Culture Night 2020 & Plans in the Pipeline

Mark Smith, Culture Night Trailblazer at the Launch of Culture Night 2020, image by Julian Behal

It’s been the strangest of summers, but at Run of the Mill Theatre we are plotting and planning how to safely return to doing what we do best. We took a break from our online workshops in July culminating in the creation of two music video performances ‘Run of the Mill will Rock you” from our Pathways ensemble and ‘I want to Break Free: From the Zoom Room’ from our Youth Theatre, both of which you can enjoy across on our facebook page.

In some exciting news, our very own Mark Smith was selected as a Culture Night trailblazer for 2020 and has been lighting up the RTE news once again as well as several publications following Culture Night’s launch. We are very proud of his continued advocacy and delighted to support him in this latest adventure. Mark will present a very special performance on Culture Night directed by Aisling Byrne in collaboration with Arcade Film to be streamed live on Sept 18th. Watch this space.

In other news we hope to return to our collaborative work across Sept, with groups resuming on ‘Zoom’ to begin with, with what we hope will be a step towards collaborating in small groups once again. We intend to run a collaborative project from Sept-Dec that will support individual participation either face to face or remotely depending on individual circumstance so that we can all stay creative and connected no matter where we are at this time. Details to follow soon.

That’s it for now! After a summer of writing, drafting, creating, thinking, chatting and dreaming big, there are lots of other plans in the pipeline so stay tuned and we will keep you posted. You can’t stop creativity 🙂

A Little Message

Peter Cahill enjoys the Masterclass Project in 2019 Image by Vincent Lillis

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all keeping very safe and well in these strange times we find ourselves in. Most of all I hope you are staying at home and following all of the important guidelines around Covid_19. Wash those hands! The more we do to keep peoples safe, the sooner we will be back together doing what we do best. At Run of the Mill we are very much missing our classes, our rehearsals and most of all we are missing each other. So I wanted to offer a few little updates from the Run of the Mill HQ!

Using your Creativity

Being at home can offer a great opportunity to get creative- Shakespeare reportedly wrote King Lear when self-isolating from The Plague! But it can also be a very worrying and anxious time for people, so if you aren’t feeling very creative right now, that’s ok too. I have been using the time as best I can to do some writing and drafting of ideas for some of our next Run of the Mill projects, in particular working (from afar 🙂 with ARCADE Film to develop a screenplay for Singing for Survival. This Friday, we will trial our first ‘online workshop’ with our tech savvy Run of the Mill Youth Theatre via Zoom. If it goes well we hope to try it out with our other groups very soon so watch this space. We also hope to update our social media pages with ideas for how you can stay creative at home. You might like to practice your vocal and physical warm ups every day, or use your imagination to create characters and think of stories or ideas that are inspired by what is happening right now. We are living through history!

Enjoying Creativity

It might be that you can find some comfort in enjoying creative arts; watching tv shows, reading books and enjoying films. From Run of the Mill, we have made available online two of our short community films ‘The Gardeners’ (2018) and ‘Downtown’ (2016) that are free to enjoy on YouTube. We have also released a PDF version of our creative writing project ‘Fake News‘ that is available on our blog to download and enjoy. There are lots of examples of theatres making their work available online. On YouTube you can enjoy a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical every Friday (on the channel The Shows must go On), and a number of big theatres in the UK and Ireland have made some of their shows available. We will share these on our social media pages so keep an eye out. It’s really important to share your opinions on the creativity that you enjoy. Perhaps you would like to write a review of something you see- be sure to send it in to us at if you would like us to share it!

Ongoing Projects

Some of our gang might be a little worried about the impact of the Coronavirus on many of our ongoing projects and activities so I wanted to offer an update. Whilst we don’t know how long the restrictions will go on for, I can promise that when everything gets back to normal we will get straight back into all of the wonderful work we were making. The only thing that might happen is that our plans may have to be pushed back a little to a later date. Our Weds group were working on performing a new piece Invisible Barriers for the Kildare County Council in April and we will work with the KCC to find a new date for this when it is safe to do so. As yet, our plans to tour Making a Mark across Ireland in 2020 continue for now, however the cancellation of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival means we won’t be taking it over there this year as we had hoped. There is always next year 🙂 The Masterclass Project 2020 is scheduled for July, and if any postponement has to be made we will let you know in plenty of time. Our Pathways group will continue to practice their lines for our planned remount of Singing for Survival. In the meantime, we will look forward to trying out our first ‘online session’ on Friday and are hoping it might pave the way to have some more Run of the Mill virtual “meet ups” in the coming weeks.

