Arts Council Major Artist, Eileen McClory premieres latest dance theatre work at Belfast International Arts Festival, thanks to The National Lottery

9th October, 2023

Experience GUTTER, a provocative dance theatre production by Eileen McClory that explores our hunger for gossip and the world of modern broadcast journalism.  Prepare for a captivating exploration of our insatiable appetite for gossip and the cutthroat realm of contemporary journalism as Eileen McClory, the 2022 Major Individual Artist Awardee from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, unveils her electrifying new dance theatre work, GUTTER as part of Belfast International Arts Festival 28-29 October in the MAC Belfast.

Alison McCrudden, Eileen McClory and Richard Wakely sitting in studio with camera and lights.
Pictured (L-R) are Alison McCrudden, Joint Head of Literature, Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, dance maker, Eileen McClory and Richard Wakely, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Belfast International Arts Festival.

In GUTTER, Eileen McClory delves deep into the human craving for sensational news, transforming the solo performer into the enigmatic host. This thrilling production pulls back the curtain on the ruthless world of modern broadcast journalism, where the concepts of free speech, false news, and journalistic integrity collide in an explosive dance theatre experience.

As audiences immerse themselves in the gripping narrative of GUTTER, they’ll be forced to reflect on their role in the ongoing war for attention and the relentless battle for ratings. The piece asks, are we just pawns in the relentless grip of media monopolies like the Murdoch conglomerate and the algorithms of social media giants, or do individual thoughts and opinions genuinely stand as independent voices in the digital age?

Performed by Irish Times Theatre Award nominee Kevin Coquelard, with video design by Conan McIvor, original sound design by Garth McConaghie, and thought-provoking dramaturgy by Hanna Slattne, this blistering dance theatre piece is expertly produced by Hannah Mullan of PLAYGROUND.

Eileen McClory commented, 

“Prepare to be captivated, challenged, and inspired as we unravel the layers of human nature and modern journalism in GUTTER. This production is a passionate exploration of the complex web we've woven between news, gossip, and the constant quest for attention.”

Belfast International Arts Festival Chief Executive and Artistic Director Richard Wakely, added, 

"The Festival is delighted to present this exciting new work by our former Artist in Resident Eileen McClory, one of our brightest local talents, whose ability to challenge and captivate audiences through dance theatre is truly remarkable. GUTTER is a timely exploration of our sensationalist, always-on, contemporary media landscape and the psychological toll it takes on all of us”.

Alison McCrudden, Joint Head of Literature, Drama and Dance at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, 

“Gutter is a blistering new dance theatre piece by Eileen McClory. Eileen is an Arts Council Major Individual Artist awardee (MIA), our most prestigious award which is supported by The National Lottery. These awards are given in recognition of an artist’s contribution to artistic life in the region and enables awardees to create a significant new work, in this case, Gutter, which examines the human hunger for gossip. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support Eileen McClory with this new work and would encourage everyone to experience it as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival. Don’t miss it!”

Drawing inspiration from Succession, The Late Show, BBC Question Time and others, GUTTER is a powerful commentary on the contemporary media landscape and our choices as information consumers. It will undoubtedly leave audiences questioning their own complicity in a world dominated by headlines, sensationalism, and the relentless pursuit of viewership.

Premiering at the Belfast International Arts Festival. The culmination of Eileen McClory's Major Individual Artist award in 2022, GUTTER will be performed at The MAC in Belfast on the 28th and 29th of October.

Tickets are available for purchase at

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