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Sing! For Your Supper 
1st December 2011, Bradbury's Café, Newbridge

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As a charity organisation, Kildare Youth Theatre and wider Crooked House Theatre Company frequently run fundraiser events to help support the work that we produce and perform.

In December 2011, members of Kildare Youth Theatre organised a live open-mic at Bradbury's café on Newbridge's main street. Set in front of a live audience, the night featured a wide variety of musical performances, with all money raised going directly to Kildare Youth Theatre's future projects and the upkeep of our Liffey Studio. 

Performances came from Gary O'Reilly, Seán Freeman, Rhianne Fahey, Gavin O'Neill, The Shift, Ryan Field, Thomas O'Driscoll, Niaomh Heylin, Ross Scott Harrell, Paul Miller, Terry Norman, Marc Tuffy, Rachel Boland and Rebecca Fahey - all current Kildare Youth Theatre members.

Music varied from acoustic solo pieces to high-energy band performances. Delicious tea and cake set to our music made for a thoroughly enjoyable and successful night for all involved. 

Many thanks to Bradbury's café for allowing Sing! For Your Supper to work. Video produced by Mo Kaddem.

Check out a video from the night below:

Click the arrows to see some pictures from the night:

My Dear Valentine 

19th-20th November 2011, Liffey Studio 

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My Dear Valentine was a new play written and directed by an at-the-time KYT member Mary Kiely. It is a remarkably accomplished play (written when she was only 15), with stark, emotionally resonant dialogue and inventive scenes. It was performed by KYT members, all aged between 16 and 18.


Luke and Lisa seem to be the perfect couple. They have lots of friends, they are successful at school and in sports, and they are very much in love. They hang out with their friends in the Hideout, where there is not much to do, and nowhere much to go.


Aoife is looking for a boyfriend. She wants to be in a relationship, like Luke and Lisa. One day a new boy - Jack - joins the group. He is different, aloof, quiet. This is the day that everything changes, first for Aoife, and then for Luke and Lisa.


My Dear Valentine is the story of what happens when a new member joins a tightly knit group of friends. It's about repressed desire, betrayed love, sudden violence. Things spiral out of hand for the characters, and before they know it, they have turned their world upside down.

Everyone's Valentine is somebody else's.


Written by: Mary Kiely

Directed by: Mary Kiely

Featuring: Thomas O'Driscoll, Ryan Field, Emille McCarthy, Eliza Kelly, Amy Quille, Aimee Lydon, Ian Armstrong, Jae Suen, John Cleary, Rhianne Fahey and Conor Darcy

My Dear Valentine was performed over two nights in Crooked House's Liffey Studio.

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Theatre Uncut Festival 2011

15th-16th November 2011, Liffey Studio

View the official Theatre Uncut Twitter page here.

Read more about the plays and the 2011 Theatre Uncut Festival here.

The Theatre Uncut Festival is a global theatre festival which involves performances of new or devised plays based on the theme of that specific year. 

In 2011, Kildare Youth Theatre was the only Irish theatre company to partake in the festival. The 2011 theme was human fragility and how easily we can breakdown

To mark the festival, Kildare Youth Theatre  performed a selection of new short plays, with small casts, which touch on the above theme. They were A Bigger Banner by Mark Ravenhill, Hi Vis by Clare Brennan, Oh To Be In Tunisia by Claire Kirkwood, Things That Make No Sense by Dennis Kelly, and Whiff Whaff by Jack Thorne. 

These plays were specially written and performed for the 2011 season. We performed them in the Liffey Studio to small audiences. 

National Festival Of Youth Theatre 2011

15th-17th July 2011, Glenrothes Hall, Fife, Scotland

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"With a remarkable line-up of outstanding theatre productions from some of the bets Scottish and international youth theatres, NFYT 2011 will present fifteen shows performed in and around the public spaces of Rothes Hall and the Kingdom Shopping Centre, Glenrothes.

Already the largest open platform for youth theatre performances anywhere in the UK, NFYT is unique in its open access and internationalism, presenting exceptional youth theatre whilst fostering new collaborations with professional theatre companies and artists"

-Excerpt from the NFYT 2011 Programme

The National Festival of Youth Theatre Scotland (NFYT), is a yearly youth theatre festival which groups theatres from across Europe and even the USA, to work, devise, and perform alongside one another in Scotland.

Kildare Youth Theatre has participated in the Festival every year since its inception. For a week, participants camp at a local private campsite in Fife, where different theatre companies befriend each other and mingle over shared meals and evening events. 

During the day, participants travel to the Kingdom Shopping Centre, a retail space with a fully fledged theatre space. Workshops take place in empty shop premises across the centre, with workshop themes - lead by the facilitators from the participating companies -  varying from Clowning to Stage Combat and everything in between.

Each night, a different theatre company performs a play specially devised (back home) for the Festival, which can be attended by anyone, participants or not.

For the 2011 season, an updated version of our 2010 production Nuts, - written by Fausto Paravidino - with some new cast members, was brought to Scotland.

Our Scottish production of Nuts featured Ian Armstrong, Chris Clarke, Emmet Faherty, Rhianne Fahey, Eliza Kelly, Mary Kiely, Thomas O'Driscoll, Gary O'Reilly, Amy Quille and Jenny Ryan. It was directed by Peter Hussey and Treenie Curran, with assistance from Keith Millar and Beibhinn Jones  

Read more about Nuts on our 2010 archive.

Globalfest 2011

8th-13th July 2011, Mayfield Arts Centre, Newbury House, Cork City, Co.Cork

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Globalfest was a yearly organised theatre festival set in Cork City. The week-long festival involved approximately 100 young people making art and performances which culminated in a public performance at Bishop Lucey Park in Cork city centre on 13th July. 

