Martha Knight

Martha Knight

Independent Artist

Martha Knight is a theatre maker, director and sound designer.

Her work has a heavy focus on sound and music: she is interested in the overlaps and in-between spaces within the mediums of theatre, sound and sound technologies, music, and participation. She is a core artist with Tallaght-based collectives SoloSIRENs and Freshly Ground Theatre.

Her recent work as a theatre maker/director includes The King of All Birds (Dublin Fringe 2023, winner of George Fitzmaurice Award), co-directing Sióg (Freshly Ground Theatre at Tymon Park, 2023), The Big Blank (Dublin Youth Theatre 2023), Spear (Dublin Fringe 2022), Supermoon (work-in-progress showing, Centre Culturel Irlandais 2022), and As If By Chance (Tallaght Community Arts, 2022).



Martha is the current recipient of the Druid Theatre Marie Mullen bursary. Her recent sound design credits include design and composition for Freshly Ground Theatre’s This is a Blank Page and Livin’ Dred’s Tarry Flynn, associate sound design for Landmark’s Bedbound and Sibéal Davitt’s Minseach, sound concept design and composition for SoloSIRENs/Tallaght Community Arts’ participatory sound installation Cessair, and creating a bilingual sound installation as part of Company SJ/The Abbey’s Laethanta Sona/Happy Days, at Áras Éanna Arts Centre, Inis Oírr.




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1. The King of All Birds. Martha Knight in The King of All Birds, Written by Martha Knight and Directed by Joy Nesbitt, Produced by Ois O’Donoguhe at Dublin Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Simon Lazewski

2. The King of All Birds. Martha Knight in The King of All Birds, Written by Martha Knight and Directed by Joy Nesbitt, Produced by Ois O’Donoguhe at Dublin Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Killian Harrison

3. The King of All Birds. Martha Knight in The King of All Birds, Written by Martha Knight and Directed by Joy Nesbitt, Produced by Ois O’Donoguhe at Dublin Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Simon Lazewski



★★★★
It feels in one part a history of Ireland but also a heartfelt ode to a country fading into the history books
– The Irish Times (The King of All Birds)

★★★★
Experimental soundscapes, folk music & electrifying voice distortion fuse in a vivid portrayal of our imagination & innovation
– Fringe Biscuit (The King of All Birds)

Jaxbanded Theatre

Jaxbanded Theatre

Independent Artist

Jaxbanded is a passionate new collaborative multidisciplinary arts collective that was founded by Ois O’Donoghue and Ruairí Nicholl in 2020.

The name Jaxbanded is a bastardisation and play on the word ‘Banjaxed’, here meaning the Irish colloquialism for that which is broken down without any hope of recovery. In changing the word we hope to change the meaning, by creating theatre that can hopefully instil a sense of hope and togetherness (or to be ‘banded together’) in what can often be a broken down world that tries to separate us. The word ‘Jax’ (bathroom) encapsulates this in a way, a contemporary place in which the Irish storytelling tradition is often the most alive and well.

The work of Jaxbanded incorporates any and all aspects of live performance including but not limited to traditional theatrical writing, music and movement pieces. In embracing all of these elements, we aspire to create new work that is original, stylistically unique and ultimately most representative of the theatre that we ourselves want to see in the world.





★★★★★
Tear-filled laughter can be heard during the play’s final scene…Five Stars is not enough
– The Irish Times (HYPER)

★★★★
A poised, engaging rumination on identity
– The Review Hub (HYPER)

★★★★
This astonishingly young company being breathtakingly brilliant
– The Arts Review (HATE F%#K)

Past works include HATE F%#K (The New Theatre), Take A Seat (Short Film), HYPER (Dublin Fringe Festival 2023, Nominated for The Fishamble New Writing Award and The George Fitzmaurice Award), Sentimental (Scene & Heard 2023), AION (Itch.io, Interactive Online Theatre Piece, accepted into the Game Developers World Championship 2023) and Camping At The End Of The World (Short Film).

