By Tara McKevitt, devised by Smashing Times Theatre Company
Director: Mary Moynihan
Cast: Mark Flynn, Paul Nolan, Evelyn Shaw, Margaret Toomey, Adam Traynor
The Troubles seen through the eyes of the rap, hip-hop, dance generation, Uprising juxtaposes stories from the past with contemporary music and rap in an epic, cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary production fusing text, movement, compelling pop-music, modern dance and the rapping of ancestral voices.
A young DJ attempts to lose himself through music and dance in a Belfast warehouse as the flag protests rage outside. His friend argues with his ‘passivity’; he challenges her ‘call to arms’. They are visited by ghosts of conflicts past and present as they explore war in Northern Ireland and globally through the lens of music, dance and the testimony of those affected.
Uprising is a truly unique performance exploring memories and experiences of war in Northern Ireland and internationally and asks why do we kill for a cause, why do we die for a cause? Performances followed by post-show discussions with the artists and invited guest speakers.
Uprising is presented as part of The Memory Project, an innovative, ground-breaking arts project using theatre and a television documentary to deal with the past history of conflict and to promote a peaceful and shared future for all. The Memory Project is implemented by Smashing Times Theatre Company in partnership with Corrymeela Community and High Wire Limited and in association with CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet) and the University of Ulster INCORE International Conflict Research Institute. The project is funded by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme.
- ‘Uprising is a provocative and insightful new play from Smashing Times Theatre Company. It bristles with kinetic energy, while still presenting moments of personal tragic loss in the context of the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland and conflicts around the world. It fearlessly confronts us with questions about injustices in our society, and engages the audience not only in an examination of the past, but also in a quest for a vision of the future.’
– Paul Kennedy
- ‘I found Smashing Times Uprising to be uniquely innovative, moving, poignant and hopeful. This seminal work needs to be seen by many around the whole of the island of Ireland especially our young people. I salute the writer for her vision, the director for her bravery and the actors for their superb crafting of this vital piece of work for the times we live in.’
– Karen Ward
- ‘Brilliant performance last night at the Playhouse called Uprising. Dublin based company used a fusion of text, dance and rap, exploring memories and experiences of war and peace in Northern Ireland and internationally. It was very well put together. Our girls were able to see first hand the power of the arts, for us ‘dance’, it doesn’t have to solve the problems out there but it can provoke thought for change. This is exactly the kind of work we are doing with our Youth Group, we take an issue then use dance, music and technology to explore it and share with audiences far and wide, schools, communities etc.’
– Irena Melly, I.D Youth Dance Company
- ‘Myself and my fiancé and his sister and my brother went to see Uprising and were phenomenally impressed. Myself and my brother are from the south of Ireland whereas my fiancé and his sister are from Belfast. The show was a very interesting depiction of the troubles in the north. The cast, though many were from the south, had obviously researched the troubles and perfected their northern accents! They gave me a glimpse of what life must have been like living through the troubles. We were especially impressed with the music and song choices during the show. The music helped to lighten the tension during intense scenes and lift the mood. Overall we felt that both sides of the troubles were well represented with likeable characters on both sides.’
– Rosemary Cullen
- ‘The gang from M.A.D Youth Theatre loved it, they had so much to say about it on the bus back home.’
– Kwasie Boyce
By Paul Kennedy and Mary Moynihan
Directors: Ena May, Bairbre Ni Chaoimh, Mary Moynihan
Cast: Adam Traynor, Evelyn Shaw, Margaret Toomey, Gillian Hackett
‘True theatre… extraordinary.’ – Irish Times
‘Outstanding performances… crafted, nuanced, searing… compelling.’ – Village Magazine
Testimonies consists of three dramatic monologues adapted from the experiences of those who have lost loved ones to suicide and from the experiences of those who have been through a suicidal crisis and survived. Each performance is followed by a post-show discussion with a counsellor and invited guest speakers from the Samaritans, the Irish Association of Suicidology and other organisations. Audience members are invited to discuss the issues raised by the performances. Testimonies is presented as part of a project called Acting for the Future which uses participative drama workshops and a professional theatre performance to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention.It has been successfully touring nationally since 2005.
- ‘I am still in shock at how quiet and attentive they (young men) were to the performance. . . They were told they could leave after the first monologue but they stayed and also asked questions in the post show discussion. I have never seen this group so attentive and quiet. Please include us in future work plans. It is very impressive work!’
– Shane O’ Connor, Youth Worker, The Base, Ballyfermot, Dublin
- ‘Smashing Times approaches a difficult subject with honesty, integrity and sensitivity. Testimonies pulls no punches about the devastating effect of suicide and offers a nonjudgmental insight into what brings people to consider it an option. The engaging monologues, though sad, are not depressing, but in a way life-affirming. This production and the discussion afterwards should be compulsory for all young people. It is Theatre-in-Education at its Best.’
Maeve Ingoldsby, Writer
- ‘Wonderful experience… great way for the kids to get a first time look at how drama and mental health issues combine… the kids talked about it for weeks afterwards.’
– Priscilla Nic Chonmara, Ballyfermot Youthreach
Thou Shalt Not Kill
By Paul Kennedy
Created and directed by Mary Moynihan
Cast: Cathy White, Adam Traynor, Fiona Bawn-Thompson
An installation of ‘living theatre’ performances exploring themes of conflict, trauma and hope. Using the body as a site of performance, memory and emotion and centring on experiences of conflict in Northern Ireland, Thou Shalt Not Kill is based on research, interviews and stories and imagines the future through a remembrance of things past. These are powerful, dramatic performances that come from the soul and are an experience not to be missed. All performances are followed by post-show discussions with the artists and invited guest speakers.