October 24, 2012

Hallelujah! Draiocht’s first Community Clown Choir is here!


Register your interest by filling in an application form, available from Draíocht’s Box Office or by email from
Deadline for applications extended: WED 31 OCT 2012

Participants must be 16 years and over.



Are you sociable?  Do you like to sing?  Do you like to laugh?  Are you the type of person who is open to trying new things?  THEN WE WANT YOU!


Hallelujah! will be a choir like no other – its ethos being accessibility, inclusivity and artistic excellence. A Clown Choir is a group of people who gather together to sing and laugh – to sing in celebration of what it is to be human and to laugh at the ridiculousness of the world we live in.


Weekly rehearsals will begin in 2013 but on November 3rd 2012 there is an opportunity for you to come along to see what it’s all about. The day will be good fun. You will be introduced to the basic concepts of clown theatre and you will learn Hallelujah!’s signature tune - Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile”.  Nobody will be asked to do anything that s/he is not comfortable with but for those who are interested in stepping into the spotlight then there will be ample opportunity for them to do so.


You don’t have to be a good singer to join Hallelujah!

You don’t have to be a performer to join Hallelujah! 

You just have to be interested and willing.

Come along on November 3rd and see what it’s all about.


Hallelujah!’s first major work in 2013 will be The M50 Symphony – A Symphony For Human Voice & Car Horn!


Veronica Coburn, Draiocht’s Theatre Artist in Residence for 2012/2013 and Director of ‘Hallelujah’ is delighted to be working in Draiocht on this project from November and says

“I have a dream. It’s called Hallelujah! It is a city wide Community Clown Choir where people from all walks of life, all ages, all social strata, come together every week to play and to sing and build artistically exciting performances. No Handel’s Messiah. No programme of early Renaissance love poems. This is a clown choir. Human voice in place of instruments. An evening concert of One Hundred Green Bottles. A joyful place to be.

The clown has always represented everyman and everywoman. The function of early theatre clowns was to maintain the interest of the ordinary people with low comedy and plain speech. It is fitting then that interwoven through the choral programme of the clown choir will be the participants own stories – human stories.”




To register your interest please fill in an application form, available from Draíocht’s Box Office or by email from or phone Teresa for a chat about the project on 01-8098028.

Veronica Coburn Biography:
Veronica Coburn s a founding member of the theatre company Barabbas. Veronica devised and performed in Barabbas inaugural season and in Out the Back Door in The Ark in 1997. She devised and directed Sick Dying Dead Buried Out with the company in 1995 and in 1996 directed the revival of Half Eight Mass of a Tuesday.
Over the years she has performed in The Abbey, the Peacock, with Rough Magic, Horizon, Copol, Pigsback, Theatre of Fire and in many television productions. She was assistant director to Gerard Stembridge on his play Lovechild in the Project and on Comedy of Errors in the Abbey. Veronica is chairperson of Dublin Youth Theatre and for them directed Mark O'Rowe's ‘Buzzin' to Bits in Project@the Mint. She has also acted as Artistic Director for the 1998 National Festival of Youth Theatres in Monaghan which resulted in a hundred-strong performance, Hey Pelops.




Deadline for applications: WED 31 OCT 2012

Participants must be 16 years and over.

Download Application Form here ... 


This one year drama and music project is funded through The Arts Council and Fingal County Council.



Nicola Murphy, Marketing Press & PR Manager, Draiocht, tel: 01-8098021 /

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By Draíocht. Tags: Clown Choir, Veronica Coburn,

Queen Elizabeth – Warts and All

October 22, 2012

We caught up with Actor Rebecca Vaughan, who is just about to embark on an Irish Tour with her solo show ‘I, Elizabeth’, coming to Draiocht on Thursday 8th November, 8pm, Tickets: 18/14e conc are available from Draiocht’s Box Office, tel 01-885 2622 or online:

I, ELIZABETH – An interview with Rebecca Vaughan

When did you first become interested in Elizabeth I?

