About Us

Who We Are

Our Vision

c21 is a Northern Irish touring theatre company that champions new stories with an eye to international audiences and festivals

Our Mission

  • to embrace traditional, digital and interactive methods as well as site-specific projects
  • to deliver enriching and memorable experiences in the heart of communities
  • to collaborate with public and private organisations, education and tourism

Our Story

c21 was co-founded in 2005. The company started out as a touring theatre organisation and quickly built a reputation in Northern Ireland as a small company of great force

To this day the vision remains intact, and we continue to provide audiences with high quality theatre that is easily accessed and regularly tours nationally and more recently internationally. We strongly believe that audiences should have the opportunity to experience professional theatre no matter what location of our country we live in.

In February 2020 the company represented Northern Ireland in Brussels at a NI Showcase event performing the hit show May the Road Rise Up at the Bozar Theatre http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/northern-ireland-theatre-talent-to-be-celebrated-on-stage-in-brussels. The same show had completed an Australian tour in 2019 visiting numerous venues around the city of Melbourne.

In January 2019, along with its business sponsor, Doyle Shipping Group, the company won the Arts & Business NI Award for ‘Staff Engagement’. This was recognition for the ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ project in 2018 that looked at attitudes around disability in the workplace. The production was seen by over 2000 young children aged 14-16 plus 1500 other audiences throughout NI and Scotland.

The company continues to look at contemporary material that involves a creative process from conception right through to production and will embrace opportunities to collaborate.

Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly, Co-Founder and Creative Director

Stephen co-founded the Company in 2005 when,  as a graduate from Gaiety School of Acting, he wanted to create professional theatre in his home city of Belfast.  He went on to act, produce and direct in over fifteen productions throughout the last ten years.  He strongly believes that as a touring company in Northern Ireland, audiences should have the opportunity to experience professional theatre.  The Company has toured extensively to rural areas on numerous occasions around the country and continue to explore opportunities nationally and internationally.

Our Board of Trustees

Derek Thompson
Derek Smyth


Derek has been a career administrator spending the majority of his working life within the Queen’s University of Belfast. Now retired, he brings to the Board experience gained at a senior administrative level, in a large complex organisation, particularly in respect of matters concerning governance and finance.

    Sean McCready
    Sean McCready

    Board Member

    Sean is the Director of Doyle Shipping Group Belfast. He has been instrumental in the partnership formed between his company and c21. With his business background he has recently driven the successful Arts and Business NI Projects, which have resulted in both companies winning two of the prestigious awards over the last five years, as well as countless nominations.

      Carrie-Anne McAlonan McCrudden
      Carrie-Anne McAlonan McCrudden


      Carrie-Anne has almost 30 years experience working in the arts industry and has had the privilege of working with a range of companies in theatre, opera, musicals, theatre-in education and youth theatre.

        Dearbhla Holohan
        Dearbhla Holohan

        Board Member

        Dearbhla has been involved in the voluntary and community sector for 20 years and has worked in a range of roles as a Youth Worker and Programme Manager.

          Trudy Harkness
          Trudy Harkness

          Board Member

          Trudy studied Law at Northumbria University graduating in 2010 and moved back to Northern Ireland. Before joining Ulster University in 2018 as a School Officer within the Business School, she worked for a range of organisations.

            Pamela Minford

            Board Member

            I was delighted to be matched with c21 as part of the Arts and Business Board Bank Programme. This has allowed me to match my executive and strategic thinking with my passion for the arts and to develop leadership skills in a creative environment with people who are passionate about driving the cultural sector.

              Nuala Toman

              Board Member

              Nuala Toman is the Head of Policy, Communications, Information and Advocacy at Disability Action. She is the former Project Manager of Future Screens NI which is Creative Industries Cluster Funded by UKRI, in this role she worked to address diversity with creative industries companies to address race, disability, gender, social inclusion and the need for a sustainable peace

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                Our Funders, Partners and Supporters

                Our Principal Funder is the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Business Partner, Doyle Shipping Group. However, many of our projects are supported by a range of funders and partners without whom we would not be able to deliver our mission or diverse annual programme.

                c21 Sponsor Logos