GLOBALFEST 2011 Youth Arts Festival brought together a range of events and projects by and for young people. It included a series of creative workshops, a seminar, interactive activities, gigs, exhibitions and a main event which took place on July 13th. The festival created a space for creative expression and development of creative skills and personal skills. The 2011 theme was 'Belong'. 

Kildare Youth Theatre brought 10 participants to Cork in 2011. All expenses for the trip were covered by the festival, minus the train down.

View images, videos, and more information on the 2011 Globalfest Facebook Page.

Smelly Ellie 

May-June 2011, Local Co.Kildare Primary Schools

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Kildare Youth Theatre strives to appeal to audiences of all types, including young. Since its inception, Kildare Youth Theatre has produced a number of plays for younger audiences, such as Spellbound (2001), The Snow Queen (2007) and The Licorice Witch (2008).

Following this trend, a small group of Kildare Youth Theatre actors devised and performed Smelly Ellie

A comical play with a heartfelt message embedded in, Smelly Ellie is a play about being different, and furthermore, being proud of being different, through the lens of gender. It also featured some musical numbers.

Smelly Ellie was performed in primary schools in Newbridge as well as further afield throughout County Kildare during May and June 2010. 

It featured Thomas O’ Driscoll, Rhianne Fahey, Jack Tinsley, Eliza Kelly, Amy Quille and Emmet Faherty, and was directed by Peter Hussey and Mary Linehan. 

NT Connections 2011: Bassett 

4th-5th March 2011, Liffey Studio | 26th March 2011, Grand Opera Theatre, Belfast

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Bassett by James Graham is set in a London classroom, just after a teacher has locked all the pupils into the room for bad behaviour. It is the day on which the community awaits the repatriation of the body of a young soldier killed in Afghanistan; a former pupil of the school. Tensions in the classroom run high;

during the course of an hour a seemingly integrated multi-cultural group of pupils becomes a divided mob, with serious consequences for some.

While Bassett explores a serious theme, it is also funny and inventive. It was commissioned by the National Theatre in London as part of their Connections programme for 2011.

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The National Theatre's Connection Festival is a unique an inventive theatre festival for youth theatres across the UK & Ireland. Kildare Youth Theatre has performed over thirty Connections plays since its inception.

The Connections Festival every year, enlists theatre writers to write specific pieces of theatre for young performers. Participating theatre companies can then choose from upwards of 12 plays to perform. These companies perform at a local level (Liffey Studio) and then at the nearest Connections Weekend (Belfast), where they are judged by a National Theatre critic. The best performance of each play is then chosen to perform in the National Theatre of London.

Bassett was directed by Keith Burke, with assistance from Darren Sinnott. 


Headspace 2011
2nd February 2011, The Mill Community Centre, Celbridge, Co. Kildare


'Outreach and Education' has been a long running project of Crooked House which features, primarily, programmes for young people which build confidence, counteract depression and addiction, and help individuals achieve what they themselves wish to achieve in life. The project has collaborated with organisations, partners and clients from all across Leinster and further afield. However, the Outreach and Education project generally features programmes which are free of charge, and therefore require funding. 

In 2009, a new Outreach and Education programme began in response to the alarmingly high rates of young male suicide in the Kildare area. A new project, called Headspace was formed which aimed to use theatre to enhance skills for living and promote positive mental health. 

The objective was to run 10 workshops with 80 young people across Northern Kildare which:

  • developed confidence and aptitude in using drama safely, imaginatively and expressively

  • explored issues of well-being relevant to the participants

  • developed key life-enhancing skills (such as decision making; deferring gratification; using information to make choices; developing independence and learning how to control one’s own life; forming postitive relationships; managing impulsive behaviours; managing conflict; problem solving skills)​

In response to the high demand which these projects saw, it was continued on into 2011. New locations were chosen for workshops to be held, now taking place in Milltown, Naas, Prosperous and Casteldermot.

After the workshops had concluded, the project then consisted of running 10 two-sessions with each area to develop a performance piece based on themes, issues or ideas the participants have in relation to positive mental health. This could include, for example, a performance about finding Positive Role Models for Young Males; Turning Peer Pressure into Peer Support; Interrogating Negative Images of Women; Finding solutions to aggressive behaviour or self-destructive habits; dealing with depression; Strategies for Dealing with Conflict; etc. What was produced in these sessions were then performed to the other participants of the project.

This Outreach Programme, running since 2009, was funded year-on-year by the Health Service Executive's National Lottery Grant Scheme.

If you would like to know more about how Kildare Youth Theatre and Crooked House Theatre Company as a whole works to tackle suicide in County Kildare, check out an article written by our Artistic Director Peter Hussey on our Articles page.

See below a highlight of some other moments for us in 2011

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Following on it's success from the previous year, the Curragh Drama Project continued into a second year. A Kildare Youth Services initiative, featuring assistance from Crooked House, the Curragh Drama Project aimed to use theatre to develop relationships between the generations of the Curragh Barracks and the surrounding area, and to share their experience of their local community and the common issues that affect them.

The 2010 project called Out O Vit! looked at the lack of resources and facilities in the area, and the pressure to maintain relationships experienced by residents. The 2011 weekly workshops, which ran for almost a year and used Open Forum Theatre, featured 128 young people who were disadvantaged or at risk of isolation or anti-social behaviour. 

Early into the workshops, the participants came across the "Wrens of Kildare", which later became a focal point of the work produced by the participants.

The second year of the Curragh Drama Project was funded by the National Youth Council of Ireland.

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