I think she’s always been an interesting figure to me, even from primary school where I learned about the Tudor monarchs. Here were stories you couldn’t make up: truth was weirder than fiction – Henry VIII with 6 wives, and Elizabeth who reigned for 44 years and never married. There are so few really striking women in the history books, so she really stands out, warts and all!


How did the show come about?

I had just finished the Edinburgh run of my first one woman show – AUSTEN’S WOMEN, and had completely fallen in love with the idea of solo shows, and so was looking to write another one.  I was in the library looking for a book which I couldn’t find. I finished off on my hands and knees looking for it under the bookshelf.  It turned out not to be the book I was looking for, but rather “Elizabeth I: Collected Works”.  I thought, hang on – I never knew Elizabeth I wrote stuff!  So, intrigued, I got it out of the library.  It turned out to be a collection of her letters, speeches, poetry and prayers, and what really interested me was the younger Elizabeth was very different to the strong ‘Gloriana’ leader we know of her later life.  It seems that until she was about 35 she was quite insecure and vulnerable, and sometimes doubted her abilities as queen.  I was interested in the idea of seeing if I could put together a show using only her own words to create something that is as close as possible to who she was.  I really wanted to show where she got things wrong, all her flaws, as well as her many strengths.  And thus, I, ELIZABETH was born!


What have you learned about Elizabeth from your research and creating the show?

In addition to her insecurities and vulnerabilities, I learned what a solitary life it really was, especially for her as a woman.  Everyone she came into contact with had their own agenda, even her closest counselors, so she could never really trust anyone.  Many of the bad decisions she made were often on account of trusting the wrong people, as well as her being a procrastinator.  She really was a terrible procrastinator – and often hoped that things would work themselves out on their own (which of course, often didn’t happen!).  This was one of her biggest flaws.  But I think Elizabeth the woman was always trying to break free, but Elizabeth the Queen always had to win.


How far have you toured the show?

As well as touring the UK and Ireland, the show has toured to the US and Australia, and will be hopefully doing a tour of all the Ivy League Universities in America next Autumn.  There seems to still be so much interest in her both as a woman and a queen.

You brought a previous show AUSTEN’S WOMEN to Draiocht – do you like the solo show format?

Absolutely love it!  I’d been a ‘normal’ actor for about 10 years, and then when I got involved in creating AUSTEN’S WOMEN I realised that this is what I adore, and why I became an actor.  To have such an intimacy with an audience is just wonderful and really takes both the performer and the audience back to what theatre is really about – sitting in a dark room and hearing a story told.  As an actor, I find it far more fulfilling than being in large productions in huge theatres where the audience seem miles away and are often not drawn into the story being told on stage.


What are your forthcoming plans?

Well, we (Dyad Productions) have just premiered our newest show FEMALE GOTHIC at the Edinburgh Festival and it went down a storm!  Its Victorian tales of the macabre and ghost stories written by women, and it seems that people really do have a taste for that genre – we love to be scared, just a little!  And these Victorian stories really ignite the imagination, and I love performing the show!  This will start touring in January, and will tour to Ireland in February.  However, there are so many Irish venues that are interested in the show that we will be bringing it back again next autumn!  We are also touring our other show – a two hander – THE DIARIES OF ADAM AND EVE – to Ireland next January.  The show is a relationship comedy and uses the idea of the first man and the first woman and asks – how is it possible that men and women have ever made it work!  And it’s so much fun to share the stage with another person after doing all these solo shows!



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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre,


October 12, 2012

The Music Man, one of the most successful Hollywood musicals, of all time, will come marching into Draíocht Blanchardstown for a five night run commencing on Tuesday 23 October 2012 at 8.00pm.
The Music Man has not been seen on the Dublin stage for quite some years.

An all star cast lead by multiple AIMS (Association of Irish Musical Societies) award winning northside actor Michael Evans, in the title role, Professor Harold Hill, will be joined by award winning Jean Sweeney, Baldoyle and Blanchardstown (as Marion Peroo); Valerie Andrews, Ballinteer (as Mrs Peroo), John Furlong, Blanchardstown (as Mayor Shinn), Siobhán 0’Sullivan, Phibsboro (as Mrs Shinn) who together with Will Burke (as Marcellus Washburn) and an experienced cast of forty singers and dancers from all over the city suburbs and beyond will bring Meredith Wilson’s colourful musical, set in River City Iowa, to life. The Music Man also has seventeen children in the cast and an orchestra of eleven people.

