MakeyUppers join Playhouse for children’s digital stories

The Playhouse theatre in Derry have announced a new series of digital short stories and films for three to seven year-olds.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 3:55 pm
Makeyuppers, is run by Gemma Walker-Farren and Sorcha Shanahan in Derry
Makeyuppers, is run by Gemma Walker-Farren and Sorcha Shanahan in Derry

As part of its Little Playhouse Early Years programme, the Playhouse has teamed up with two local theatre makers to create the online learning resources.

Six shorts films have been created for the programme by original comedy storytelling act Makeyuppers and ten short stories by street theatre and children’s theatre company Play Make-Believe.

Louise Conaghan of Play Make-Believe, said she loved working on this project.

“It’s a relatively new medium for me, working to camera,” she said.

“I’m a street theatre performer mostly, and really miss the interaction, but this was an opportunity to see if I could be engaging and educational whilst still being entertaining.

“The objective was to reach out to local children, increase their emotional self-awareness and encourage communication and independence through storytelling with fun activities,” she added.

Storytelling act MakeyUppers said: “It has been a wonderful experience to research, write and perform these short films, and we hope children enjoy meeting the characters, and going on their adventures, as much as we have done.”

The Little Years programme was created for children aged from three to seven years. The cross- community project allows children to come together and participate in a positive, fun, and shared experience designed to promote diversity and celebrate difference.

Groups taking part in the project include Lincoln Court Youth Club, Chapel Road Playgroup Londonderry YMCA, and Springhill Park Area Residents and Youth Association Strabane.

Project coordinator Kieran Smyth said:

“We are excited to announce the launch of The Little Playhouse Early Years programme as part of #DigitalPlayhouse. In normal circumstances this program would take place in our building but as we all know due to Covid-19 that is not possible, so we are moving the program online.”

“The Playhouse has collaborated with two brilliant local theatre makers to create the work. The films are called Granny and Me and the short stories are Eithne the Adventurer, which is all original material created solely for the Early Years Project.”

“We can’t wait for the children to meet these wonderful new characters, who will bring them on a magical journey of fun and creativity with lots of surprises in between,” he said.

Makeyuppers, is run by Gemma Walker-Farren and Sorcha Shanahan in Derry Who use their skills as performers, facilitators and theatre makers to create dynamic, and involving storytelling. Play Make-Believe specialise in walkabout and storytelling and is the brainchild of Donegal theatre maker Louise Conaghan.

For more information about community programmes for early years or the Little Playhouse contact Kieran Smyth, [email protected]

For more information about the new #DigitalPlayhouse visit