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


Downtown the Movie

The global release we have all been waiting for!

Our brilliant silent movie made with the support of Kildare County Council and Alan Thompson Videography is now online and you can watch it here:.

Directed by Aisling Byrne and starring Mary Gilton, Noel O’ Dwyer, Johnny Murphy, Ciaran Flynn, Brendan Moran,  Brian Malone, Tommy Cunningham, John Monaghan, Niall Cunningham and Roy Priest (the participants of Run of the Mill’s Horizons Drama Group) the movie was conceived and devised by the participants and filmed across the community of Celbridge in Summer 2016. Give it a watch!




Hot off the Press…


Intro Sfs 6.JPG

DECEMBER 2018 THE JOURNAL.IE covers Singing for Survival, Draiocht Blanchardstown 



Mark Article Interview with Aisling Byrne and Mark Smith 

Irish Times Coverage, Reason in Madness by  Sara Keating, Nov 2016

Director Aisling and performer Mark Smith sat down with the Irish Times last week to talk about the project, and you can read all about it on the Irish Times online:

Reason in Madness Review by Shakespeare in Ireland:

Reason in Madness. Review by Jerome Corby 27th Nov 2016

There can be few things more rewarding in life than delivering a night of theatre that captivates an audience as fully as Run of The Mill Theatre did tonight. A packed house was witness to a superb reworking of the great tragedy of King Lear. I dare say Shakespeare would have been proud of such a production. Arts and theatre makers with intellectual disabilities from the St. John of God Services in Dublin and North Kildare realised an ambitious undertaking beautifully.

In a devised production, which this accomplished ensemble has worked over the past year, the themes of aging, dementia and vulnerability get a sensitive treatment worthy of the medieval tale and its modern setting. A minimal set allows great use of mime, light and sound to create the eerie sense of foreboding in the story.

But the performances are what bring the whole production to life.
On entry, we are treated to a view of the court anticipating the arrival of the king with trepidation. On his arrival, Lear (Mark Smith in a commanding performance) is clearly unhappy and tired of his monarchy, but wants to make sure he hands his kingdom over to the daughter who loves him most.

Cue Goneril (Jane Ryan) and Regan (Ella-Jane Moore) who make great showings of their love for the king, including some superb dancing which had the audience (and the king) in thrall. A lovely understated performance by Michelle Brennan as Cordelia, unwilling to lie to him for her own gain, suitably enrages the easily-deceived father and she is disowned – she marries the King of France, played exuberantly by Neil Coffey.

Kent (the excellent Wesley Fairbrother), faithful servant to the king, is banished from the kingdom when he tries to alert Lear to his unfair treatment of Cordelia, but returns in the disguise of Caius to support the monarch when he discovers the duplicity of his two older daughters. Bad guy Edmund is ably played by John Egan.

The old king’s therapy sessions with the psychologist (played by Kate Bauer who provides splendid costume and assists the performers discreetly and expertly throughout) bring some excellent comedic moments. Smith and his colleagues know how to work an audience, and they do so regularly.

The supporting cast, in particular the demons, bring a menacing quality to the nightmare scenes, especially later on, when Lear descends into madness. Fine stage visuals (by Sean Cunningham) help to generate the desired effects here.

An inspired production, deftly directed by Aisling Byrne, designed by Ciaran O’Melia, with a nuanced text by Oonagh Murphy, and sound by Susie Birmingham with Ellen Gorman and an effective team stage-managing, ensures a thoroughly entertaining spectacle for everyone.

Everyone should see this talented group in the first-rate surroundings of Draíocht, so if you can beg, borrow or steal a ticket for the last performance Wednesday 30th – well, I’m not advising anyone to steal a ticket…





Hurry… Reason in Madness EARLYBIRD SPECIAL!

Lear is not having a good week. A storm is brewing and he’s running with the wolves. He’s old, he’s cold and his daughters aren’t talking to him. You can’t rule the world, if you can’t remember where your shoes are. It seems in this kingdom when you’re old and grey, suddenly, you’re in the way.

Rehearsals are steaming ahead for Run of the Mill’s biggest performance of the year, Reason in Madness (a devised reworking of King Lear) in collaboration with Pathways Day Programme and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland to be performed at the Draiocht Blanchardstown on November 29th and 30th.

We’re teaming up with our great friends at Draiocht to offer an earlybird special of 10euros per ticket if you book before September 9th. So what are you waiting for?  Follow the link and get booking 🙂

The Story of Sean : Multisensory storytelling at Avoca Drama Group


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We settled into summer at Run of the Mill Theatre with a little bit of storytelling about the 1916 Rising in this centenary year. Our Avoca drama group meets every Tuesday afternoon at Avoca Day Programme (St John of Gods Community Services Liffey Region) and we focus on supporting our participants towards immersive, experiential, multi sensory engagement with dramatic pretexts and stories.

What does that mean I hear you ask! Well it means we explore stories in really fun ways with lots of rhyme, music, water sprayers, smells, sounds, bubbles, fabrics, props and much more…

This year we took on our most exciting story, ‘The Story of Sean’ based upon Joe Duffy’s retelling of the story of young Sean Healy, a 14 year old soldier with Fianna Eireann who lost his life in the Easter Rising. Through this story we learned about tenement life, we helped Sean’s Mammy look after the house, we attended secret meetings, we emptied noisy slop buckets, we learned old Dublin skipping rhymes, we danced to Irish music, we build barricades, and even held guns

In July we decided to invite some of our family and friends to share this story with us and we had a wonderful afternoon followed cake and of course most importantly tea!

Pictured above are Seamus Granger, Christopher Johnson, Patrick O’ Malley, David McDonnell and Eddie Gill who participated in the performance.

Logos, Lear and GET ME OUT OF HERE!


In the words of CAROUSEL June was bustin’ out all over at Run of the Mill, it’s hard to know where to begin…

Crossroads and Seasons presented I’ve a Disability Get Me Out of Here to a packed audience at The Slip Hall in Celbridge on June 23rd. The feedback was fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. The conversation to “take back our nation” was begun and its safe to say it caused a stir! The overwheming feedback was: Everyone. Needs. To. See. This.

And we agree… Plans to develop the piece for a bigger venue are already afoot.

Meanwhile over at our Pathways training programme preparations for what is shaping to be THE definitive reworking of King Lear (seriously, we think even Shakespeare is impressed right now), Reason in Madness are continuing. We had a photoshoot on Friday last with the very talented Vincent Lillis and even though Mark Smith had to cover his face in mud, we think you’ll agree it was worth it when you see the amazing shots. We are bursting to share them! But we can’t …yet…Watch this space.

We also decided it was time to get ourselves a new look logo and enlisted the help of the very talented Paperbag Animator (also known as Sean Cunningham) to help us create something truly unique and original. What do you think of the end result?

In other news, our main ensemble are working hard on Monday evenings to prepare for Culture Night in Sept, our youth theatre finished out the year with a very theatrical ‘Summer Holiday’, Horizons Group continued filming around the town and we drank several, several cups of tea. And that is only SOME of the fun we’ve been up to.

I think we need another cup of tea!