Ten year old Adam Doherty, from Donaghmede, a fifth class pupil at St. Brigid’s Boys National School, Killester, and son of Eithne and Paul Doherty, will play the important role of Winthrop in The Music Man. Adam is a student of FACT school of performing arts, under the direction of northsider Sean Gilligan. Adam has already appeared in the sell-out musical, The Snowman at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre here in Dublin and at the University Concert Hall, Limerick. Adam has also appeared in Annie Jnr, the musical, at the Helix Theatre and in Cinderella at the Castle, in Clontarf Castle.

Rehearsals in full swing!

Jack Carolan, Dunboyne, who is already making a name for himself in stage musicals plays Tommy Djilas, Lauren Murphy from Skryne, Co Meath plays Amaryllis and sister Lucy plays Zaneeta and Alice Hunter, Marino (Gracie Shinn).

Rehearsals in full swing!

The Music Man, by Meredith Willson, with timeless classic numbers Seventy-Six Trombones, Ya Got Trouble, The Wells Fargo Wagon, Goodnight My Someone and Till There Was You is directed by Philippa Alford. The musical director is Yvonne McQuillan and award winning choreographer Orla Savage is responsible for the choreography. The colourful stage settings are by award winning set designer Richard Levins.

Rehearsals in full swing!

The Music Man is presented at Draíocht Blanchardstown by The Pioneer Musical Society, for Pioneer Club members and friends. The Pioneer Musical Society is one of the longest established musical societies in the country. The society will be well known for staging spectacular musicals and pantomimes, with high production values, at their former home St. Francis Xavier Hall, Upper Sherrard Street, in the city, for many years. In recent years the society has staged many successful musicals at Draíocht, including South Pacific, Calamity Jane, The Hot Mikado, Crazy for You and Fiddler on the Roof.

Rehearsals in full swing!

The Music Man is now booking at Draíocht Box Office 01 885 2622 Monday to Saturday 10am to 6.00pm.
Tickets €15.00 (Tuesday) and €18.00 (Wednesday to Saturday) may also be booked, at any time, online at


The film of The Music Man premiered in 1962 and starred Robert Preston, as The Music Man and Shirley Jones, of Oklahoma! and Carousel fame, as Marion Peroo and Buddy Hackett, Paul Ford, Hermione Gingold.

Rehearsals in full swing!

The Chairperson of the Pioneer Musical Society for Pioneer Club Members and Friends is Mary O’Reilly.
Any further information from: P.J.Kelly, FPRII, MMII. Pioneer Musical Society, Tel: 087 769 0997

Rehearsals in full swing!

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By Draíocht. Tags: Music, Theatre,

Star Wars and Me with Actor Charles Ross

October 12, 2012

We caught up with actor Charles Ross who is just about to embark on an Irish Tour with his show 'One-Man Star Wars Trilogy', coming to Draiocht on Thursday 18 October, 8pm, Tickets: 18/14e conc ...

Charles will be supported on the night by banker-turned-comedian Aidan Killian and costumed characters in the foyer beforehand for photos!

Charles's One Man Star Wars Trilogy takes fans on a whirlwind adventure through a film franchise that has preoccupied the imaginations of so many children around the world, where he single-handedly plays all the characters, sings the music, flies the ships, fights the battles and condenses the plots into just sixty minutes!

Q. When did you first become interested in Star Wars?

A. When I was a child, I lived on a farm in Prince George, a northern part of Canada. We had long winters where it would drop down to maybe -40C and it was very cold for seven or eight months of the year. Because of that, you spent a lot of time indoors and we had no television reception, so you had to watch what you had on video on your VCR. We only had three movies - The Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields, Shogun and Star Wars - so nine times out of ten, I ended up watching Star Wars. A lot of times, it would just be on as background noise, and I would think that a lot of it has gone into my head through osmosis and become committed to my memory. And what do you do with that useless piece of information? That was something no one should do to themselves unless you intend to do something positive with it eventually – and so I have!