For now, stay safe and well. I miss you all very much and this difficult time has only reminded me how very lucky I am to get to work with each and every one of our wonderful theatre artists.

Stay safe and well,


Artistic Director, Run of the Mill Theatre

Making our Mark on 2019!

Making a Mark 2019 Image by Luca Truffarelli

The dust is only beginning to settle after the run of our sell out co-production with Talking Shop Ensemble at Dublin Fringe Festival 2019. Making a Mark, was our most ambitious piece of work to date and scooped four award nominations at the Dublin Fringe Festival Awards including Best Production and mBest Performer (Mark Smith) and winning the festivals prestigious Judges Choice Award. Making a Mark is a piece of contemporary documentary work that explores the life of Run of the Mill’s very own Mark Smith and began its life in development in 2018 with theatre artists Shaun Dunne and Aisling Byrne (your truly) of Talking Shop Ensemble as part of the PLAYGROUND Residency at Axis Ballymun. You can read all about it here in this article from The Irish Times. Making a Mark was supported by an Arts Council of Ireland’s project award, Kildare County Council, The Abbey Theatre, Project Arts Centre, FRINGE Lab, Axis Ballymun and Arts and Disability Ireland

The process of making Making a Mark kicked off in no less prestigious a venue than our National Theatre in July 2019. We were lucky enough to be supported by the the Abbey Theatre in our development of the piece as part of their 5×5 programme. You can watch our appearance on the RTE News and hear a little about our time at the Abbey here or watch a video from the Abbey Theatre that documents the process.

What followed across July 2019 was a period of filming with our director and writer Shaun Dunne and film artist Luca Truffarelli, who worked with both Mark, Mark’s family, friends, colleagues at TESCO, housemates and peers at Run of the Mill and Pathways Day Service (SJOG Liffey Region) to document various aspects of Mark’s daily life that would form part of the pieces sophisticated AV and film design. You can see some of this footage as featured in the promo for our trailer here.

Rehearsals then began apace across August between Axis Ballymun (our home away from home) and the fabulous FRINGE LAB in Temple Bar. We worked with an incredible team to make it all happen. Leading the room was our writer and director Shaun , co-performer and creator yours truly (Aisling), producer Killian Coyle, stage manager to the stars Gordan Bell, associate artist Leah Moore, sound designer Jack Cawley, stage and costume designer Sarah Foley, film artist and photographer Luca Truffarelli, lighting designer Eoin Winning and production manager Sebastian Pizarro with lots of help along the way from sound assistant Scott Maguire.

Mark with sound designer Jack Cawley and stage manager Gordon Bell in rehearsals at FRINGE Lab image by Luca Truffarelli

There was little rest as we descended into Fringe madness with producer Killian Coyle lining up what Mark says is one of his favorite aspects of being an actor- ‘the media’. There was a host of coverage with Mark featuring in everything from and The Irish Times, The Sun and the Sunday Independents waking hour segment (where he had the opportunity to share his unique take on spaghetti bolognaise with the nation) as well his first ever live radio interview with Sean Rocks on RTE Radio One’s ARENA. You can read/ listen to some of these here:

The ‘People with intellectual disabilities were made to feel their stories weren’t as valuable as the next persons’ Sept 2019

RTE ‘I’m very very proud to do this show’ ARENA 4TH SEPT 2019

The Irish Times. “The Incredible but True Stories of Mark Smith” August 2019

The Sunday Independents popular WAKING Hours segment

It wasn’t long before show week arrived and our team were working around the clock to realise the technical aspects of the production. We previewed at Project Arts Centre on Sept 11th, running for 4 nights before transferring to Axis Ballymun for two performances on Sept 17th. The production was completely sold out and played to an audience of over 600 across the run. We were simply blown away with the response- some of which you can catch in our reactions video here.

And that’s the story so far! 2020 is filled with plans to take Making a Mark to some near and far flung places so all we can say is…. watch this space!

