Laois and Mountrath Youth Theatres married their own experiences with one of the classics of 20th-century literature for a collaborative end of year show called 'Only Us' in the Dunamaise Arts Centre.
Each group developed a working foundation in theatre practice over their year-long programmes. Throughout their final term, they focused on developing a production facilitated and directed by Louise White to make Only Us.
The new show was devised based on the famous novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding which focuses on a group of school children stranded on an uninhabited island and their attempt to govern themselves. It investigates human nature and if we are inherently savage and power hungry and if we can rule without conflict.
The members of Mountrath and Portlaoise created a work inspired by their own interests and performance capabilities. They learned about the fun and the formal aspects of creating their own performance; about taking responsibility as part of a collective and about the focus and commitment that is required to take part in full-scale production.
This performance helped them to grow in confidence in their own abilities. Putting on their own show is a crucial aspect of young people’s theatre, it empowers them to seek fulfilment in their ‘creative’ selves, to connect with new modes of expression and feel validated and proud to share their learning in public.
Photographer Denis Byrne caught the production on camera at its world premiere on May 17.