Fast & Loose in its ninth year in Belfast headed back to the Naughton Studio for the fourth year at the Lyric.

In a 24-hour takeover of the Lyric, Accidental Theatre creates & premieres four new plays in just one day. At 9 p.m. on Friday, four writers are given a selection of random inspirations & just twelve hours to write a short play each. Then at 9 a.m. on Saturday, four directors, twelve performers and six stage crew arrive & start rehearsing each new play, which all premiere that very night, Saturday 28th November at 9 p.m. Join us for this bold & breathless experiment in playmaking.

It's an unpredictable, unique & uplifting showcase of some of the finest theatre artists working in Northern Ireland.

Embrace the unknown.

Fast & Loose 2015

Lyric Theatre, Naughton Studio
Saturday 28th November 2015

Simple Easy Things That Will Make You the Next Millionaire

by Mary-Frances Doherty
Directed by Rhiann Jeffrey
Assistant Stage Manager: Ryan Orr
Cast: Grainne McGee, Sandra ni Bhrion & Vicky Blades

No Place Like Home

by Jimmy Kerr
Directed by Miche Doherty
Assistant Stage Manager: Conor McGuinness
Cast: Holly Hannaway, Marina Hampton & Noel Griffin

Safety Pin

by Vittoria Cafolla
Directed by Oisín Kearney
Assistant Stage Manager: Roger Dane
Cast: Ignacy Rybarczyk, Cathan McRoberts & Catherine Rees

Flash Mob Dance Party

by Katie Richardson
Directed by Nicholas Boyle
Assistant Stage Manager: Laura Hamill
Cast: Christine Clare & Michael Patrick


Dramaturg  Emily DeDakis

Producer  Richard Lavery

Stage Manager Teresa Hill

Stage Manager  Conal Clapper

About the 2015 Writers

MARY-FRANCES DOHERTY is an Actress & Theatre Maker from Northern Ireland. She graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BA(Hons) Degree in Contemporary Theatre Practice in 2007. In 2011, she was awarded an ACES Award from the Arts Council of NI and in 2012 she received a Hatch Artist Award from the MAC. In 2013, she was Artist in Residence at the Ballymena Arts Festival and in 2014 she was invited, as a founding member of the performance collective Curious Doings, to perform in Brussels as part of The Northern Ireland Executive Office and ACNI Culture Night 2014 celebrations. She is currently an International Schools Theatre Association Artist and an Associate Artist with Young at Art. Mary-Frances is delighted to be working with Accidental Theatre again on this exciting project.

JIMMY KERR trained as an actor at the William Esper Studio in New York(NY). He holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. He is the creator of Ardnaglass on the Air, House Strictly Private and Maybe all of which have featured in the 1st Irish Theatre festival in NYC. Jimmy last appeared on stage in NY in a command performance of In Shorts, a collaboration with Belfast-born actress Geraldine Hughes at the Irish Repertory Theatre. Jimmy Kerris the recipient of the 2013 Origin Award for Special Achievement and is member of the Dramatist Guild of America. Fast & Loose is his Lyric debut. Special thanks to Shannon Yee and to Emily and Richard and all at Accidental Theatre Company.

VITTORIA CAFOLLA has just completed an MFA in Playwriting at The Lir, Trinity College Dublin. She has written for, amongst others, Kabosh, Belfast Film Festival (Raiders of the Last Story Arc, 2011), Skewiff (The Waiting Room, 2010), (The ExFiles, 2011), (The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ (edited) 2013). She is a member of Agent160 Theatre Company, an all-female theatre company set up to combat the 17% statistic. With them her play The Last Word toured to London, Cardiff, & Glasgow, and was programmed for Belfast Festival at Queens in 2012. She also had a monologue performed with Agent 160 during the nationwide event Fun Palaces in the Wales Millennium Centre in October 2014. 

