Granny D and Me and Eithne the Adventurer join the #DigitalPlayhouse

Posted on: 25th March 2021


We are deligthed to have created a new series of digital short stories and films for 3 to 7 year olds for our Little Playhouse Early Years programme.

Two local theatre makers have collaborated with us 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 realitively new medium for me, working to camera. I'm a Street Theatre performer mostly and really I miss the interaction, but this was an opportunity to see if I could be engaging and educational whilst still being entertaining"

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."

Little Years was created for children aged from 3-7 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.

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

"We are excited to announce the launch of The Little Playhouse Early Years program as part of #DigitalPlayhouse" project co-ordinator Kieran Smyth said.

"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 D 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."

Makeyuppers, run by Gemma Walker-Farren and Sorcha Shanahan in Derry. Londonderry, 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.

If you are interested in participating in this programme or require any more information about community programmes for Early Years of the Little Playhouse please contact Kieran Smyth


play make believe



Sorcha Shanahan and Gemma Walker-Farren are 'MakeyUppers', an original comedy storytelling act. They use their skills as performers, facilitators and theatre makers to create dynamic and involving storytelling. They aim to engage their audiences in experiences that are multi-layered, highly enjoyable and beautifully simple.

The 'MakeyUppers' work is hugely diverse and ever changing but always rooted in a mutual desire to create meaningful work through play.

They perform multi-disciplinary, high-energy, comedy shows as well as interactive, intergenerational storytelling workshops, a range of walkabout characters and bespoke workshop/performance packages for community and corporate events.



Play Make-Believe is a Street Theatre and Children's Theatre Company. We specialise in walkabout and storytelling. It is the brainchild of Louise Conaghan, a theatre maker from Donegal, Ireland. She has a BA Hons Degree in Drama from the University of Ulster and a National Diploma in Performing Arts through NWRC.

A graduate of Tinderbox Theatre Company's Playmachine; she is currently engaged in the Motion 21 project, which will take to the streets in Jan/Feb 2021. She recently wrote and produced "The Morrigan" which previewed to a live audience on Culture Night 2020 in An Grianan theatre and was reproduced for screen and distributed online for Halloween 2020.

Having spent 2020 retraining, creating a new range of characters and developing a home recording studio setup, Louise is now looking forward to research and development in the early stages of producing a new TYA show entitled 'The Bogeywoman' under the guidance of her new mentor, Anna Newell.

Over the course of her career, Louise has performed at a wide variety of national and international festivals including Glastonbury, The Belfast International Festival of Fool and Stendhal. She has worked as a street theatre entertainer and toured Ireland throughout 2018 with John Ruddy and An Grianan Theatre's 'Manny Man Does The History of Ireland on Stage', which was shown online in late 2020. Her extensive training includes clowning with; The Actors Studio (Barcelona); In Your Space Circus (Derry) and Amadan Theatre Company (Belfast).



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