Q. How did you come to turn your knowledge of Star Wars into a one-man show?

A. I’ve got a degree in theatre with an acting specialisation, but actors are often out of work, so I wanted to do my own one-man show to get a bit of autonomy in my career. One-Man Star Wars Trilogy started life as a comedy sketch, but then my director TJ Dawe and I turned it into a one-hour piece. It went down really well when I performed it at a fringe event in Toronto – and everything’s gone on from there.

Q. How many times have you seen the Star Wars films now?

A. No idea, but I’ve probably seen the first film in the hundreds and the other two films in the Trilogy, probably less than a hundred. The new films I’ve seen maybe half a dozen times.

Q. Which is your favourite character to perform?

A. The Emperor, because he’s such a rotten bastard and Iain McDiarmid who played him is such a fantastic actor.

Q. And which is the most difficult character?

A. Yoda, because the pitch of my voice is different to that of Frank Oz, who did his voice.

Q. Has George Lucas seen your show?

A. Not to my knowledge, but I am officially licensed by LucasFilm – otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to do the show! – and I was hired to perform at the official fan conventions Celebration III and IV in the US and Celebration Europe in London, so I assume that the people whose opinion he trusts think it is something he would enjoy.

Q. How far have you toured the show?

A. Everywhere from Canada and North America to the UK, Dubai and Australasia. I’ve even performed the show while backpacking around Turkey! There are Star Wars fans everywhere.

Q. Do you have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy the show?

A. No, but it’s probably worth hiring the DVD’s out before you come to see it, because the better you know the films, the more you’ll enjoy it. If you haven’t seen the films at all, it will be a bit like watching a game of cricket when you don’t know the rules!

Q. Do you have another ‘trilogy’ show planned for the future?

A. I have already created a One-Man Lord Of The Rings Trilogy and I’m sure I’ll do another addition to this whole Star Wars thing at some point, although this time I’m definitely going to seek out the rights first! I’ve also a one-man show which is much more autobiographical.

One-Man Star Wars™ Trilogy, written by Ross and directed by TJ Dawe, has toured the world since January 2001, delighting audiences as far afield as Dubai and Sydney. It has been performed off-Broadway in New York and in London’s West End, at several official Star Wars Celebration events, Glastonbury Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and numerous theatres around the globe. Now Ross is taking his hilarious show on its first ever tour of Ireland. Whether you’re a committed Star Wars fan or simply want to enjoy a fast-paced, side-splitting evening that’s out of this world, make sure you don’t miss it!

One Man Star Wars™ Trilogy performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. All ‘Star Wars’ elements property of Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

Suitable for ages 7+

Supported on the night by banker-turned-comedian Aidan Killian ...

Watch a video snippet here ...


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By Draíocht. Tags: Comedy, Theatre,


October 8, 2012

The last week in September we where lucky enough to have a fantastic workshop with Niall Delahan of Wassa Wassa Workshops. 3rd to 6th class students from around Dublin 15 participated in these exciting, hands-on workshops that gave students a fantastic opportunity to explore their creativity through music. The students where introduced to traditional African drumming by Niall, who has travelled all over West Africa collecting all of these lovely drums and learning his craft.



Sitting in a circle, everyone got a chance to play different drums in his very impressive collection,  which included two different types of drums, inlcluding some DunDun's....



...and two base drums that one of two students with aparticaullty keen ear used to keep the beat...and to keep the rest of us in line!



We learned how rhythms are formed, a bit about the culture of drumming in different West African counties, how the drums were made and even how he posted them back to Ireland. There was of course lots of noise and fun too-and everyone got to do a solo. By the end of these workshops, most classes had completed an entire piece of music that they could play together as a large ensemble- not something you get to do every day…and certainly not usually after just one workshop!

Focus on workshops run throughout the year for Primary and Secondary cycle students in a range of arts activities to find out more contact or the box office on 01 8852622.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Youth Arts,

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