Belfast Telegraph

World class theatre in your own back y-Ards

World class theatre was in Ards last week, when more than 100 aspiring performers took lessons from some of the best professionals in the industry.

Aspiring actors had the opportunity to study Shakespeare with actress and director, Jenny Long, and to work with local performer Dan Gordon, a.k.a. Red Hand Luke from ‘Give My Head Peace’, who gave a comedy and performance master class.

The drama workshops were part of ‘DramaFest’, a theatre festival for young people, organised by the Ulster Association of Youth Drama (UAYD) in partnership locally with Ards Arts, the arts service of Ards Borough Council.

The festival is a two day, intensive performer training programme for young people aged 12-20 and participants also had the chance to create new plays during directing and devising workshops hosted by Des Kennedy.

Kennedy, originally from Belfast, is an award-winning director who has worked in London, Italy and the United States. One of his productions was recently named among the top ten productions of the decade by The Washington Post. He is thrilled to be back working in Northern Ireland and to be part of ‘DramaFest’.

“I first became interested in theatre when I was a teenager, getting involved in my local youth theatre and working with some really great directors and teachers,” said Kennedy.

“I think it’s brilliant that Ards Arts have hosted this event because I think it has attracted some exciting, undiscovered talent from the area.”

DramaFest in Ards also had an international flavour, as young people prepared to say ‘Jai Ho’ by taking part in Nisha Tandon’s Bollywood workshop.

For further information on Drama Fest and the Ulster Association of Youth Drama, telephone 9250 9520.

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