KATIE RICHARDSON is a musician, composer, musical director and facilitator. In 2012 she was featured as one of the Irish Times 'Northern Lights' which profiled people changing the face of NI in their particular fields. She makes music under the name Goldie Fawn and has shared a stage and worked with many artists such as Duke Special, Van Morrison and Foy Vance. She also works as a composer for many theatre companies and organisations in NI. In 2016 she will return to the MAC as Artist in Residence and will also travel to Chicago to work on two musical commissions for 2016 and 2017. She also recently completed a score for short film The Death of a Projectionist by BAFTA award-winning Out of Orbit Films. Katie became a TEDx speaker earlier this year talking about her work discussing beauty and promoting positive body image through creativity.

Eternal thanks to our brilliant crowd funders for supporting Fast & Loose 2015:

Elizabeth McConnell

Elaine Duncan

Stephen Beggs

Shauneen Young

Thomas Clarke

Moninne Dargan

Dave Kinghan

Aidan Hill

Paul Bleakney

Fra Gunn

Garrett Carr

Rebecca Mairs

Cynthia DeDakis

Hannah Coyle 

Louise Davidson

Neville McClenaghan

Sandra Lavery 

Brendan Rice

Nathan Mateer

Ruth Hartle 

Hamilton Lavery

Gerry Hellawell

Andrea Montgomery

Sean Hill

Shannon Sickels

Gráinne Close 

Jonti Dalal-Small

Helen Ashton

Rachel Szmukler

Anthony Toner

Stee Bleeakney

John Shayegh

 Hilary Copeland

Christine Morrow

Claire Ferry

Zoe Fox

Maggie Cronin

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Returning to the Lyric for its third year, our latest Fast & Loose project was one of our most successful and challenging to date. Four new mini-plays were written overnight in this twenty-four hour play project. A bold and often breathless experiment in playmaking and inspiring creativity, all housed in the Lyric over twenty-four hours. From 9pm on Friday 3rd October, four playwrights had only 12 hours to craft a new short play each. At 9am the following day four directors and casts had a further 12 hours to rehearse, develop and stage the plays, all premiering that very night in the Lyric's Naughton Studio. 

Fast & Loose 2014

Lyric Theatre, Naughton Studio
Saturday 4th October 2014

Chinese Whispers 

by Gillian Grattan
Directed by Don McCamphill
Assistant Stage Manager: Min Witts
Cast: Cathy Brennan-Bradley, Elaine Duncan, Tanya Thomson & Fra Gunn

The Bird Cage

by Rob Hollway
Directed by Richard Lavery
Assistant Stage Manager: Noel Griffin
Cast: Hannah Coyle, Mark Byrne & Nichola Bush

Straw Bones

by Megan Armitage
Directed by Claire Lamont
Assistant Stage Manager: John Logan
Cast: Stephen Clarke, Sarah Lyle & Noel McGee


by Ronan Blaney
Directed by J.P. Conaghan
Assistant Stage Manager: Sophie Duffin
Cast: Adam Turns & Chris Grant

Dramaturg & Producer  Emily DeDakis

Producer  Richard Lavery

Marketing  Elizabeth Meehan

Stage Manager  Jackie O'Hagan

Deputy Stage Manager Teresa Hill

About the 2014 Writers

GILLIAN GRATTAN is a graduate of  University of Ulster. Her plays include Beyond the Forest, Ascension, Lost Weekend, No Room For Sweet, Waiting for Double O, Fish out Of Water, Be My Baby, The Undertakers, Snapshot, Hooked! And Last Orders. Gillian is currently doing a Hdip in TV Arts Production through Irish at Waterford Institute of Technology. Mitching off college for this … very rebellious indeed.

ROB HOLLWAY is tired of knocking his head against the brick wall of the film industry He woke up one day and decided to write for theatre. He loved it so much that he packed in a white collar career, and is currently working with a Belfast theatre company on a play about painted ladies.

