Ragaire

Ragaire was an international Key Action 2 project featuring partners from Ireland, Spain, Greece and Austria who created work based on social issues facing the youth of each country. It culminated in a week-long festival in Ireland.

How was this a Crooked House project? The project was created by Crooked House as a Transnational Youth Initiative, and as such we were the hosts of the project in Ireland.

For a week in October 2021, ensembles from Crooked House, BeyondBuhne of Austria, On&Off Teatro of Spain and Kinitiras of Greece met in Ireland as part of the Ragaire Project. Ragaireacht  (pronounced rag-ar-oct) is an Irish word for late-night wandering, or for sitting up talking long into the early hours. And a ragaire is someone who enjoys precisely that. For us this word suggests what we do, travelling and talking,  staying up late trying to solve our own and the world’s problems, enjoying the company of others, all the while using performance to help us.The Ragaire project was spearheaded by Crooked House. It was an Erasmus+ funded long-term Key Action 2 project. Most noticeably, the Ragaire project was a Transnational Youth Initiative, or TYI. In other words, this means the project was primarily organised and led by its participants, with traditional facilitators and ‘coaches’ only providing assistance and advice. In the run up to the festival, each participating country consisted of an ensemble of experienced actors aged generally between 18-25. Each ensemble was tasked with producing a self-devised work which spoke of some social issue which the ensembles wishes to tackle or comment on. This is because the Ragaire project was about producing theatre which aims to promote or trigger social change and is therefore shown to policy makers or those who can influence change in society, such as politicians, local representatives, councillors etc. Being a Transnational Youth Initiative, the devising of these works was primarily led by the ensembles themselves, with minimal input from directors. The only exception to this is, of course when help was needed, but also a cultural exchange element of the project where leaders of each ensemble visited a different ensemble to share with them fresh perspectives and skills.The politically-aware themes of the work produced included colonialism, excessive societal pressure on youth, mental health, violence and brutality from those in power and climate change.  The Ragaire Festival brought the ensembles together for a week, staying in a hostel in the heart of Dublin’s city centre. During this week, they visited our Liffey Studio in Newbridge where workshops were held. They also spent their time in Newbridge rehearsing their plays at the Patrician Secondary School. 

For the rest of the week the ensembles rehearsed at the historic Smock Alley Theatre on the banks of the River Liffey, before performing their plays over a weekend festival at the theatre.During the week the ensembles also got to participate in cultural activities, such as eating together at some of Dublin’s most recognisable restaurants, guided tours through it’s museums as well as a walking tour through the city. As part of the TYI, the events and timetable of the Festival were chiefly organised by members of Crooked House’s Senior Ensemble.

See more detail via the dedicated Ragaire page on our old website:

https://www.kildareyouththeatre.com/projects-ragaire

Dates and times info: Devising and planning the project began in early 2021. The actual Ragaire Festival took place from 24th-31st October 2021.

Locations: Dublin, Ireland, with the performances taking place in the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Workshops also took place in our Liffey Studio, in Newbridge Co. Kildare.

Partners were: Crooked House (Ireland), Kinitiras (Greece), BeyondBuhne (Austria) and On&Off Teatro (Spain). Crooked House’s work was devised by Peter Hussey and the Senior Ensemble, Kinitiras’ by Antigone Gyra, BeyondBuhne’s by Gregor Ruttner-Vicht, and On&Off’s by Juan Miguel Carrera.

Funders: Erasmus+ with support from Léargas