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10-12 November

'Creative Carlisle' Skills Expo at the Crumlin Road Gaol

'Creative Carlisle' Skills Expo at the Crumlin Road Gaol

Northern Ireland Opera and the Belfast Buildings Trust are working together on a special creative skills expo for people to come and explore their interests in theatre-making skills.  Come along, find out more and try out a few skills at the Black and White Hall at the Crumlin Road Gaol on Thursday 10th and Saturday 12th November: it’s free!

We’ll be showcasing four different areas of interest demonstrated by leading professionals in their fields of music and movement, set and costume design, make-up and wigs and technical management.

This free skills expo is designed for you to come and explore in a fun and welcoming environment what might be possible as a career in the arts: or if you’ve ever just wondered about how theatre and opera is made, then this is the event for you.

The event is open to people of all ages but we’d recommend 14+.

Skills Table 1 – Storytelling through Music and Movement.  Soprano Mary McCabe, pianist Tristan Russcher, Choreographer Rosie Mullins

  • Learn about melodies and harmonies through song
  • Learn how the voice and other instruments work together
  • Learn about matching movement to a style of music
  • How to build a toolbox of physicality to embody your character

Skills Table 2 – Building a Character with Costume: Marie Kirkby

  • Look at costumes throughout history
  • Learn colours, textures and different types of costume that tell different stories
  • Try on different costumes and accessories to discover how these affect your character’s physicality

Skills Table 3 – Designing a look through Stage Hair and Makeup: Connie McGrath and Clare Afshar

  • Learn about different make-up for different characters
  • Learn about why it is necessary to wear make-up on stage, and what you gain by highlighting or diminishing your own facial features to create a new character’s face

Skills Table 4 – Creating and Designing a Set

  • Learn what goes into designing a set that communicates the world your character lives in
  • Learn about the different kinds of sets that can be built in theatres, specific sites, indoors, outdoors etc. and what skills you need to build them
  • Learn about the different technical components of a box set; flats, french braces, floors, practical entries

More about the Belfast Buildings Trust/Carlisle Memorial Church plans.

Belfast Buildings Trust is working with Northern Ireland Opera and other partners to explore what happens in Carlisle Memorial Church. The building’s future must play a creative role in Belfast’s future. We want the ideas for what it can be to come from working with you and others across Belfast. It means that this work is about the places you know and love. If you want to know more about this or to make a suggestion, contact Shane Quinn at or visit the Belfast Building Trust website by clicking here.




Mary McCabe

Tristan Russcher

Rosie Mullins

Costume Design
Marie Kirkby

Make-up Design
Connie McGrath

Hair Design
Clare Afshar

Creative Team

Caolan Keaveney