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  • Chris ORourke

Scene + Heard 2017

Photo by Ste Murray

Supporting the next big thing

Amidst the roses and chocolates of Valentine’s Night, there was romance of another kind kicking off in Smock Alley Theatre. The wide-eyed romance of budding artists wanting to defy the odds by creating the next big thing. Now in its second year, Smock Alley Theatre’s Scene + Heard Festival kicked off on Valentines night with a series of short, double bills, featuring two, thirty minute shows, affording an opportunity for works in progress to have an airing before a live audience. Under the guidance of Caoimhe Connolly and her team, Scene + Heard offers a Festival of New Work in the areas of theatre, comedy, music, spoken word and dance. A chance to test work in development, to receive feedback, to marry romance with resilience and to hopefully take the work to the next level. It’s also an opportunity for audiences to see the cream of Ireland’s rising, new talent.

Running from February 14th right through till March 4th this year Scene + Heard is showcasing Stories from the Zeitgeist across Theatre, Dance, Music, Comedy, Aerial, Clown, Punk Poetry, Puppetry and Children's Theatre forms. There will also be an afternoon with Academy Award-winning Producer, Michael Donovan, as part of their creative producer training Generator Programme. Throughout the three-week festival artists will show what is on the tip of our tongues and at the forefront of our minds in contemporary Ireland, from life after GAA to the Syrian Crisis, from the 8th Amendment to Tinder. With Attitudes to ​Body Image, the Rise of Post-Truth Politics, Cautionary Fairy tales, ISIS, Dragons who play J​azz, Human Trafficking, Ted TALKS,​The Vagenda, How to be a Superhero and Two Pricks in a Hotel Room there is something in the programme that will resonate with everyone. To learn more about the wide range of works on offer, check out Scene + Heard’s Interactive Programme.

With a firm belief that the audience should be instrumental to the development of art, audience feedback is actively encouraged. This can be given in a variety of ways, including Secret Ballot at their onsite Voting Station, sending an SMS with their ‘Handi’ mobile at the Festival Box Office, leaving a Video Critique in their Photo Booth, posting your Four Word review on their scrolling Twitter/Facebook Feed in the Foyer, taking their Tablet Survey at the Entrance to the Theatre or vote YAY or NAY for seeing more of the work at their Candy Polling Station.

Supporting the development of new work is critical, and Scene + Heard is doing its part to ensure the next generation of playwrights and performers, poets and producers, are given every opportunity to bring their work to the next level. You can do your part by catching a show or two and letting them know what you think. Or perhaps by submitting your own work for consideration next time around. One thing you can be sure of, Scene + Heard is open, inviting and welcoming to all.

Smock Alley’s Scene + Heard Festival runs at Smock Alley Theatre until March 4th

For further information visit Smock Alley Theatre

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