MEGAN ARMITAGE hails from Donegal. She began writing as part of a group which devised several pieces at the Gaiety School of Acting. End of the Line was performed at Smock Alley in Dublin and at the Edinburgh and Belfast fringe festivals. Her first full-length play, Subject No.Y, was performed at this year's Pick 'n' Mix festival.

RONAN BLANEY is a part-time teacher and screen-writer. He was selected for Coming Up in 2009 and his film BOY was broadcast on Channel 4 in September 2010. A short film BACK OF BEYOND won a Royal Television Award and was nominated for the European Film Award. A feature-length screenplay BONHOEFFER, starring Jeremy Irons, will be shot in early 2015; another feature DON’T LET GO, to be directed by David Gleeson, is scheduled for production summer 2015. Fast & Loose is his first taste of theatre. Hopefully it won’t be his last.

The 2014  Fast & Loose  team

The 2014 Fast & Loose team

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After a long night and day of writing, rants, realisations and finally rehearsals in the Lyric we staged four new mini-plays from our Fast & Loose writers and teams. A huge thank you to everyone who was a part of this mad project and another thank you to everyone who came to the one-off sell-out performance. With special thanks to the team and staff at the Lyric Theatre for working with us.

Fast & Loose is a twenty-four hour play project which originated in Los Angeles with Sacred Fools Theater Company. A bold and often breathless experiment in playmaking and inspiring creativity, all housed in the Lyric Theatre for twenty-four hours. From 9pm on November 8th, four playwrights had only 12 hours to craft a new short play. At 9am the following day four directors and casts had a further 12 hours to rehearse the plays, which were premiered that night in the Lyric's Naughton Studio. Drama doesn't come any fresher. 

The results are often unpredictable, unique and uplifting, showcasing some of the finest theatre and creative artists working in Northern Ireland. 

Fast & Loose 2013

Lyric Theatre, Naughton Studio
Saturday 9th November 2013

The Wish 

by Mark Kavanagh
Directed by Tony Devlin
Assistant: Teresa Hill
Cast: Cathy Brennan-Bradley (Eleanor), Jenna Byrne (Francie) & Morgaine FitzSymons (Nat)

Frankenstein's Daemon - Further Tragedies and the Final Resolve

by Andrea Montgomery
Directed by Leonie McDonagh
Assistant: Noel Griffin
Cast: Elaine Duncan (Mary), Mary Jordan (Harriet), Conor Maguire (Percy) & Cillian O'Sullivan (Daemon)


by Fionnuala Kennedy
Directed by Janice Kernoghan
Assistant: Andrew Gray
Cast: Stephen Clarke (Conor), Rachael McCabe (Mother) & Jason McLaughlin (Liam)


by Jan Carson
Directed by Jason Parkes
Assistant: Jackie O'Hagan
Cast: Shaun Blaney (Pete) & Miche Doherty (Dirp)

Dramaturg  Emily DeDakis

Producer  Richard Lavery

Marketing  Elizabeth Meehan

Stage Manager  Jackie O'Hagan

Deputy Stage Manager Teresa Hill

About the 2013 Writers

JAN CARSON is a writer and community arts development officer currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University Belfast and an MLitt. in Theology and Contemporary Culture from St. Andrew’s University, Scotland. She has previously lived and worked in Oregon, Colorado and London. Jan has had several short stories published in literary journals on both sides of the Atlantic and has recently read her work at the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin. She also has experience in screenplay writing and writing for radio and theatre. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, is due for publication in Spring 2014. 

MARK KAVANAGH hales from Donegal but lives in London.  He studied acting at LAMDA and has appeared in productions in London and Ireland. He has written for years and indeed his first theatre experience was a one-act play he wrote called ‘Life from a Park Bench’ which showed at the Crescent Arts Centre in the nineties.  Mark has written many plays, notably Wake and Mad North-North-West which he wrote, produced and acted in for the Camden Fringe in 2012/2013. Mark has just finished a new play, The Bob Anomaly, and is working on a sitcom, Stalled, with writer/comedian Elliott Tiney.