An Online Exclusive: FAKE NEWS

We want to put a smile on people’s faces during this worrying time. So we have decided to launch the an online edition of our creative writing project FAKE NEWS for you to enjoy.

In 2019 we collaborated with Choices Day Programme at St John of God Community Services (Liffey Region) to develop a writing project that explored through humour, our unique take on current affairs. The result is FAKE NEWS. a collection of short stories and news items made by our creative team of journalists.

We hope to create a print edition and also a read aloud version that is more accessible to all, but have decided to release this version for now with apologies that it isn’t as accessible as we would like. If you can’t read it, maybe you can ask a friend or family member to read it aloud to you. Enjoy, share and tell us what you think…


Download Here

Summer News

It’s hard to know where to begin. 2019 has already been our busiest year to date and there is a LOT more to come. We will keep it brief!

We kicked off the year with 3 performances of Singing for Survival on the Draiocht mainstage and we are only now just about recovering. Huge congrats to all of our performers and team. We are still sharing images and video across our social media and more to come!

Next up was the news that our project ‘Making a Mark’ with ensemble member Mark Smith will see us take residence in The Abbey Theatre from the 8th to the 12th of July for a week of creative development with Shaun Dunne as part of the Abbey Theatre’s 5 x 5 intuitive. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this project in the coming months but for now you can read more about it here.

We were delighted to receive a Creative Ireland bursary to run our first ever summer course. The Masterclass project will take place at Castletown House from the 1st to the 5th of July 2019 and pair 12 participants with some of Ireland’s leading theatre makers for a week of workshops. Applicants have been selected and you can stay updated across our social media.

We’ve enjoyed a lot of theatre across the last few months highlights including ‘The Waterboys’ by the brilliant Equinox Theatre and Do We Not Laugh? presented by our peers in Loaded Dice Theatre Company. Keep an eye on our socials for our regular reviews!

In May we received word that we were the county winner for the National Lottery’s Good Causes awards. Whilst we didn’t progress to the National final we were still delighted with this accolade and will hang our certificate with pride!

Meanwhile our Youth Theatre have been working away on an original script ‘The Protectors’, our Choices group are currently writing a sketch piece for their annual Christmas performance entitled ‘FAKE NEWS’ and our other groups are ferreting away on lots of exciting ideas. As always…. watch this space!

Finally, we have announced the dates for our next performance. Our Monday evening ensemble will perform An Evening of Mime entitled ‘These Modern Times’ at The Mill Celbrudge across 16th and 17th of July. All details can be found on our facebook pages and you can email for tickets.


A x



Singing for Survival, Culture Clubbers and Making our Mark….

It’s been a VERY busy 2018 at Run of the Mill, so busy in fact I have neglected our little blog here. There’s been a lot happening so I promise I will try to cram it all in.

First up; June 2018 saw a very talented group of actors from Crossroads and Seasons Day programme (SJOG Liffey Region) left HOME ALONE at the Celbridge Manor hotel for their big community production. The performance was an enormous success with our audiences and netted not one but TWO full pages in everyones favourite local literature The Liffey Champion! Our actors did themselves very proud and this was the Crossroads and Seasons groups first performance since ‘Ive a Disability Get me Out of Here’; a huge thanks to all those who made it possible.

In July,  Mark Smith completed his residency at Axis Ballymun with a short sharing of his solo autobiographical performance ‘Making a Mark’ in collaboration with Shaun Dunne and Aisling Byrne. Mark has big BIG plans for this in 2019, so watch. this space.


There was little time to rest across the summer as our Pathways ensemble continued working tirelessly on ‘Singing for Survival’ a new large scale production that will premiere in January 2019 at Draiocht Blanchardstown supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Kildare County Council. This project sees the participants collaborate with some of the top theatre artists and makers in Ireland including Lauren Larkin, Kilian Waters, Sinead Diskin and Eoin Winning and is NOT to be missed… Tickets are on sale now and flying out so be sure to get booking.

Singing for Survival Poster 2019

Our Monday night ensemble were busy this September performing a short extract of their new piece ‘These Modern Times’ a silent mime production as part of Kildare’s Culture Night celebrations at The Mill Community Centre. It was wonderful to participate in such a great local event and our performers did an excellent job. They look forward to presenting the performance in full soon.

