NI theatre and dance productions to be spotlighted at Edinburgh Fringe

Six works created by Northern Ireland theatre, dance and arts organisations will be spotlighted as part of an event at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

The Spotlight On Theatre And Dance From Northern Ireland initiative on August 20 is delivered by Theatre and Dance NI, in collaboration with Belfast International Arts Festival, and supported by the British Council Northern Ireland and The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Now in its sixth year, the event aims to shine a light on theatre and dance work created by artists and arts organisations from Northern Ireland.

The exposure of being part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe gives an opportunity for Northern Irish artists to connect and network with international arts industry figures with a view to having their work tour internationally.

The six productions are Ante Beckett by Joel Smith, directed by John Carty, The Daughters Of Roisin by Aoibh Johnson, directed by Cahal Clarke, Float by Kirby Thompson and Orla Graham, directed by Kirby Thompson and Caoimhe McGee, Lies Where It Falls by Ruairi Conaghan, directed by Patrick O’Kane, Dean And The Devil by Philip Orr, directed by Chris Darcy and A Farther Shore by David Campton, directed by Trevor Gill.

Niamh Flanagan, executive director of Theatre and Dance NI, said: “We have been delivering and developing the Spotlight at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2019.”

She said: “We know through the success of the Spotlight over the past six years that there is a market nationally and internationally for the work of our theatre and dance artists.

“The Fringe is the world’s biggest arts marketplace and this ongoing interest and demand for work from Northern Ireland is from reputable international programmers and audiences and has resulted in further opportunities for our artists/companies, including onward touring nationally and overseas and continues to put Northern Ireland firmly on the cultural map.”

Previous Spotlight productions which have achieved success include Colm McCready’s Scaredy Fat which toured the London Pleasance and is set for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2024/25 and Ciara Elizabeth Smyth’s Lie Low which has been performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Ms Flanagan added: “We are also delighted to offer a number of bursaries as part of the Fellowship Programme.

“This will support several artists, directors and producers, to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival who may wish to perform there in the future.”

Richard Wakely, artistic director and chief executive of the Belfast International Arts Festival, said: “The Spotlight on Northern Ireland Theatre and Dance at the Edinburgh Fringe offers our performance artists and ensembles a significant platform to gain international recognition.

“This exposure not only helps to sustain new stage works but also provides a welcome boost to our artists’ public profiles and creates opportunities for both artistic development and future collaborations with overseas partners.”

Siobhan Molloy, festivals, venues and international arts development officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “It’s a testament to the creativity, tenacity and forward-looking focus of our artists that they have created such high-quality and resonant works.

“It is vital that these important works are seen – and important too for audiences to get to see them – and so it is particularly exciting that a huge potential market is opened up to them through the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.”

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