FIONNUALA KENNEDY is a writer and director from Belfast, and currently the Production Assistant for Kabosh. For Kabosh, she has co-directed Wonderwall, Collecting Cultures and Shankill Stories. She has written two plays: Hostel (2010) and recently Love for Sale for the 2013 Belfast Book Festival. Most recently she directed Damian Kearney’s Down on the Main Road for the 2013 Accidental Theatre Biscuit Tin Reading series. 

ANDREA MONTGOMERY has directed over 30 productions and has worked in Canada, the UK, Ireland, Iran, Greenland, China, France, Bulgaria & Slovakia. She was CEO of the Palace Theatre (Westcliff), AD of the Riverside Theatre (Coleraine), and a founder member of the producing consortium ART NI. She came late to writing, but has had seven plays staged and comedy produced by the BBC. Her play ALL AT ONCE I SAW A CROWD was short-listed for the Nick Darke Award 2012.  Early this year she was writer in residence at the Gateway Theatre, Vancouver, and worked on CROWD with the National Theatre of Greenland.

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Fast & Loose is a twenty-four hour play project which originated in Los Angeles with Sacred Fools Theater Company. A thrilling and unusual production that for the 2012 version, Accidental took to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast for the first time.

An experiment in playmaking and inspiring creativity, all housed in one theatre for twenty-four hours. From 9pm on the first day four playwrights have only 12 hours to craft a new short play. At 9am the following day, four directors and casts will have a further 12 hours to make the play, each being performed that night in the Lyric Studio for the first time.

The results are often unpredictable, unique and uplifting, showcasing some of the finest theatre and creative artists working in Northern Ireland. 

Fast & Loose 2012

Lyric Theatre, Naughton Studio
Saturday 17th November 2012

The Final Countdown 

by Shannon Yee
Directed by Claire Lamont
Assistant: Tom Finlay
Cast: Cathy Brennan-Bradley, Teresa Hill, Geoff Hatt, Ryan Crown and Hannah Coyle

An Episode of Captain Cook 

by J.P. Conaghan
Directed by Andrea Montgomery
Assistant: Mairead Quigley
Cast: Miche Doherty, Naseen Morgan, Daisy Brindley, Morgaine FitzSymons


by Stephen Coulter
Directed by Jason Parkes
Assistant: Kathryn McCartin
Cast: Rob Killalay and Mary-Frances Doherty

This is the Scene, the First, Maybe the Only 

by Kristen Kernaghan
Directed by Emma Jordan
Assistant: Ciara McCafferty
Cast: Patrick Strain, Megan Armitage and Stephen Clarke

More about the writers...

SHANNON YEE is a biracial writer who’s been living in Belfast since 2004. While in NI, she has had the pleasure to work with skewiff theatre company, Assault Events, Replay Productions, TheatreofplucK, 25Belfast, Hanna Slättne (Tinderbox), Paul Stapleton (SARC), and now Accidental.

J.P. CONAGHAN is from Derry, lives in Belfast and is a graduate from the University of Ulster, Magee. He teaches Creative Writing for OCN(NI) in Derry. His previous works include: Solicitors, Politics for Arts Sake, Rob 'O Rea and The Last Round. He is currently in the process of producing his latest work The Wall for 2013.

STEPHEN COULTER is a recent graduate of Queen's University Belfast in English and Drama. In 2011 Stephen participated in Tinderbox Theatre Company's young writers programme Fireworks.

KRISTEN KERNAGHAN is an American playwright who moved to Belfast six years ago. In that time she has had the pleasure of working with Accidental Theatre on her short play Fallen Socks and Fear which was performed as part of 15 Minutes: A Very-Short Play Festival.

Dramaturg   Emily DeDakis

Producer  Richard Lavery

Marketing  Elizabeth Meehan

Stage Manager  Ciara McCafferty

Deputy Stage Manager Jo Steele

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