Here are some of the awards and reviews Kildare Youth Theatre has received over the years.
If you want a history of our productions, click here.
2019: National Theatre UK Connections Selection with The Small Hours by Katherine Soper (Dorfman Theatre, London, June 2014)
2015: National Theatre UK Connections Selection with Hospital Food by Eugene O’ Hare (Dorfman Theatre, London, July 2015)
2010: Young Ensembles Scheme award from The Arts Council, Ireland
2008: NT New Connections Selection with Scenes From Family Life by Mark Ravenhill (opening the NT Connections Festival in the Royal National Theatre, London on 3rd July 2008)
2007: The Patrick Murray Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Gay Theatre for The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival, May 2007)
2005: The Hilton Edwards Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production for Citizenship by Mark Ravenhill (DIGT Festival, May 2005)
2005: UK National Student Drama Festival Acting Awards for Caitriona Curran and Ross Mac Mahon in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
2003: NT Shell Connections Selection with Totally Over You by Mark Ravenhill (performed in the Royal National Theatre, London in July 2003)
What The Critics Have Said:
2003: "Kildare Youth Theatre stage a sparky, streetwise production with winningly comic performances. This is a spunky, talented young group.”
Rachel Halliburton, The London Evening Standard (16 July 2003 - on Totally Over You)
"this is the lightest, most endearing, most hilarious, and the most flawless play I have ever seen from him. And oh every detail is so funny.”
Alastair Macauley, The Financial Times (16 July 2003 - on Totally Over You)
“Performed with evident enjoyment [...] it has plenty to say about a culture where dreams are lies. And the process it celebrates is the transforming power of theatre.”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian (16th July 2003 - on Totally Over You)
2005: "The company entered during the opening music and there was an immediate sense of intensity and seriousness which was brilliantly maintained throughout. Not only were the characters extremely well defined from the outset but they developed in subtle and sometimes unusual ways. [...] What was even more impressive was the attention to detail, not just in the thought had gone into the speeches but also in the reactions of those not necessarily involved in a particular scene. [...] Such directorial details, so brilliantly executed, lift this performance into a class of its own"
Nicolas Bloomfield, Royal National Theatre of Great Britain (31st March 2005 - on Chatroom)
"Precisely because it doesn’t patronise young people with pat morality or sentimental solutions, Citizenship is obviously a piece of work that young actors can recognise. And in this excellent production by Peter Hussey for Kildare Youth Theatre, the youth wing of Crooked House Theatre Company, the cast repays the compliment with thoughtful, intelligent and utterly committed performances. Young actors would not expose themselves to such a delicate exploration of sexuality unless they had complete trust in the process, and it is evident that Hussey has earned the trust and respect of his company. It is the ensemble work that impresses most. When a young company is capable of taking such a sensitive, compassionate and skillful approach to a difficult subject, it is impossible not to conclude that, for all its problems, Ireland has grown up fast.”
Fintan O’ Toole – The Irish Times (14th May 2005 - on Citizenship)
"Kildare Youth Theatre certainly belie their years in this impressive Irish premiere which portrays as accurately as has ever been done on an Irish stage - the madness of what it is to be going through adolescent angst. The bond is clear, making this a most extraordinarily real piece. Actors play their own age, delivering lines with measures of rawness, awkwardness and tenderness that cannot be faked. [...] In short, Kildare Youth Theatre have done an incredible job. [...] If you only do one thing this weekend, beg, borrow, or steal a ticket to see this show."
Aidan Harney - Gay Community News (14th May 2005 - on Citizenship)
2007: "It was fast paced and, as the story developed, increasingly gripping"
Martin Constantine, National Theatre of London (31st March 2007 - on DNA)
2008: "Kildare Youth Theatre were extremely faithful to the play; celebrating its implicit ambiguities, honouring its style and pace; and enabling its themes of mother/daughter, coming of age, to rise to the surface. This production enabled the multi srands and tangents in the story to happen in a rich and "human" way. The cast worked hard to maintain the quick cues in the play and this was well achieved with quicksilver exchanges and much of the humour."
Charlotte Gwinner, National Theare of London (March 2008 - on A Vampire Story)
“the talented Kildare Youth Theatre of Ireland actors.”