In 2024 Jaxbanded will be touring HYPER nationally and internationally, and developing Ois O’Donoghue’s new play SUPLEX.




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1. HATE F%#K. Leanne Bickerdike in HATE F%#K, Written by Jodie Doyle, Directed by Ois O’Donoghue, Created by Jaxbanded Theatre at The New Theatre. Photo credit: Al Craig

2. HATE F%#K. Leanne Bickerdike and Ruairi Nicholl in HATE F%#K, Written by Jodie Doyle, Directed by Ois O’Donoghue, Created by Jaxbanded Theatre at The New Theatre. Photo credit: Al Craig

3. HYPER. Ois O’Donoghue, Christopher O’Shaughnessy and Fiona Larmon in HYPER, Written and Directed by Ois O’Donoghue, Created by Jaxbanded Theatre at Dublin Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Simon Lazewski



DIAxDEM

DIAxDEM

Independent Artist

DIAxDEM is a majority Black and/or Queer run cooperative label, based in Dublin. Consisting of artists, producers, and DJs.

Founding members Sal Stapleton, Renn Miano, and Proud Ngwenya, along with Nkechi and GawdX, venture beyond traditional boundaries, exploring not only music and live performances but also intersecting areas within visual arts and experiences.

Farah Elle

Farah Elle

Independent Artist

Across Farah Elle’s childhood, music was a sanctuary.

It gave her a vocabulary to process various life happenings from the impact of her incredible family history in Libya to universal experiences intrinsic with becoming a fearless young woman in modern society. Everything that shaped who Farah is as a person today is masterfully reflected in her artistry and documented on FATIMA, her long-awaited debut record released in October 2022.

Farah’s devotion to music developed at an early age. Watching her older siblings playing together, she was inspired to pick up a guitar and experiment unselfconsciously. Soon after, she penned poetry, singing her words to a piano accompaniment. These moments of self-taught musical expression were hugely cathartic for her. Sitting at the piano gave Farah a space to examine pivotal moments in her life with an unfiltered defiance across her delivery: “I do this to remove it from my bones,” she sings on lead single ‘Play It By Ear’.

When Farah was eighteen months old her family relocated to Ireland, leaving their home in Libya behind. Despite the geographical distance, her ancestral connections to Libya’s historically fraught political landscape lingered over her adolescent years in Ireland. Farah’s grandfather was a court martial judge until 1969, having imprisoned Gaddafi before he became president. While her mother served as the first female Minister for Health for the provisional government after the Libyan Revolution in 2011, during which time Farah was doing her Leaving Cert in Ireland. Her paternal grandmother spent years of her youth in Italian concentration camps during the Italian occupation of Libya. These drastically different positions demonstrate a remarkable contrast between power and defeat in her lineage. These extraordinary ties to Libya often caused internal conflict and confusion in how she should embrace her heritage.


Through songwriting, Farah explored the effects of her unconventional upbringing. Themes of displacement in the period post-Libyan Revolution coexist with songs navigating the challenges of adulthood. These issues are eloquently articulated across FATIMA, the culmination of close to a decade’s worth of songwriting. On her debut album, the North African-Irish artist’s powerful cadence is a commanding force amongst the instantly captivating cinematic soundscapes. Reflecting on her debut, Farah describes this introduction as a “coming of age record”, one across which she hears herself “unfolding in the songs”.

Farah attended BIMM Institute Dublin, graduating in 2016. There, she honed her craft and began writing material that would feature on her inaugural release. ‘Silk’, the album’s opening track, was written when Farah was only 19 years-old; two years after the Libyan Revolution. The recording of that song, in particular, marked a monumental milestone for her artistic expression. It was the first time she weaved traditional Arabic melodies into the overall tapestry of her music. With FATIMA, Farah Elle has melded her combined North African and Irish heritage to create a sound that is thoroughly contemporary and completely her own.

