Meet our HATCH Artists for 2023-24

We are delighted to announce that Fergus Wachala-Kelly, Colm McCready, and Louise Mathews are our new HATCH artists for 2023-24.

If you're scratching your head about what that means, then read on. And find out more about Colm, Fergus, and Louise while you're at it.

HATCH provides local artists with the opportunity to scratch, explore and experiment with their live performance ideas, no matter what stage they're at, with the support of the MAC over the next 12 months. Fergus, Colm, and Louise will be supported by a bursary, workspace at the MAC, and mentoring or coaching from MAC staff and associates.

We have chosen two projects and three artists to support this year and we can't wait to work with them.

"HATCH is an exciting opportunity for artists working in live performance, at any point of the career, to explore and experiment with the most embryonic ideas and is a vital part of the creative energy that is at the heart of the MAC. Every year, applications bowl us over in terms of the themes and ambition of their ideas and this year was no exception, with a large number of applicants. We are delighted to add Colm, Fergus, and Louise to the HATCH family as they look to explore ideas surrounding Queer shame and 90s dance culture, respectively." - Simon Magill and Julie Stewart, MAC Live Events programming

Meet our HATCH artists

Fergus Wachala-Kelly

Fergus Wachala-Kelly is an award-winning illustrator, animator, and theatre maker. His work has a distinct style that blends the literal with the surreal. Fergus’ illustration work has featured in the international publication Leaders in Contemporary Illustration. His animation work has featured in HEAVE, Bird About Town, Birds of Passage in the Half-Light, A Farther Shore and Project Children.

Fergus was a MAKE 2021 artist supported by Dublin Fringe and is currently developing work as part of Tinderbox Theatre Company’s Incubate programme. He also recently created the video design for c21’s Expecting and Cre8’s Sleeping Beauty which launched the first-ever Deaf Arts Festival NI at the MAC this year.

Fergus has been a collaborator on Colm McCready’s debut solo show Scaredy Fat presented by SkelpieLimmer which ran at the Edinburgh Fringe and Dublin Fringe this year having been selected as part of the Pleasance National Partnership in association with the LET Award and the Lyric Theatre Belfast.

Colm McCready

Colm McCready is a theatre maker and wannabe cabaret star. He is an associate artist of SkelpieLimmer who produced his first solo show Scaredy Fat which had successful runs at Edinburgh Fringe and Dublin Fringe this year. Scaredy Fat won the CQAF Theatre Bursary, the LET Award, and the Pleasance Edinburgh National Partnership with the Lyric Theatre Belfast. The show was nominated for an OffFest Award as well as four Dublin Fringe Festival awards including Best Performer.

Colm trained at Queen’s University Belfast, Lyric Drama Studio and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He is currently developing new work as an Incubate Artist with Tinderbox Theatre Company. He was a Dublin Fringe Artist at Work 2022, a Project Intensive Artist 2021 with Project Arts Centre, and a MAKE Artist 2020 with Theatre Forum, Dublin Fringe, Project Arts Centre, and Cork Midsummer Festival.

Louise Mathews

Louise Mathews trained at Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin 2005.

Louise’s play Not On Our Watch for Kabosh Theatre Co and Unite Union, directed by Paula McFetridge premiered in 2023 and had a sell-out run in venues across Belfast and The Lyric Theatre. The play toured various theatres in Ireland in August 2023.

Louise's debut play "Immaculate" with Tinderbox Theatre Co. directed by Patrick J O'Reilly featured as part of Dublin Pride through Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and Arthouse Merit Award Winner at LGBTQ Unbordered Film Festival Delaware.

Louise's recent film work includes The Glenarma Tapes, written by Tony Devlin and Paul Kennedy, Ballywalter and Here Before by Stacey Gregg, Last Right written by Aoife Crehan.

She appeared in Brassneck Theatre Co’s Conversations With Angels, by Maria Connolly (Dir Tony Devlin) and appeared in Kabosh Theatre Co's Reunion by Julie Dutkiewicz and Shedding Of The Skin, by Vittoria Caffola (both Directed by Paula McFetridge), Shibboleth, Abbey Theatre, written by Stacey Gregg (Dir Hamish Pirie), Hansel and Gretel by Stephen Beggs (Dir Rhian Jeffrey) in the MAC.

Other work includes Here We Lie for Rawlife Theatre and Sinners by Marie Jones in Lyric Theatre.

Louise was a collaborator with award-winning ANU Productions, Dublin. Projects Directed by Louise Lowe include Sunder, The Boys Of Foley Street, (Dublin Theatre Festival), Into The Sun, (Accenture IWD).

Other theatre credits include Macha Productions, on Entitled, MAC Belfast, (Dir Fionnuala Kennedy), Ignition, Tinderbox, MAC Belfast (Dir Patrick J O’Reilly). The Trouble With Harry for Theatre Of Pluck (Dir Alyson Campbell) The MAC Belfast. Prime Cut’s As If for the First Time (Dir, Louise Lowe), Red Lemon’s The Generous Bank (Dir Patrick J O’Reilly), Bed Behaviour (Frantic Assembly and Prime Cut Actors Lab).

Film and Television credits include Dave Allen At Peace (BBC, Dir Andy De Emmony), A Bad Day for the Cut, (Six Mile Hill, Dir Chris Baugh) A Patch of Fog (Dir Michael Lennox), Stumpy’s Brae, (BBCNI, Six Mile Hill Productions, Dir Chris Baugh), Behold the Lamb (Dir. John McIlduff).

In The Shadow Of The State, Milk and Marble (Visual Artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones).

She has been facilitating Youth and Community Theatre for over 20 years, devising, writing and directing plays. She runs Time To Shine Drama company.


  • Boys of Foley Street, Best Production,
  • ForSunder: Irish Times Theatre Awards, Judges’ Special Award: ANU Productions (For sustained imaginative engagement with the commemoration of 1916 throughout the year).
  • Immaculate, Winner, Merit Award LGBTQ Unbordered Film Festival Delaware