Meet our Hatch & Scratch Artists

We are delighted to announce the following participants for the 2020 Hatch & Scratch programme: Amanda Verlaque, Angelique Ross & Michelle Thoburn, Caitlin Kearns, Chris Ryan, Ciara Elizabeth Smyth, Emily Foran & The Movement Collective, Nuala Donnelly, Oona Doherty, Patrick Scullion, Rhiann Jeffrey, Rory Friers, and Seon Simpson & Gina Donnelly.

Hatch & Scratch will provide local artists with the opportunity to scratch, explore and experiment with the most embryonic live performance ideas with the support of the MAC over the next 6 months. Artists will be supported by a bursary, workspace at the MAC, mentoring or coaching from MAC staff and associates, as well as an opportunity to perform at our Scratch Night later this year.

Following our open call in March 2020, we were overwhelmed with the creative and meaningful response to the programme. In light of that, and also the current crisis facing the world, we have doubled the number of bursary recipients for 2020 in our commitment to support new and emerging artists through this time, and beyond.

Meet our Hatch & Scratch artists:

Amanda Verlaque: Verlaque has showcased work at Outburst Queer Arts Festival and is an ACNI SIAP recipient. Amanda's idea for Hatch & Scratch, A Kink in The Brain, explores how injustice and inequality impact the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community.

Angelique Ross & Michelle Thoburn: Living in caravans and big tops Angelique Ross is an aerialist and carny known for making bold and evocative circus. Acrobat and flipper, currently finishing a masters in Ecology and Conservation, Mish Thoburn combines ecological activism and performance through her own Irish company, Woven Circus Collective, and uses performance to bring awareness to complex issues that ask audiences to question the ‘status quo’. Hatch & Scratch will be a collaboration between Angelique and Mish that is wild and environmental in its intent; a circus celebration with acrobatics, aerials, and guerrilla gardening.

Caitlin Magnall-Kearns: Caitlin is a 22 year old theatre-maker and comedy performer. In the past, Caitlin has worked with acclaimed artists, including award-winning Selina Thompson, and has spent a year as a Young Director at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre. Through Hatch & Scratch, Caitlin will be exploring how to navigate app-dating in a plus-size body.

Chris Ryan: As a drummer, producer and vocalist based in Belfast, Chris's time is split between working in recording studios and touring with post-punk/jazz group, Robocobra Quartet. As part of Hatch & Scratch, Chris is interested in developing an installation/performance that uses real-time datasets to explore how we behave online and the effect it has on our wellbeing.

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth: An award-winning Irish playwright based in Belfast, Ciara was a playwright for Rough Magic’s SEEDS 2018-2020 and is currently on commission with the Abbey Theatre for Dear Ireland 2020. Her most recent play SAUCE will be published by Nick Hern Books 2020. Through Hatch & Scratch, Ciara will explore a new piece of writing which looks at the climate crisis and self-isolation.

Emily Foran & The Movement Collective: The Movement Collective was founded by theatre director Emily Foran and performer Ro Owens. Their debut production SHARKTANK won the Audience Choice Award at Stockholm Fringe Festival 2018 and engaged with how artists function with Northern Ireland’s mental health crisis. Their Hatch & Scratch idea, A Doll's House in a Doll's House, revolves around Ibsen's classic play and some real dolls, Barbie, Ken, and maybe an Action Man.

Nuala Donnelly: Freelance director, writer and Artistic Director of Pintsized Productions Nuala's Hatch & Scratch work will be an auto-biographical, spoken word, solo show which looks at all of the trials and tribulations of someone with severe anxiety and her coping mechanisms.

Oona Doherty: Dance artist and choreographer Oona's work includes the internationally acclaimed production, Hard to be Soft: A Belfast Prayer. Oona will use the Hatch & Scratch opportunity to develop her new dance show, NAVY Blue, the third and final part of the blue series.

Patrick Scullion: Rosa Tralee, a.k.a Patrick Scullion, is a writer, performer, geg merchant, and biz artist from Belfast. Their shows ask the Queer, Irish imagination for answers on living in the era of peak content; surveillance capitalism, and instrumentarian power. They enjoy collaborating with artists to fuse songs, video, memes and live drama into something genuinely confusing. They have performed at Outburst Queer Arts Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival.

Rhiann Jeffrey: Freelance Theatre Director and Associate Director of Prime Cut Productions, Rhiann is excited to develop her project OPHELIA: THE MAD WOMAN through Hatch & Scratch and is looking forward to challenging herself to create a piece of live performance with the support of the MAC.

Rory Friers: Rory is a composer, musician and producer best known as guitarist and songwriter in instrumental rock band And So I Watch You From Afar. Working in TV, film and more recently computer games, Rory is known for his expansive and ethereal style. His latest work comes in the form of a 45-minute ensemble and visual piece with ASIWYFA called Jettison which opens next year at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall at The South Bank Centre.

Seon Simpson & Gina Donnelly: The award-winning team behind the Dublin Fringe hit 'Two Fingers Up'. Working with Viewpoints methodology, Seon & Gina have been working together since 2014. Hatch & Scratch is to be their first piece, made under partnership name SkelpieLimmer, where they'll be rewriting the Bible (well Genesis anyway) to celebrate and examine our perspectives on the human body and what has shaped them.