Stage Beyond Theatre Company begin work on new film about memory; supported by National Lottery
Stage Beyond, a theatre company for adults with learning difficulties, based in Derry-Londonderry, is set to begin a new production, Mind the Time, a film themed around memory, supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Members of Stage Beyond will act in the film Mind the Time which will also feature some instantly recognisable locations, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, including Doagh Famine Village in Donegal, where they’ll capture the spectacular surroundings and the beautifully preserved cottages. The film will be released to the public later this year.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, every member of Stage Beyond is dedicated to creating this new work and has been rehearsing extensively both remotely and in person. The production has challenged the actors to draw on their own personal memories with the help of their mentors, using the Proustian concept of ‘involuntary memory’. One of the highlights during a recent recording was on set in Culmore Point, where one of Stage Beyond’s members revealed a very distinct memory of the 1969 Derry Fancy Dress competition, where he won first prize as The Milky Bar Kid!
Ruairi Conaghan, Actor/Writer/Director with Stage Beyond, said,
“Not only has Mind the Time been a welcome opportunity for all of us to be creative again, but it has truly highlighted an immense amount of talent in our actors; we are rewarded every day to be working with such highly gifted individuals.
Any theatre company will be aware that lack of accessibility has been detrimental to the mental health and morale of all of their members during such an uncertain and stressful time. Stage Beyond, as a theatre company for adults with learning disabilities, functions as a crucial structure, support, and creative outlet for our members. Therefore it has been imperative for us to continue our process throughout the pandemic. We could not be more proud of our team, who have dedicated so much time and commitment to developing our lessons and productions, which in turn have kept the spirits up immensely.”
With the help of funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery fund and Children in Need, Stage Beyond has been able to employ a team of four writer/directors and seven cameramen to create the production, work that is most welcome during a time when a lot of creatives have lost work as a result of the on-going pandemic.
Each week, National Lottery players raise £30million for good causes across the UK. Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts & Participation, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added,
“Stage Beyond is a remarkable theatre company and is vital, not least because it provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to access and participate in theatre, but also because it provides a platform for people to make friends, to learn new skills and to increase confidence and self-esteem. Thanks to National Lottery players, Stage Beyond is creating inspiring new work with their members and creating employment opportunities for creatives, and I look forward to watching Mind the
Time later this year.”
Learn more about the impressive work of Stage Beyond at www.stagebeyond.com