600 Children Enjoy Lifeboat by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company

March 31, 2015

Leigh Hussey had a wonderful time last week out in schools with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company’s ‘Lifeboat’ which toured Fingal schools as part of Draíocht’s Spréacha Festival, Fingal’s International Arts Programme for Children. We were thrilled to play to almost 600 children in 3 days.

Lifeboat is the extraordinary true story of Bess Walder and Beth Cummings. Set in World War II, it is a story of courage, a story of survival and a story of enduring friendship. On Friday 13 September 1940, a ship, The City of Benares, set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the relentless bombing and dangers of war torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only eleven of the evacuees survived. Two fifteen year old girls, Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat. They willed each other to survive. Lifeboat tells their story.

On Tuesday we were in St Francis Xavier’s Senior School, Wednesday we travelled to Malahide to St Oliver Plunkett’s and Thursday we finished off in Scoil Oilibheir. A big congratulations to the cast; Lois Makie who played Bess and Amy McGregor who played Beth and Stage manager Sian Mac Gregor who marked the end of a three month tour of ‘Lifeboat’ with us. Thank you to all at Catherine Wheels Theatre Company for all your hard work and bringing Bess and Beth’s incredible story to life.

It was great to spend time with all the classes to hear their thoughts on the show. If you saw the show and would like to share your thoughts please follow the link below to leave a comment.



Read more about Spréacha here ... 
Spréacha is presented by Draíocht in partnership with Fingal County Council.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Reviews & Interviews, Youth Arts,

Early Bird - Book Before 07 April 2015

March 23, 2015



Full price: €18 // Early Bird: €12

Full price: €18 // Early Bird: €14

Full price: €18 // Early Bird: €14

Full price: €16 // Early Bird: €12

Full price: €20 // Early Bird: €16

Full price: €18 // Early Bird: €14

Tickets must be paid in full before 07 April to avail of these Early Bird Offers.
A maximum of 6 tickets can be bought at these prices per person.
Not applicable to group bookings.
BOX OFFICE 01 885 2622

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By Draíocht. Tags: Early Bird,

Dancing up a Storm with Create Dance at Draiocht

March 20, 2015

We've had an amazing year and a half with dancers Mark Rogers and Philippa Donnellan, who have been working with 2 groups of children with intellectual disabilities.
Our Junior dancers are aged 5-8 years and our Seniors are 9-12 years old.
Along with their parents and siblings, they've been dancing up a storm in Draiocht's innovative dance project, Create Dance, which started in December 2013

We've tried and succeeded in engaging all five senses, using a variety of methods. We've had some fun by using bubble wrap that pops, silk material that slides and music that bangs. Participants have watched, listened and felt, while dancing, laughing and creating.

The initial project ran from December 2013 to February 2014, made possible with the generous support of The Ireland Funds. The Project then continued through to now, when we had our final Dress Up Dance Class on Saturday 7th March 2015. We hope to continue our Create Dance Project next September.

If you would like to make a Donation to help us programme more Create Dance Workshops (which are free to the children & their families), please get in touch with marketing@draiocht.ie.

Enjoy some images below of our lovely dancers, along with Mark, Philippa and Leigh.


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By Draíocht. Tags: Create Dance, Youth Arts, Mark Rogers,

Audience Review - Little Gem

March 20, 2015

Audience Member Carmel Hogan is back again with another fantastic review, this time for 'Little Gem' ...


We saw Little Gem at Draiocht on Friday, 13th March 2015. I know people say Friday 13th is an unlucky day, but for us, this year, it was an especially good one. 

The play is a beautifully crafted piece of writing. It incorporates humour (of the laughing out loud variety!), pathos (tears were shed), insight (Elaine Murphy knows how women think) and the mundanity of life. The three characters on stage in the play are superbly drawn. The off screen characters – stroke-ridden Gem, Ray, the drug addict, Paul – the Deb’s partner and on-off boyfriend, as well as the new Salsa partner/love interest, Neil, and the other transitory characters are all so well drawn that their absence from the stage is not noticed at all. 

Her decision to give the positive attitude to and experience of sex to Kay, the grandmother, was pure genius as so many younger people think sex was invented by their generation. We laughed till we cried at the introduction of Kermit – (I won’t go into any more detail as this aspect of the play really has to be experienced in order to get the full benefit. So find out where Little Gem is playing and book seats now!) Kay’s wisdom and generous spirit were inspirational and the fact that she still loved and cherished her husband was a delight. 

The youngest character, Amber, broke my heart. She thinks she’s so cool and so on top of it all. Whereas from my perspective, she was tragically overindulging in all sorts of ways which would greatly limit her future life. Life happened to her rather than her taking decisions on what she wanted from it. She had it all – she was beautiful, bright if not very intellectual – but unevolved – and despite the limitations, we see that she has a support network that would be the envy of many. So while the actress had terrific comic timing and created an unforgettable image of the young, chaotic life of Amber, she left a sadness in our hearts which lingers. 

Lorraine, her Mam and daughter of Kay, grabbed our hearts with her description of her obsessive irritation at work. We’ve all seen “The Wrecker” in shops, but Lorraine was the one who had to clear up the havoc after her. Her brittleness was so acute that even the superior “Suit” and “Woman from HR” saw through it to her vulnerability. Considering her life experience, Lorraine is a hero to actually get out of bed at all. While the descriptions of “Counselling” made us laugh, it also rang true and, thankfully, Lorraine really tried to follow the recommendations and “do something nice for herself”. This led her through the Salsa night to a whole new positive experience of a man who actually cared about her and despite angst, saw a woman who blossomed like a flower when loved. The “sex scene” made us wince through our laughter as anyone will know who has had a relationship end and has to think about “being with someone new”.

Elaine Murphy’s play is sharp, funny and thought provoking. The casting was so appropriate that the characters of Amber, Lorraine and Kay came to life in front of us. Draiocht is an excellent venue as despite its capacity, everyone is close enough to the stage to see the expressions on the faces and to hear the voices without excessive amplification. 

Once again, Draiocht’s impeccable record of excellent theatre production remains unbroken! 

Would you like to write a review for Draíocht? ... Pop us an email to marketing@draiocht.ie ... we'd be delighted to hear from you.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Reviews & Interviews, Theatre,

Des Kenny Reviews Jenny Fox - Distant Thoughts and Faded Songs

March 11, 2015

09 March 2015 - Our Arty Blogger is back! Des Kenny gives a personal response to our current exhibition by Jenny Fox - Distant Thoughts and Faded Songs.

Place and time search for definition in the myopic whites and hazy blues of Jenny Fox’s paintings in the First Floor Gallery in Draíocht (until 25 April 2015). Form dissipates into a ghostly semblance and the landscapes shimmering presence haunts the canvas surface like half developed photographs.

Jenny Fox,  As I stand alone with memories of home

The title of one painting As I stand alone with memories of home is an act of remembrance without the factual need for the subject matter of home to starkly exist before the artist’s defining eye. It is an inner emotional landscape the artist conjures that makes reference to peripheral reality. A white cold sun dissolves the landscape into a few elementary lines. An arc scythes through the paint hinting perhaps a hill as it kisses the sky above a blue indiscriminate foreground.

Jenny Fox, The melody lingers on

Again this white cold sun appears within The melody lingers on and its pale ethereal bearing cannot impose colour on the land beyond neutral blues and greys. The artist with a flurry of marks, gouged into the wet pigment and plaster endeavours to map raw forms into the fading ember of reminiscence like a phonograph needle following grooves in a record and vibrates the still land with mournful abandon.

Jenny Fox, Those funny little plans

The artist abdicates clarity of form in the pursuit of something more poetically cryptic and allows her engagement with the land become marooned in the materiality of paint. In Those funny little plans a dark grey shape occupies the top third of the painting, evoking a church spire and a town dowsed in the misty distance of pouring rain. Large silver brushstrokes sweep across sky and land, obscuring the frigid horizon, creating a floating world surrounded by rising flood waters. Bleached blues increase the surging watery drama to an image viewed as if through steam smeared glass.

Jenny Fox, Everything was quiet

Everything was quiet
is a large painting composed primarily of silver grey paint with an ashen grey rectangle, registered on the lower third of the canvas. Vertical strokes carved into the paint surface indicate falling snow racing across an immense sky over a barely discernible terrain. Sound finds no echo and the land is enveloped in shuddering silence. The perpetual fluctuation of nature is momentarily stalled in stillness. It’s these transient junctures in time that fleetingly descend upon the land that captures the artist imaginative engagement with picture making.

Jenny Fox, The way it changed

In The way it changed we recognise a distinguishable coast line with the curve of a beach receding towards a faint headland. The white surf and the pale sky blend together, wedding each other’s elements into a singular essence. A large vertical X scoured onto the paint surface attempts to anchor the image before it dissolves into a recurring haze of constant change. Throughout these works the embattled scarred surfaces portray the artist’s vigorous attempt to capture a capricious subject that appears to disperse before it is possessed.


Draiocht's Galleries are open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm. Admission is Free.

Desmond Kenny is an artist based in Hartstown, Dublin 15. He is a self taught painter, since he began making art in 1986 he has since exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, solo shows include Draíocht in 2001, The Lab in 2006 and Pallas Contemporary Projects in 2008. His work is included in many collections including the Office of Public Works, SIPTU, and Fingal County Council. Kenny's practice also incorporates print making and he has been a member of Graphic Studio Dublin since 2004.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Reviews & Interviews, Visual Arts, Desmond Kenny, Jenny Fox,

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