The show must go on-line!

As Hollywood patiently sits out the pandemic, a Leeside youth theatre group has been busy preparing a trio of short films for release this week.

The Graffiti Theatre Company, based in Blackpool, launched the three films, collectively entitled ‘Migrations’, on Monday to be posted on YouTube throughout the week.

The films will mark the end of a year-long bursary from the National Youth Council of Ireland for Graffiti Theatre group Activate Youth Theatre.

Restrictions due to Covid-19 meant that Graffiti’s youth theatre groups were no longer able to meet in person to finish their live production which was originally planned for this month.

Their production was to take place at the former convent on Assumption Road in Blackpool after many months spent working with materials around the themes of migration. Physical theatre, music and song, scripts, characters, artwork and dance were all developed by the company’s youth members, ranging from pre-teens to Leaving Cert students.

With Covid-19 restrictions in place, the company adapted, resulting in the three short films, one of which is animated by Cork-based illustrator Jane Lee. The films were all created, voiced and filmed with Graffiti’s members online.

“It’s the first time Graffiti has worked with film and animation to realise a production,” said Julie O’Leary, Graffiti’s Head of Activate.

“It’s yet another example of the resilience, creativity and flexibility of Cork’s young people. Our new film-led production team has enabled us to adapt this project in a meaningful, exciting way, even though they’ve never met face to face! The collaborative feel to the project has been amazing.”

‘Migrations’ was made possible by a grant from the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and by ongoing support for Graffiti from the Arts Council and Cork City Council Arts Office.