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ISACS Member - Spraoi
ISACS Member - Spraoi St Patrick's Parade 2017 | Photographer Graham Cullen
8 minutes reading time (1598 words)

NEST18: New Emerging Street Talents to present at Spraoi 2018!

We are delighted to announce and welcome the N.E.S.T. companies for 2018: Woven Circus Collective and Turas Theatre Collective. They will be presenting their work in progress at Spraoi Festival this August.

The professional development programme N.E.S.T: New Emerging Street Talent has come about through an innovative partnership between ISACS and Spraoi Waterford with mentorship by Simon Thompson, from Clown Noir. N.E.S.T is a mentoring initiative offering new emerging street artists the opportunity to develop new work and present it to a public audience in a nurturing environment. It heightens the artists profile among programmers, national and international, and provides ongoing mentoring, support and guidance. Now in its third year, artists who have premiered new work under the N.E.S.T. umbrella have toured their shows nationally and internationally. Two of the 2017 ISACS artists Tom Campbell and Severine De Maleingreau secured artistic residencies this summer with European festivals in Netherlands and Italy.

The ISACS Network gratefully acknowledges the support for N.E.S.T. from the Arts Council of Ireland.

Discover this year's new emerging street talents and the shows to look forward to.


N.E.S.T. Stage Programme

The two companies selected for N.E.S.T. will spend one week in residence at the Spraoi studios from Monday 30th of July to Friday 3rd of August for a full week of mentoring with the Spraoi team and Simon Thompson, from Clown Noir, before presenting their work at the Spraoi Festival on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th of August at 7.30pm.

N.E.S.T Shows:

Woven presents “Resonances”

Picture: David Hegarty.

‘Play me a song that will bubble my blood and breathe life into hollows both long and forgot’.
'Resonances' is made with rebellion in its heart, self-reflection in its mind and music in its soul. Three artists from Belfast have created this social commentary dealing with some of the damaging aspects of our culture. The show is a mixture of circus techniques including acrobatics, slack rope, and cyr wheel with theatre, poetry, dance and live traditional Irish music. 
Resonances will leave you with your heart in your mouth with its combination of fiery encounters and heart-warming moments with mesmerising acrobatic feats woven into the tapestry of the story. ‘See the threads that create your tapestry’


Turas Theatre Collective presents “Remnants”

Picture: Anita Murphy.

visually spectacular and enthralling tale of three characters whose lives have been disrupted, and who find themselves alone and homeless. The story interweaves the characters’ pasts with their hope for the future in a beautifully choreographed performance. A moving and powerful meditation on displacement, the show is a response to the performers’ personal experiences of working in refugee camps with the organisation Clowns Without Borders.
Turas Theatre Collective is based in the west of Ireland and creates high quality, innovative and original street theatre. Blending movement, physical theatre and soundscape they tell stories in a unique way, taking their audience on a compelling journey into a world of stunning imagery and sound.
Remnants is a site-specific street theatre show – the audience arrives at a meeting point and walks with the performers to the performance location. 

Advisory viewing age 10+

Who are the N.E.S.T. artists?

Woven Circus Collective

View ISACS Profile

The Woven Circus Collective is Belfast Based Trio specialises in creating contemporary circus alongside traditional inspired music.


After working a million different jobs and spending a few years studying zoology Michelle was just preparing to take her studies further when she rediscovered her childhood love for flipping. Deciding that the animals could always be studied later she left Belfast with Ruairi to do street shows in Europe. While there she discovered the existence of circus schools and went to Flic circus school in Torino. After school, she decided to join Shane and Ruairi to create Woven Circus Collective and is gradually trying to get a grip of Irish music from her talented friends.


Ruairí grew up in Belfast and was heavily influenced by the traditional music scene which is very strong there. He generally feels that its this music that is in his bones. Bones get stiff sitting around though, so when he finally decided to shake the cobwebs off and learn how to move his body, he luckily met Michelle. Together they began to follow their interest in acrobatics learning how to tumble in the parks and streets close to where they lived. They created a street show and toured Europe eventually finishing in Torino (Italy) where Ruairí entered into the professional circus school 'Vertigo'. Here he spent 2 years dancing, flipping and spinning in circles, eventually taking the discipline of Cyr wheel as his speciality. He now proclaims to be a professional at being dizzy.


After having a taste of the circuit Shane decided to further his skill base and based himself in Bristol to attended Circomedia. Here he completed a 2-year course in circus and physical theatre (specialising in rope-walking, club manipulation and acrobatics). Through Circomedia he met some of the English highlining pro’s and had his first experience of the high wire, and high lining; balancing on a rope often rigged between cliffs. Shane has walked heart-stopping lines above audiences in festivals, above waterfalls in the Alps and in big tops and stages throughout Europe.


