Stephen’s off to Oz – 1st June 2015

Stephen Kelly c21 Theatre Company


Northern Irish Director and Producer, Stephen Kelly has been invited to showcase his theatre expertise for the National Celtic Festival, Portarlington Victoria, Australia.


The National Celtic Festival has been around for a decade, nurturing the creative exchange between Australia and Ireland, Scotland, Wales and other Celtic regions. Widely recognised as the premiere Celtic festival in the southern hemisphere, the National Celtic Festival is Australia’s largest and most diverse Celtic gathering. Highlighting the arts with; music, song, dance, theatre, playwright sessions, workshops, master classes and more, the Festival attracts both and international audiences and performers!


Stephen Kelly will be delivering a producer’s master class, where he will talk about his directing experience and take part in a play reading of his most recent success, ‘Stitched Up’ by Belfast Playwright Rosemary Jenkinson.


Speaking ahead of the Festival, Stephen explained, “this is such a huge opportunity, not only for me personally, but for the arts community in Northern Ireland. I believe that moving forward, the arts community must ensure our success by promoting the arts in Northern Ireland internationally and grasping opportunities with both hands!


“I am delighted to be representing Northern Ireland at the National Celtic Festival in Australia, and am looking forward to being part of such a fantastic event. There is something unique about how Celtic heritage can unite complete strangers. It is going to be a pleasure to see Celtic representations from across the globe and there may be potential to collaborate in the future.


“I am particularly excited to showcase ‘Stitched Up’ during the Festival. Rosemary Jenkinson’s phenomenal script perfectly highlights the cultural diversity and political complexities in Northern Ireland, in a uniquely satirical fashion that only Rosemary could pull off!”


Una McAlinden, Festival Director at the National Celtic Festival spoke ahead of the Festival, explaining: “We are very excited to host C21’s Stephen Kelly at the National Celtic Festival, Portarlington. The Festival is committed to developing a broad arts festival. In doing so it is crucial to develop innovative partnerships and opportunities for international exchange with artists of the highest calibre; to share skills, knowledge and to deepen cultural understanding. This becomes a platform for all kinds of possibilities in the future.”


Stephen states: “I must also say a huge thank you to the Arts Council NI, for their continued support. Without it, ‘Stitched Up’ wouldn’t have been possible.”


Gilly Campbell, Dance and Drama Officer at the Arts Council, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Stephen to represent Northern Ireland on an international stage, alongside the work of up and coming playwright Rosemary Jenkinson. Over the last number of years the Arts Council has awarded funding to both Rosemary and C21 Theatre Company, co-founded by Stephen, to write and develop new work. This appearance at the National Celtic Festival is well deserved recognition of the talent we have here, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with arts practitioners across the world.”


The National Celtic Festival takes place from the 5th to 8th June in Portarlington Victoria, Australia. For more information, visit To keep up to date with c21 Theatre Company, visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter