Young Curators Take Over the Peacock at the Abbey Theatre

In March 2018, The Abbey Theatre issued the first ever call out for 18 - 25 year olds to help us to programme a two-week festival at the Theatre. Young Curators is a unique training ground for those with a passion for theatre. More than 120 people applied from all across the country.

The selected Young Curators - Luke Casserly (Longford), Martha Knight (Dublin), CN Smith (Louth), and Allie Whelan (Kildare) - were chosen to curate two weeks of work at their National Theatre this summer. They have been travelling around Ireland to festivals, like the Cork Midsummer Festival, Galway International Arts Festival and Dublin Fringe, along with seeing local productions in the areas they're from. They came together regularly to discuss the work they'd seen and to create a shortlist for their own programme.

Young Curator, Martha Knight said: 'We talked a lot about interdisciplinary art and work that crosses over boundaries outside of its own discipline. For example we were interested in a radio play with an element of live presentation or a sound art piece, with a DJ set at the same time.'

Young Curator, Luke Casserly says: 'I think people can expect to see something a little bit different to what they normally see in the Peacock. It's a festival of new thoughts, new ideas and new ways of looking at the world around us, particularly relevant for a younger generation of citizens in Ireland.'

Later this month, the Young Curators Festival will see seven productions, world premieres, discourse events, workshops and DJ sets, with plenty of opportunity for the young, and young at heart, to get involved.

The Young Curators Festival is part of a programme of young and marginalised voices at the Peacock this summer. It sits between five weeks of 5x5 - a Abbey funded programme for often voiceless communities to develop work - and a presentation of Ask Too Much of Me, a new play from the National Youth Theatre, featuring young people from youth theatres, all over Ireland.

Jen Coppinger, Head of Producing (New Work) at The Abbey Theatre: 'Summer 2019 at the Peacock is an exciting, rewarding and invigorating time for the Abbey. We are thrilled to give emerging artists a platform to express what it is like to be a young Irish citizen in 2019. It is exhilarating to see what these new voices have to say; covering subjects like living in direct provision, family dynamics, living with dementia, cultural identity, living with a disability, breaking-up and faith are just a taste of what is covered. We hope to forge a relationship with each artist in the programme that continues beyond this first connection. We look forward to welcoming audiences; new and old, of all ages to celebrate these voices and to enjoy the rich tapestry of work from the 5x5 projects, the Young Curators Festival and National Youth Theatre.'

From 29 July to 10 August, the jam-packed Young Curators Festival will take over the Peacock Stage and Bar at The Abbey Theatre with gigs, art, award-winning theatre and lots more. Tickets from €5 to €15 are on sale now at abbeytheatre.ie



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