Prime Cut Productions is delighted to announce further details for Removed, a brand new play inspired by interviews with young people growing up in care in Northern Ireland, created in collaboration with playwright Fionnuala Kennedy and Voice Of Young People In Care (VOYPIC), and in association with Young at Art. Removed will receive its world premiere at Belfast Children’s Festival on Saturday 9 March and run from 07 to 16 March 2019 at the Brian Friel Theatre.

Removed is a funny and affecting fictional story, told by a character called ‘Adam’ and will offer insight into the experiences of growing up in the Northern Irish care system.

Adam is OK to share his story - really it's alright - it's OK that his life was turned upside down - and the social workers were nice, kinda - and the foster homes, well... and his baby brother Joe?

Removed is not based on one individual, but rather an amalgam of the many interviews gathered by Fionnuala Kennedy, with Voice Of Young People In Care, a group of young people with care experience who are campaigning for changes to the care system in Northern Ireland.

Removed has been developed through Prime Cut’s Participate and Innovate Programmes and is supported by Creative Europe as part of the EU Collective Plays Project.

Emma Jordan, Artistic-Director of Prime Cut Productions and director of Removed says, “This is a timely look at the experience of young people who have gone under the radar of society. If theatre can act as a conduit to growth in human understanding and empathy then it seems to me that Fionnuala Kennedy has written an important play.”

Playwright Fionnuala Kennedy says, “This play is dedicated to the extraordinary, resilient young people who gave me their time and shared their stories. I heard first hand about the judgements placed on them because of circumstances, not of their making, and of the lack of support and understanding from people within our communities and the system. I hope Removed helps raise awareness and is a testimony to Voice Of Young People In Care. They are utterly inspiring and are making a huge difference for children in care now, and in the future.”

Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “Prime Cut is at the top end of contemporary theatre practice on these islands and acclaimed internationally. As the company’s principal funder, we are delighted to see challenging themes being addressed by artists of this calibre. This will be socially-engaged theatre at its very best, an opportunity for audiences to gain a deeper insight into life in the care system, through the prism of the arts.”

Emma Jordan is Prime Cut Production’s Artistic-Director and has directed a strong body of critically acclaimed plays, including East Belfast Boy by Fintan Brady (currently on tour across the island of Ireland with Every Day I Wake Up Hopeful by John Patrick Higgins); Red by John Logan, winner of 4 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2017 (Prime Cut/Lyric co-production) and Stacey Gregg’s Scorch, winner of 7 awards in Ireland, the UK and Australia.

Other directing credits include After Miss Julie (Patrick Marber), The God Of Carnage (Yasmina Reza), The Conquest of Happiness (Co-created & directed with Haris Pasovic) I Am My Own Wife (Doug Wright), Blackbird (David Harrower), Shoot The Crow (Owen McCafferty), Scarborough (Fiona Evans), Woman and Scarecrow (Marina Carr), After The End (Denis Kelly). Emma also directed Lovers (2018) and Educating Rita (2016-17) for the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

In 2014 Emma was the recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Cultural Entrepreneurship Breakthrough Award and the Spirit of Festival Award at the Belfast International Arts Festival 2015.

Fionnuala Kennedy is a theatre-maker from Belfast, who primarily develops social-specific theatre that aims to make positive change, however small. Her first play Hostel, toured for six years and is based on Fionnuala’s own experiences, examining sensitive issues around homelessness and human rights (Kabosh & Macha Productions); Entitled, which Fionnuala created and developed through the Prime Cut Productions’ Reveal programme which looked at the impact and inequality of welfare cuts, (Macha Productions), Hatchet, which explored racism and homophobia in Belfast (Tera nova Productions) and Closer, a cosmic multi-sensory show for young profound and multiple learning disabilities audiences (Replay Productions).

Recent directing credits include: It’s a Wonderful Wee Christmas (Theatre at the Mill); Entitled: The Assessment (An Culturlann), Reset (The MAC, Belfast), Entitled and Hostel (Macha Productions). Fionnuala was assistant director to Emma Jordan on Lovers (Lyric Theatre, 2018).

Conor J Maguire will make his professional stage debut with Removed, a one man show, written by Fionnuala Kennedy and directed by Emma Jordan for Prime Cut Productions.

Conor studied Film and Television Production at Dun Laoghaire Institute Of Art Design + Technology (IADT) where he was heavily involved in the drama society. During this time he performed in numerous productions at the Pavillon Theatre, such as The Crucible, A Christmas Carol and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Since graduating from IADT (2016), he has studied acting at Bow Street Academy. He represented Bow Street Academy in the 2018 Spotlight Graduate Showcase in London, having qualified out of seventy drama school entries across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Prime Cut Productions in association with Young At Art present
Written by Fionnuala Kennedy
Directed by Emma Jordan
Featuring Conor J Maguire as Adam
Set Design by Ciaran Bagnall
Lighting Design by Paul Keogan
Sound Design by Conor Mitchell
AV Design by Conan McIvor
Funded by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Paul Hamlyn Foundation Creative Europe

Performance Dates: Thursday 07 March 2019 - Saturday 16 March 2019
Preview Performances: Thursday 7 & Friday 8 March
Press in from: Saturday 9 March
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: Brian Friel Theatre, Queens University Belfast
Address: 20 University Square, Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT7 1PA
Suggested Running Time: 60mins
Tickets: Young at Art Festival Box Office: 028 9024 3042 (open M-F 10am-2pm) /
Price: £10- £8
Suggested Age Recommendation: 11+ with parental/carer discretion (contains some strong language)