rigged from a spreader bar. That’s when we also started to include music in the performance. We improvised on the equipment and workshop ideas, then set choreography and worked with music. The fabric routine was added on and we then introduced a choreographic style to the moves.

In October and November 2008 we received a Blank Canvas residency in Frikin Crane and a Bursary Award to research adding film to aerial dance. A couple of new scenes were then created. We also worked on the creation of a new aerial piece of equipment called the hoop dress and the designing of all the costumes.

“Madam Silk” was finalized in 2010. We have spent plenty of time on each section adding new choreography and just keep improving the piece, even when we are on tour. The process never really ends.

How long did it take to make Madam Silk?

We started in November 2008 and finished the piece April 2010. We did approximately 3 months of rehearsals in Ireland over 2 years.

What should participants expect from a workshop in aerial dance?

We will be teaching aerial for beginners using fabric rigged like hammocks or cocoons. They will also be rigged vertically so you can climb up and suspend from the fabric. This is a very physical but fun class for anyone who has ever wanted to just give it a go. Some upper body strength can help. This is a safe and fun way to fly!!

We still have tickets available for this amazing show as well as for the workshops. For info and bookings ring 041 9833946.