Our Choices gang at St John of Gods Community Services have been adjusting to the ‘movie star’ life and are soon to wrap filming on their very own community film ‘The Gardeners’ which will premiere in December 2018, directed by Aisling Byrne with videography by Alan Thompson. We can’t WAIT to share it with you…


The Gardeners

FINALLY! The Run of the Mill Culture Club initiative to get people accessing really great work will kick off on Monday Oct 8th with a trip to ‘The M House’. Equinox Theatre Company’s brilliant play as part of Dublin Theatre Festival at Axis Ballymun. We are organizing a coach and concession tickets and encouraging everyone to get out and there and enjoy some culture.

16. The M House - online

Phew… that’s a fair bit to be getting on with! Stay up to date across all our social media!






2018 News- Mark Smith AXIS Residency, Home Alone, and more…

mark ballymun

It’s been a busy start to 2018 for us here and Run of the Mill and we thought it high time we update you on the comings and goings!

Mark Smith, Artist in Residence, Axis Ballymun

We kicked off the year with some incredibly exciting news- our very own Mark Smith (known to many as ‘King Lear’) was successful in his application for the ‘Playground Residency’ at Axis Ballymun. Mark intends to use his residency  (Jan to July 2018)  to develop his practice in solo contemporary performance and will be working (in a fully paid capacity) alongside writer Shaun Dunne and myself (Director Aisling Byrne!)  to develop an autobiographical piece of work. Mark has already settled himself into the Axis and is on first name terms with most of the staff (especially the very lovely ladies in the cafe). We are so proud of him and thrilled to be supporting the development of a truly exciting piece of work with a very talented theatre artist.

ive a disability workshop

I’ve a Disability: GET ME OUT OF HERE! and the Kildare Leader Partnership

In between rehearsals for their upcoming production ‘Home Alone’ (more on this to follow) our Crossroads and Seasons group continue to make waves with their 2016 production ‘I’ve A Disability: Get Me Out of Here!‘ a politically charged piece of theatre exploring the barriers to inclusion faced by people with a disability in our communities. Across February, the group facilitated a workshop for the Kildare Leader Partnership for 25 participants (including local county Councillors) based upon the themes of the play and performed also for the Celbridge Access Group to highlight access issues in our community. This is socially engaged theatre at its best; making waves with the people in power! We loom forward to further opportunities to perform this piece of work across our wider community.

The group are also set to perform their new play Home Alone, in June of this year so watch this space for details. Home Alone is a newly devised play for anyone who ever knew what it was like to crave just a bit of independence….

Monday night ensemble and other projects…

mill monday

Our Monday night ensemble (picture above, John Monaghan, David Cahill and David Kelly) are busy working towards their new piece These Modern Times, a silent mimed production inspired by the films of Charlie Chaplin. The piece will be performed later in the year at a ‘red carpet’ event. Watch this space!

Meanwhile, our Pathways group are working away on a very exciting project (we can’t say much for now but stay tuned!) whilst our Griffin Rath group are preparing a very special multi-sensory story sharing for their families and friends this March. Our Choices group are developing some new ideas and let’s just say they are feeling very ‘filmic!’….The newly formed Maynooth Drama Club kicked off in January and is running every Tuesday, whilst our Weds morning ‘Horizons’ group (on a break since last year) are hoping to return to the Mill Community Centre after the Easter Break on April 11th.

That’s enough to be getting on with for now I reckon! Stay tuned and we look forward to welcoming you into the audience later this year 🙂

Grease is the Word…

grease poster.pngO

Oh how we love a good musical at  Run of the Mill Theatre!

Come and join us at The Rydell Day Service for this year’s big community production at The Celbridge GAA Club on May 31st 2017 at 8pm and we promise to have you dancing in the aisles.

Tickets are a steal at 7euro and can be reserved by emailing or purchased from reception at The Mill Community Centre.

Directed by: Aisling Byrne

Performed by our Monday Night Ensemble:

Bronagh O’ Grady, David Brophy, David Kelly, David Cahill, David Uzell, Claudia Freeman, Vanessa Walsh, Yvonne Killick, Ciara Rogers, Florina Conroy, Sastri Boodasingh, John Monaghan, Nicky Stephenson, Papi Herterich, Paddy Dennigan and Kieran O Reilly