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Summertime At The MAC This Winter
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The gripping drama ‘Summertime‘ by award-winning playwright David Ireland premieres at the MAC this winter.

Tinderbox Theatre Company in association with the MAC premieres a thought-provoking drama this November which features a host of well-known names and is guaranteed to have audiences on the edge of their seats. Summertime written by David Ireland and directed by Michael Duke is a thrilling, hard-hitting drama performed by an extremely talented Northern Irish cast including Ivan Little.  It will be showing in Upstairs at the MAC from Tuesday 5 to Wednesday 16 November.dn_screen

Belfast-born, David Ireland is one of Northern Ireland’s leading playwrights and this is the first time his work will be performed in the MAC.  He is critically acclaimed having won both the Meyer Whitworth Award and the Stewart Parker Radio Drama Award for his last Tinderbox play, ‘Everything Between Us’.

Accomplished actor, journalist and author, Ivan Little will play the part of Joe. Ivan has worked with Tinderbox on a number of acclaimed productions most notably in The Cleanroom by John McCann and God’s Country by Colin Bell. Established actor Richard Clements plays the part of Jonathan, the local minister. Richard trained at the Royal Welsh College and has a wealth of experience including performances with Tinderbox in Caught Red Handed in 2005 and Bruised in 2008.

Working with Tinderbox for the first time, Victoria Armstrong and Ryan McParland, two of Northern Ireland’s rising stars have both had many on and off-screen roles under their belts, including a lead part for Ryan in BBC 1 drama Six Degrees.

Summertime tells the story of Jonathan, who is struggling to establish himself as the local minister in a working class East Belfast parish. One night, a young man named Isaac (Ryan McParland) staggers into his office panicked, drenched in blood and declaring he is possessed by the devil.  Jonathan lends an open ear and as he delves further into this young man’s story, he finds himself a target of suspicion in the local community.  As things spiral out of control, Jonathan soon finds himself having to make a life or death decision about who he can and cannot trust.

Gillian Mitchell, Director of Programmes at the MAC, said: “As one of our Associate Artists, we’ve worked with Tinderbox in two previous productions at the MAC and the company has never shied away from highlighting social issues that are relevant to local audiences. A draft read through of this production was piloted at our Pick n Mix festival to which there was a very positive audience reaction.  It’s a intense piece of theatre, by leading playwright David Ireland and an extremely talented cast and one that is sure to move and challenge audiences in all the right ways.”

Michael Duke, Director of Summertime, said: “The MAC is a fantastic theatre and I am delighted to be bringing our next production here. Rehearsals have begun and to work with such an extremely talented cast and writer has been very rewarding.  We piloted the rehearsed reading as part of a festival at the MAC during the summer and audience reaction was great.  We have since developed it into a two week run at the MAC and are really looking forward to opening it next month.”

Summertime opens at the MAC on 5 November and runs until 16 Nov, tickets priced from £12-17.

Tickets are on sale now at www.themaclive.com or from the box office (0)28 90 235053.

Tinderbox has created over 40 world premiere productions, exploring topical stories and cutting edge styles, with Northern Ireland’s leading playwrights and theatre artists.

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Ivan Little

Ivan combines a career as a journalist, author and professional actor.

Theatre includes: for GBL Productions, ‘The History of the Troubles (according’ to my Da)’, ‘Is the Priest at Home?’ (Theatre Ulster), ‘Winners Losers and Non-Runners’ (Pointfields Theatre), ‘The Evangelist’ (Centre Stage), ‘Educating Rita’ (Lyric Theatre), ‘Scenes from the Big Picture’ (Prime Cut), ‘Dealer’s Choice’ (Rawlife), ‘A Reason to Believe’ (Epic Productions), ‘God’s Country’ (Tinderbox), ‘The Cleanroom’ (Tinderbox), ‘The Christening’ (Brassneck), ‘Christmas Eve Can Kill You’ (Theatre at the Mill), ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (Waterfront) and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ (Grand Opera House).

Films include: ‘Hidden Agenda’, ‘Jumpers’ and ‘Mo’
Winner of best actor awards in the Ulster, all-Ireland and European amateur drama finals

Victoria Armstrong

Victoria trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and graduated in 2009. Some theatre credits include Beatrice in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ on White Horse Theatre’s 12 month European tour and she also played Ellen in the debut performance of ‘Belfast Girls’ by Jaki McCarrick at The Kings Head Theatre, London. Since returning to Belfast she has worked with C21 as the Genie in ‘Aladdin’ at The Braid and for the last year she has worked with Replay Theatre Company in their development and production ‘BABBLE’, which performed at The Mac and toured across Ireland. ‘Summertime’ is Victoria’s first Tinderbox production and she is very excited to be a part of it.

Ryan McParland

Theatre includes: ‘Hold Your Tongue, Hold Your Head’ (Semel Theatre Boston), ‘Drum Belly’ (Abbey Theatre), ‘The Civilisation Game’ (Lyric Theatre Belfast), ‘Born Again’ (Colonnade Theatre), ‘Doughnuts’ (Team), ‘One Tribe’ (Spanner in the Works), ‘Choices’ (C21 NI Tour).

Film and television includes: ‘Get Up and Go’ (GuG Prods), ‘Deadbook’ (Zanzibar Films), ‘Fishbowl City’ (DBS Prods), ‘Six Degrees II’ (BBC), ‘SLR’ (SLR Films), ‘Igloo’ (MFD Films), ‘Spoof or Die’ (Channel 4), ‘Imbolc’ (NI Screen), ‘Six Degrees’ (BBC), ‘Good Vibrations’ (Canderblinks), ‘Say Nothing’ (NI Screen).

Richard Clements

Richard trained at Royal Welsh College.

His previous Tinderbox credits include: ‘Caught Red Handed’, ‘Bruised’

Other recent theatre credits include: ‘Pride and Prejudice the Musical’ (Lyric Theatre), ‘Same Time

Next Year’ (Skewiff/Belfast Film Festival), ‘Comedy of Errors’ (Theatre at the Mill), ‘Titanic Boys’

(GBL ), ‘Collecting Culture’ (Kabosh), ‘The Miser, Pentecost’, ‘Spokesong’, ‘Observe the Sons of

Ulster’, ‘Paradise’,  ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘The Nativity’, ‘What the Reindeer Saw’ (All Lyric Theatre), ‘The

Old Curiosity Shop’  (Gate Theatre), ‘Transparency’ (Ransom), ