Ready, Steady, SHOW! is The Civic’s Festival for Young Audiences. Earlier this year we invited some of the best practitioners in this field to come and play at The Civic and present their ideas and to apply for our Ready Steady SHOW! Commissions and Artist Development Programme. We are delighted to announce the recipients and are excited to work with them and support the development of their ideas as we find new and innovative ways of engaging and reimagining work for 0 – 12 year olds during COVID-19.

A local group of artists have come together have been commissioned €4.5k for the development of a new creative play experience  ‘ At The Very Beginning’ 

Writer/Director CN Smith
Production Manager/Facilitator Sophie Coote
Performer/Facilitator Luke Dalton
Sound designer Martha Knight

We had a chat with Colin to get to know a little bit more about their project.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from, based now and your background in the Arts?
We’re kind of from all over the place!   Sophie is from Rathfarnham and works as a drama teacher/facilitator, stage manager and production manager.  Luke is from Ballyfermot, and is mainly from an acting background.   Martha is from Tallaght, and has a background as a sound designer, producer and performer.   And I’m from Clogherhead, County Louth and have a background in directing, writing and performing. We’re all recent graduates of the Drama & Theatre Studies programme at Trinity College, where we all met and began working together. I think all of our different backgrounds allow us to make really diverse and valuable contributions to every project we all work on together.

Can you tell us a little bit about the recent things you have been working on ?
We’ve all, thankfully, been very busy over the past while, and much like our backgrounds, our work is also a little bit all over the map. Myself, Martha and Luke all worked on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers by Chuck Mee, which was performed in the Samuel Beckett Theatre. It was part of the Debut Festival, where Martha also directed a devised opera project called Supermoon, and Sophie served as a festival coordinator. Martha has also made lots of work with Freshly Ground Theatre, who are the emerging ensemble in residence at the Civic. She’s worked as sound designer on many of their pieces, including the ‘Ode to a Postcode’ radio play which I wrote as part of their 2019 Dublin Fringe show. We’re really excited to bring this experience in aural and radio work to this piece. All of our work together tends to be really visually and aurally striking. We really try to make stuff that feels vibrant and energetic, and we hope this project will be no different!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you are working on for Ready Steady, SHOW! The idea, the audience where you are at at the minute?
Our project is called At the Very Beginning, and is based on a short story I wrote a few years back, that Martha and I turned into a short radio play.  It’s basically trying to reimagine the idea of a creation story, and wondering what that might look and sound like if we, as humans, all came directly from nature, with different parts of our bodies coming from trees, and sand and the sea, and so on.  Right now I’m working on developing the short story to try and make it a bit more exciting and energetic, and we’re all trying to find ways to make the project really immersive and affecting through the use of different technologies. We’re looking into the possibilities of working outdoors, and how we might make that work.

What’s life like under Quarantine, how have you been working/ engaging, any insights about life or the Arts?
Working in quarantine is hard, since so much of what we do really depends on being together in a space to really play and experiment with different ideas. Since we can’t do that, we’ve been doing pretty much the same things that everyone else in the world is doing. We’ve been meeting regularly on zoom and google hangouts, and really trying to talk through things in a way that sets us up to really hit the ground running as soon as we’re able to get back into the room together. We’ve also been taking lots of time to look at the work going on around us, and to think about how we might learn from it and apply those lessons to this project. Hannah and the rest of the Civic team have also been really helpful in reaching out and always keeping up contact, and sharing useful and interesting resources that have been a huge help to us.

Tell us a random fact about yourself for fun!
Luke made his theatre debut as a child here at the Civic in a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I also made my acting debut in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but in an entirely different location. I played Augustus Gloop, and I wore a pillow on my stomach and fake chocolate on my mouth for the whole show.  Sophie has a black cat called Darcy, and she is the cutest thing in the world.


Ready, Steady, SHOW! developments will take place over the Summer & into the Autumn. Stay tuned to our Social Media Channels for more!