To date, Farah played numerous prestigious venues and festivals in Ireland including Vicar Street, The Sugar Club, Electric Picnic, and All Together Now. In November 2021, Farah collaborated with renowned Irish folk musician Liam Ó Maonlaí for a performance commissioned specially for the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards.

Outside of performing concerts, Farah dedicates time to sharing her knowledge as a full-time Artist by facilitating music & wellness workshops. She works with people of all ages and backgrounds about the empowering qualities of creative expression and our capacity to heal through music & movement. She gives one-on-one sessions as well as group classes.


Dulanii

Dulanii

Independent Artist

Comprised of two members that reflect a yin & yang quality contrast in sounds & style.

Dulanii’s music is reminiscent of indigenous ritual music that is glued together with contemporary, attention-grabbing production. Dulanii is the Arabic phrase for “guide the way”, which succinctly describes this duo’s approach to creating music as a means of connection with the self and with one another. Based on the explorations of music & movement as medicine to ward off stagnant energy that doesn’t serve the highest good, there is a courage to Dulanii’s music that aims to liberate the human spirit.

The potency is in the rawness of their sound, and is exactly the point where they aim to transform pain into power and share the joy that oneness brings.

The two members, Proud Ngwenya (aka PRÂUD) and Farah El Neihum (aka Farah Elle) both contribute to the sound in profoundly different ways. As young children who hailed to Ireland from opposite ends of Africa, one can’t deny the role that this experience evidently plays out in the sound of their shared project. Honoring their ancestors and making space for the Amazigh & Zulu tribes of the North & South to co-exist and connect musically (for the first time ever) through the unique sound that Dulanii has – they are equally as excited to see how this project grows and develops.


Reflecting on what Dulanii means to them; both Farah & Proud mention “finding huge freedom from limiting beliefs” while they create this music together. Even during the early days of writing, they were met with fear from their loved ones based on the radical nature of the sound. After reflecting and considering if they should change their sound to be safer, it became clear that one thing remained – the freedom that art provides. This goes to show how challenging it can be to do something that hasn’t really been done before. This remains as their motivation to stay true to their sound and make music that comes directly from the heart, without fear of dogma or limiting beliefs.

Dulanii’s music aims to provide a space for people to hear and feel their own truth too. By protecting the inner child and allowing a sense of play. To create & make noise for them, to give them a space to let the spirit heal and celebrate the journey of life.

Dulanii guide the way for themselves to be closer to union through music.


Zainab Boladale

Zainab Boladale

Independent Artist

Zainab Boladale is a Journalist, TV Presenter and Public Speaker.

She was born in Nigeria and raised in Co.Clare. In 2017, Zainab broke new grounds and became more widely known as the first Black woman to work on any Irish TV News station. Through her work, she has been bringing Irish viewers personal stories of resilience, highlighting talented young Irish people and showcasing events from around the country. She has also recently written and directed her first short film ‘Worthy’, which was screened at the Outhouse, Dublin and more recently GAZE film festival. Currently she has just concluded writing her first book, which is due to be published by O’Brien Press.

“I’ve always been aware of my strong desire to glimpse into other people’s lives and learn about their journey to becoming”.

With a passion for showcasing the extraordinary stories of ordinary people through her excellent work with national show nationwide.





Khanyisile Mbukwane

Khanyisile Mbukwane

Independent Artist

Khanyisile Mbukwane is an Irish-based poet, writer, and project coordinator.

Originating from South Africa – A proud Black Queer human. They have performed at Black Queer Bookclub & R.A.P Party at the Abbey theatre, WEAREGRIOT.

They have been published in Tongues, Slight motif, IambeyoutfiulUk and most recently Breaking Ground Ireland. Their work focuses on facing trauma, confronting girlhood, and navigating romantic relationships. They have self published their first Poetry Anthology titled ‘A Girl And Her Poems’, which is available at Connolly Books. Their live performance of their book took place in Project Arts Centre November 22”. They are currently working on their follow up work/s.