Nicholas de Jongh, London Evening Standard (2008)
2009: “What we get instead is a convincing character piece which displays an admirable lightness of touch as it explores themes of love, jealousy, deception, death and madness. The bare-bones staging and lighting design allow the seven actors to really shine, with performances that are impressively polished yet demonstrate a faultlessly downplayed realism and terrific comic timing.”
The Scotsman, Edinburgh 2009
"The bare-bones staging and lighting design allow the seven actors to really shine, with performances that are impressively polished yet demonstrate a faultlessly downplayed realism and terrific comic timing"
Nessa Johnston, TV Bomb (15th June 2009 - on The Séance )
2013: "This was an enjoyable and inventive production, with a strong company of actors including the chorus who were nicely integrated into the piece. [...] The story was clearly set up and easy to follow. I felt sitting among the audience that they werer eally involved and engaged at all times.
Jane Fallowfield, National Theatre of London (March 2013, on We Lost Elijah)
2014: "This was a well realized and very funny performance, with every cast member feeling invested in the performance. The actors captured the dynamic and fun of the script as well as adding a lot of their own pizzazz to the performance.
Richard Lavery, National Theatre of London (12th March 2014 - on Hearts)
2015: "The production was thoroughly rehearsed and well conceived. It was well paced throughout with a forward momentum that in turn earned the company permission to slow down in certain key scenes. The quick-fire dialogue in the first scene was very effective. [...]. The performances were committed and heartfelt, and the most engaging moments were when the actors were really listening to one another. It was clear the actors had thoroughly exploredt he physical and emotional repercussions of their characters’ illnesses.
Adam Penford, National Theatre of London (14th March 2015 - on Hospital Food)
The young actors are a solid ensemble, and the relationships picked apart on stage work well, halfway between a teen soap opera and a medical drama. This blend allows for a comfortable entrance into a world and circumstance most of us could not imagine, played throughout with sensitivity and occasional subtle brilliance. However, the emotional punches came when the youngsters confronted the tragedy in their situations: “When there are ten people in a room, I’m looking around to see which two are screwed.” It’s a hard-hitting outlook few can relate to, especially when combined with the coming-of-age angst young people face. This is exacerbated by the impact this situation has on their friendships, when it is hinted Gus may be running away because he does not want his friends to see him pass. On this point, Sarah McCormack, playing Sadie, should be commended for her touching monologue about her old dog Ruben, who digs a hole to die in, away from his family.In terms of design, the set was quite minimal, a classic affair of moving boxes turning into beds and sofas; they were also garishly coloured, exactly what you would expect from a hospital trying to be ‘down with the kids’. Likewise, sound was used usefully in transitions, but very effectively when Josh (Charlie Hughes-Farrell) has a vocal breakdown, or ‘chemo-brain’.
Ben Rodgers, A Younger Theatre (5th July 2015 - on Hospital Food) https://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-hospital-food-national-theatre/
2016: "This was a brilliant production, notable for its clarity of direction as well as its emotionally charged, compelling performances. The stagecraft was of a very high standard, with blocking that felt natural and effortless. The detailed script work undertaken by the actors was evident in performances which were absolutely clear throughout. The production thrived on the charged ambiguities in the play, superbly realised in this production. This is an extremely strong show, which puts rigorous acting and clarity of direction at the heart of the production.
David Ralfe, National Theatre of London (15th March 2016 - on Citizenship)
2017: "This is a really strong production. The play has been staged simply and sensitively putting the focus on the young people and the characters within the play. The company are incredibly strong performers and as they are an older group make sense of the text and its content. The company have really engaged with the themes within the piece and work wonderfully as an ensemble"
Laura Keefe, National Theare of London (10th March 2017 - on Extremism)
2018: Kildare Youth Theatre aims to stage large-scale shows like Macbeth to the highest standards possible, while also using the themes of the play to explore our contemporary world. Politics and power were at the heart of this production of Macbeth, in which a powerful and successful war-lord tries to become a head of state but finds the field of politics requires hugely different skills than the field of war. The young cast brought fresh and innovation interpretations to their roles and scenes, involving creative use of slow motion, dazzling sword fights, microphones and public address, and one unforgettable re-interpretation of Brittney Spear’s Toxic. -
An excerpt from the Kildare Nationalist (May 2018 - on Macbeth)