Turas Theatre Collective

View ISACS Profile

Turas Theatre Collective is based in the west of Ireland and creates high quality, innovative and original street theatre. Blending movement, physical theatre and soundscape they tell stories in a unique way, taking their audience on a compelling journey into a world of stunning imagery and sound.

Debbie Wright

Debbie Wright has worked in theatre in the Uk, Spain and Ireland since graduating from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in 1990. She has completed further study in Ireland in Arts Administration and has a MA in Festive Arts. She spent many years travelling and busking in Europe which ignited her love of street arts. In the late 90s, she toured Europe and Brazil with new circus theatre company, Turbozone. She has worked and toured internationally with Galway based street arts company, Macnas since 2002 in all areas of theatre performance and production. She works as a freelance Director, Performer and Production coordinator and has many years of experience in drama and dance facilitation working with various community groups. She is a board member of the organisation ‘Clowns without Borders’ and recently toured to Lebanon performing in Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps. She founded Turas Theatre Collective in 2017 and is currently artistic director and performer with the company.

Helen Gregg

Originally from Northern Ireland, Helen trained in theatre in Ireland and France and now lives and works in Galway. Acting credits include work with Passion Machine, Inis Theatre, Mephisto and Els Comediants among others and she was a co-founder of Galway-based theatre company Electric Bridget. She has worked extensively with street and spectacle theatre company Macnas and is a core member of their ensemble, having toured with them across Ireland, the UK, Lithuania, Russia and China in recent years. She is also a regular cast-member with Branar Téatar do Pháistí, having appeared in their successful touring productions 'Twas The Night Before Christmas and Maloney's Dream, and recently toured Ireland and Scotland in their brand new show for very early years audiences, The Shape of Things. In the past year, Helen has appeared in the UK and Belgium in DarkSpark's World War One sound and pyrotechnic installation Furious Folly, in the UK with street theatre troupe Rag and Bone, in RTE Radio Drama’s musical production of The Playboy of The Western World, as well as taking part in a tour of refugee camps in Lebanon with Clowns Without Borders Ireland. Helen is an experienced actor, outdoor arts performer, entertainer, improvisor, singer and voice-over artist.

Jonathan Gunni

Jonathan is from Galway. He trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris. As a founding member of the popular comic duo, The Gombeens, Jonathan has performed throughout Ireland, on streets, and in theatres, tents, and churches, libraries, halls and laneways. And once in a graveyard. As an actor, his work at the Abbey Theatre includes The Government Inspector and Arrah Na Pogue. He is part of Branar Téatar’s acclaimed ensemble and has toured in their recent productions Woolly’s Quest, Maloney’s Dream, Spraoi, and, T’was the Night Before Christmas. He is a performance director with Macnas and is part of their creative team. Jonathan regularly performs spoken word with the celebrated Galway band My Fellow Sponges and is the resident theatre reviewer on Galway Bay Fm’s Arts’ Show. Jonathan’s television credits include Game of Thrones, Vikings, The Frankenstein Chronicles, and Into The Badlands.
As co-founder of the voluntary organisation Clowns Without Borders Ireland, Jonathan is often found tickling the funny bones of refugees and orphans in far-flung corners of the world. When not doing any of the above, Jonathan grows two long nails on his right hand to help him better pick the banjo.

What else is on at Spraoi this year?

Spraoi Festival will host national and international acts at Ireland's longest running international street arts festival, all in the historical city of Waterford. The annual Spraoi Festival and Parade are held every August Bank Holiday weekend. The Festival, devoted to Street Art has become a firm favourite among locals and tourists alike and attracts an over 100,000 people to Waterford City over its three days. It’s now better known locally as “The Spraoi Weekend”. For this year's Parade, Spraoi will look under the magnifying glass and take inspiration from swarms, colonies, webs and hives. Be prepared for our collection of BUGS to hit the streets. Watch them fly, scurry, jump and crawl as Spraoi unleash all manner of creepy crawly creatures. Spraoi will also host dozen of local and international street arts acts and concerts.

View Spraoi ISACS profile | www.spraoi.com

Spraoi is an ISACS member and partner on many projects and will also be hosting several ISACS professional development programmes.

Discover ISACS programmes at Spraoi.


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Meet our latest L.E.A.P. Trainee!

Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network

Irish Theatre Institute, 17 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
00 353 (0)87 0541812 info@isacs.ie
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