Sal Stapleton

Sal Stapleton

Independent Artist

Sal is a non-binary multidisciplinary artist known for their immersive and diverse creations, combining animation, VFX, lighting, and stage design.

Their work has gained recognition through collaborations, online showcases, and festival performances. In 2021, their ALYXIS debut earned acclaim for its immersive audiovisual experience. Sal’s skills extend to game development, 3D modeling, animation, sound mixing, and VR.

They explore installation art, live performance, and visual projects. Sal co-founded DIAxDEM, a music label, and established creative arts and media company Goldmoth Media.

What sets Sal apart is their self-taught approach to music and visuals. They’ve tirelessly pursued knowledge through online tutorials and sought inspiration from experts. This drive stems from their upbringing in the DIY punk scene, which instilled self-reliance and a determination to create independently. Sal’s journey is defined by independence, handling songwriting, production, and visuals with meticulous care. Their art reflects a raw authenticity and unapologetic individuality rooted in their DIY punk background.

Sal’s story is a testament to their determination, resilience, and commitment to their craft, forging their own artistic path and inspiring others with fearless expression.

www.salstapleton.com


Julia Head

Julia Head

Independent Artist

Julia is a director of theatre, film and audio from Bristol. They are BAD at sitting still or being quiet, so their practice rigorously investigates live work and the MESS, MISTAKES and SPACE that exists within its walls.

Jules is obsessed with RULES (too many of them) and TIME (never enough of it) and how people exist together in opposition to both. They work in collaboration with actors who play games HARD and dance FAST and push EVERYTHING to discover the connection and intimacy needed to survive.

They are the Artistic Director of FullRogue, a theatre company that exists to stress-test the model of new writing. Their debut production of WILD SWIMMING won the Pleasance Regional Partnership award and the Ronald Duncan Award in 2019 and was selected for the Brits Off Broadway 2020. They are the Company Director of Young SixSix that makes professional work with young people. Their first short film, SON OF HELIOS was selected for Prague Indie International and Manchester Lift Off Festival 2023.

They currently have work in development with Bristol Old Vic and The Egg, Bath. They are an Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic, Associate Director of Twisted Theatre, and a trustee of MAYK and Headlong.

Recent Credits include: FLIES by Charlie Josephine (Shoreditch Town Hall), LYSISTRATA (Young SixSix), ROMEO AND JULIET (Bristol Old Vic), I FEEL YOU APART FROM ME by Emer Heatley (Dublin Fringe), MASSIVE by Charlie Josephine (Audible Original Productions).





There is an effusive, contagious sense of buoyancy in Wild Swimming…It’s all incredibly fucking charming – Julia Head’s direction gives Lamb and Baldwin room to be loose and messy, but is precise when it needs to hit certain emotional beats. Exeunt (Wild Swimming)

Deliciously immodest, formally inventive and searingly clever’Audible Review (Massive)

Stephanie Dufresne

Stephanie Dufresne

Independent Artist

Stephanie Dufresne (she/her) is a dancer, actor and choreographer from the West of Ireland based in Dublin.

Stephanie has been making work with Laura Sheeran for the last seven years, and their first full-length production is currently to be seen at the Galway Arts Festival 2021. After Love is based on the poetry of Dani Gill and uses dance, music, poetry and film to explore the grief, loss and resilience that can result from the end of a long-term relationship. Stephanie is interested in continuing to create works that use dance in unusual ways to explore larger themes and narrative.


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1. Stephanie Dufresne in In Clouds by Peter Power/Sparsile Collective for the Cork Midsummer Festival. Photo credit: Laura Sheeran (2018) 

2. Michelle O’Rourke in Dust for Irish National Opera. Photo credit: Kip Carroll (2020) 

3. Stephanie Dufresne in As An Nos by Donnacha Dennehy for Crash Ensemble. Photo credit: Kate Bean (2017)