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Interview with The Duncairn Arts Centre

Aoibh, how did you become a writer?

“I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember! When I was a teenager, I think that looked a little more like novel writing and working as an author, but as life moved and I opened my eyes to the possibilities, I discovered that writing was not limited to novels and there was a whole other host of paths that you can take that will bring you to full-time writing. I studied Drama and Theatre at university, and after that, I studied Feminist Protest Theatre for my Master’s degree and writing was at the core of my practice and research. Throughout the years I have worked as a Drama facilitator, a producer, a theatre maker, and more recently a Copywriter, writing for businesses. What I love most about the path that I have taken, is that I have had the chance to explore writing in all of its forms, and celebrate it in its wholeness. Writing is such a limitless art form and I really want to celebrate that in everything I do.”

What inspires you most when writing?

“For creative writing, I am often pulled to lean into my passion for social change and activism. Writing, performing and creative arts have the power to encourage audiences to pause, reflect and think, in a way that traditional politics does not, and that is a big factor for me when creating. I also am fascinated with how we can use archival information and objects as well as the landscape to inform our writing. I’m always asking myself, “How can I write something that feels like this object?” or “How can this dialogue reflect Ireland’s landscape?”. Every project is different, but there’s always something in our view to inspire some creativity. When writing for businesses, I just feel continuously inspired by people and their stories. Every business was born from someone’s passion and drive for more in life. I take so much from every client I work with and I feel so lucky to be inspired by them every day.” 

How does it feel to see your writing coming to life in theatres?

“It really is incredible to see your writing come to life onstage and experience the liveness of audience reception. My current show, The Daughters of Róisín is a one-woman show, which I also perform, which gives me an even richer experience when connecting with audience members. I wrote The Daughters of Róisín about the church and state-sanctioned abuse that unmarried mothers suffered in Ireland over the last 100 years. The show is inspired directly by the experience of my great-grandmother, and so it is truly a great honour to perform and bring it to the stage. Getting the chance to perform this writing on the Duncairn stage is even more special, as my great-grandmother lived on Eia street which isn’t far from the venue. I think theatre brings life to writing in a way that no other form does. The ephemerality of the moment and the connection shared between the script, the actor and the audience is something incredibly special.”

You also teach creative writing classes. What can people expect from these workshops?

“Teaching creative writing classes is one of the most rewarding and beautiful experiences of my career. I always want the space to be one for self-expression, freedom to create and at the crux of it, joy and good fun. I wouldn’t say that participants ever need any particular writing skills to join in, but what I would say, is that an excitement for writing, a keen interest in creativity and an open mind are necessary! My aim is for my workshops to reflect the ideas, passions and interests of those attending, and seeing where that leads us is the exciting part. We develop ideas on structure, how to find inspiration, and the varying styles, approaches and methods we can use to write well, but most importantly, we create a safe, open space for new ideas, questions and getting something down on paper. It’s really all about giving people the space and confidence to start.”

For me, the power of words is phenomenal. When we open our minds to how creative writing can transform our businesses, a whole world of possibility opens before us. 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know AJC a little better.  Let’s bring some of that creative flow to your website, and give them something to talk about. All the good vibes!


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