Creating New Work in Northern Ireland - Panel Discussion [Rewatch ▷]

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Available throughout the Prime Cut festival will be a panel discussion featuring key artists behind the work of Prime Cut, speaking about the challenges and possibilities of creating contemporary theatre in Belfast today.

This special feature discussion is moderated by Belfast-native theatre director Matt Torney. Matt and the guest panelists will put a spotlight on Prime Cut, as well as provide context for the global perspective that characterizes this company’s visionary work. 

Panelists include:
Emma Jordan - Artistic Director of Prime Cut Productions
Anne McReynolds - Chief Executive at The Mac in Belfast
Ciaran Bagnall - international designer and Associate Artists at Prime Cut

Matt Torney

MATT TORNEY  is currently the Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta, GA. Originally from Belfast, he worked as a freelance director in Ireland before moving to the United States in 2006 to complete an MFA in directing at Columbia University. Matt has directed extensively in New York, regionally in the USA, and internationally, and his productions have been nominated for numerous awards. 

Recent work includes Doubt by John Patrick Shanley (nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards), If I Forget by Steven Levenson (nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards), MotherStruck! by Staceyann Chin (nominated for 2 Helen Hayes Awards including ‘Best Production’), and The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard. 

Prior to joining Theatrical Outfit, Matt was the Associate Artistic Director of Studio Theatre, one of the leading contemporary theatre companies in DC. Before that he was the Director of Programming for Origin Theatre, an Off-Broadway company whose mission is to bring the best of European new writing to the USA.  Additionally, from 2007 to 2015 he was an Associate Director of Rough Magic in Dublin, one of Ireland’s leading independent theatre companies for over 30 years. 

Emma Jordan

EMMA JORDAN is the Artistic Director of PrimeCut Productions. A native of Belfast, she is recognized as one of Northern Ireland’s most respected and prolific theatre practitioners. In the years since she has headed up the company, Jordan has won a number of prestigious awards, including the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award, worth £295,000 and set up to support exceptional entrepreneurs in the UK’s cultural sector.

Ciaran Bagnall

CIARAN BAGNALL is the Creative Director for PrimeCut Productions. He trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff and was made a fellow of the College in 2017. 

Designs for PrimeCut include Set & Lighting designs for: Father, The Father, Lady Magma, Hard to be Soft, Pulse, RED, Scorch, Secret City, The God of Carnage, Tejas Verdes, Villa, Discurso, The Conquest of Happiness, I Am My Own Wife, The Baths, Shoot the Crow, Scarborough, Woman & Scarecrow, Still Life Still. Lighting design for Mydidae, Right here Right now, Antigone and After the End. Set Design for The Bordergame, Removed, Everyday I Wake up Hopeful and East Belfast Boy.  Ciaran also shot and was Director of Photography for the film/digital versions of East Belfast Boy, Father, The Father and Removed

Other Recent Theatre includes:
Set & Lighting Design: Rough Girls (Lyric, Belfast); The Whip (RSC); Peter Pan (Hull Truck); A Christmas Carol (The Gate, Dublin); The Merchant of Venice (The Great Theatre, Shanghai); This Beautiful Village (Abbey Theatre Dublin, Set Design only); The Magic Flute (INO, Wexford Opera House, Gaiety Dublin); A Streetcar Named Desire (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); The Last Yankee (Library Theatre, Bolton); UBU The King (Tinderbox, MAC, Belfast);   Oliver Twist (Hull Truck); And Did Those Feet (Macron Stadium, Bolton); Double Cross (Lyric Theatre Belfast & Abbey Theatre, Dublin); The Mai (Irish Tour/Dublin Theatre Festival); Lovers (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); The Man Who Fell to Pieces (The MAC, Belfast); The Great Gatsby (Gate Theatre, Dublin – Winner Best Design Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards); RED (Lyric Theatre, Belfast – Winner Best Design Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards); The Train, Observe the Sons of Ulster marching towards the Somme (Abbey Theatre, Dublin); And did those Feet; Ashes, Educating Rita, Two, Two 2, A view from the Bridge, Love Story, Twelfth Night, Piaf, Of Mice and Men, Tull, The Glass Menagerie, Habeas Corpus, Secret Thoughts, Oleanna (Octagon Theatre, Bolton); A Christmas Treasure Island, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella (Hull Truck); Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe, London); Singin’ in the Rain (UK Tour); Othello (RSC, Stratford upon Avon); Lally the Scut, (MAC, Belfast); Snookered (Bush Theatre, London); The Killing of Sister George (Arts Theatre, London); A Slight Ache and Landscape (Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre London).

Anne Reynolds

ANNE McREYNOLDS has been Chief Executive of the MAC since it opened in 2012 and she led the development of the venue for many years prior to that. Prior to this she was the Director of the Old Museum Arts Centre. Anne was one of the co-founders of the Belfast Children’s Festival in 1998 and chaired the Board of Trustees of that organisation for the first five years of its life. She has also been a Trustee of the BBC Performing Arts Fund, Upstate Theatre, Drocheda, the Community

Foundation for Northern Ireland and The Theatres Trust, an Independent Advisory Body charged with protecting and preserving theatres throughout the UK. She is currently Chairman of the Cathedral Quarter Trust and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects. 

In the years before Covid the MAC made an annual economic impact of almost £10m to the wider economy and had attracted over 2.2m visits since opening. Anne believes passionately that as an inclusive centre of artistic excellence and a highly successful and welcoming social space in Belfast’s city centre, the MAC has a vital role to play in Northern Ireland’s recovery from the pandemic.

A graduate of Queen’s University Belfast where she studied English Language and Literature, Anne also holds post-graduate qualifications in Law & Business and Cultural Management. She lives in Belfast with her husband, four children and two dogs.

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