It’s been a long and winding journey from our AD’s decision nearly three years ago to try and create a show which really grabbed teenage boys’ attention but we’re delighted with the result.
Northern Ireland theatre always knew John McCann as Tinderbox’s Outreach Director, leading some really extraordinary and ground-breaking projects. Since John left these shores a few years ago, his career as a writer has gone stellar and this summer his play SPOILING for the world-reknown Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh won a Fringe First.
COMET was inspired by hours of interviews with young men in a range of settings: community centre, juvenile justice settings, temporary accommodation etc. If you’d like to know more about this process, John’s written a great document called CONVERSATIONS WITH COMET that’s on the Resources page of our website, accessed through the Projects button.
And it happens directly and unexpectedly in the classroom. Initial creative consultation with Boys Model and Corpus Christi College in the North and the West of the city respectively gave overwhelming feedback that the boys found the unexpectedness of the performance happening something new, exciting and engaging.
Further creative consultation with St Colms in Twinbrook led to final tweaks to the 9th draft of the script.
And through rehearsals what’s been key is to make it more than anything an act of pure communication with the pupils, both as individuals and as a group. Performer, Shaun Blaney, nuancing each performance, reading each room has made for something really electric, really live, really engaging.
The tour starts tomorrow. Comet hits planet.