OCTOBER 2016 – MARCH 2017


A storytelling, dance, performance and art project, ALIGHT was directed by choreographer Muirne Bloomer with actor/writer Hugh Brown and visual artist Vanessa Daws.  ALIGHT! was led by CoisCéim BROADREACH and coordinated by Dublin’s Culture Connects in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland and the Hugh Lane Gallery.

ALIGHT! was about ACCESS – promoting, developing and improving cultural and social access. An inclusive participation project, its aims were to inspire and connect communities and their national institutions in a lasting and meaningful way. The ALIGHT! activities and events were developed by the participants under the mentorship of professional artists, resulting in a series of creative responses that celebrate the natural choreography of daily life. These were documented in an illustrated book.  Click to read here. Hard copies are available in Dublin City Council Libraries.

Spanning all artforms, there was something for everyone as dance, design, light, art, music and film collided on and around the ORANGE double decker project bus.  Highlights included THE MYSTERY HISTORY CABARET TOUR,  ALL ABOARD and a creative dance/design project around Brent Geese with children from St Patrick’s National School.



Photos: Anthony Griffin and Photocall Ireland




ALIGHT! formed part of Dublin’s Culture Connects: The National Neighbourhood and took place with communities of Irishtown, Sandymount, Ringsend and Pearse Street the South East Area of Dublin.

Beginning in October 2016 ALIGHT! included FREE taster art, design, dance and drama workshops led by the artists with communities in Irishtown, Sandymount, Ringsend and Pearse Street. The theme of navigation and journey focussed ideas – with the number 1. bus route providing a link to the neighbourhoods and a source of inspiration for stories from the community – past, present and future. As part of ALIGHT! a double decker bus was commandeered – and with designs by local young people and the visual skills of Vanessa – was re-imagined as a vibrant mode of transport, roving social centre, and moving theatre space.

During ALIGHT! the National Gallery and Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane opened their doors to further inspire and engage people with their exhibitions and discussions surrounding creation of imagery associated with Dublin city.

From January 2017 a series of free day trips (with tea and sandwiches) took place with Ringsend Active Retirement Group, Adult Education students – St Andrews, Greenore Court Arts & Craft, St Andrews Seniors, the GALS group and individual members of the public to explore their local neighbourhoods, and exhibitions at the National Gallery and Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane.

Other creative initiatives grew from discussion with local people and organisations. This included a creative dance/drama project led by Hugh and Muirne with children at St Patrick’s National School about the Brent Geese that settle each year on Sandymount Strand, and a visual art and photography project of the Pearse St neighbourhood with Vanessa and young people at Talk About Youth at St Andrews Resource Centre. Stories began to unfold and take shape from informal conversations and poetry readings at Pembroke Library. In February, a special Valentines Days Tea Dance took place at Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA club for people to meet, socialize and dance together.

ALIGHT! culminated in a wonderfully evocative and playful MYSTERY, HISTORY, CABARET TOUR which ran for 3 performances at the end of February. The tour started in Ringsend and finished at The Vintage Inn Ringsend via St John’s Church, Sandymount. It included local performers the Dazallettes baton twirling group from St Andrews, Rodney Devitt as James Joyce and The Vintage Inn publican Kathy Gleeson, and involved the imaginative re-telling of stories collected over the course of the project. Led by the ever-engaging MC Hugh Brown in an orange boiler suit and goggles, performances took place on and off the double decker in spaces both large and small. It was a moving finale to a rich and colourful project, and as Hugh memorably stated at the end of the cabaret tour, ‘ this area is changing fast, but if the creativity, passion and commitment of the local community is anything to go by – it is in safe hands for the future’.

all aboard
FREE trips on the ORANGE double decker bus!

A journey of discovery from Pearse St to Sandycove and back.
STOP 1. St Andrews Resource Centre, Pearse St, Dublin 2 | Depart 10.30am  |  Return 1.00pm
STOP 2. St Patrick’s Church, Thorncastle St, Ringsend, Dublin 4 |  Depart 10.40am  |  Return 12.50pm
STOP 3. St John’s Church, Park Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4 | Depart 10.50am  |  Return 12.40pm
DATES: Tuesdays 31 January and 7, 21, 28 February 2017

A Valentine’s Day Special

DATE: Tuesday 14 February 2017   TIME: 3.00 – 5.00pm
VENUE: Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA Club, Sean Moore Park, Dublin 4

mystery history cabaret
Colourful tales, great songs, real ghost stories and plenty of craic!

DATES: Sunday 26 February, Monday 27 February, Tuesday 28 February 2017
MEET: St Patrick’s Church (Ringsend Church), Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4

Vox pop, raps + rhymes – what have you got to say about your neighbourhood?

DATES: Wednesdays 2017
1 February 1.00 – 4.00pm Ringsend  |  8 February 1.00 – 4.00pm Pearse Street
15 February 1.00 – 4.00pm Irishtown  |  22 February 1.00 – 4.00pm Sandymount


Friday 21 October | 12.30pm – 2.00pm
Tuesday 01 November | 4.00pm – 7.00pm
Ringsend & Irishtown Community Centre, Thornhill St, Dublin 4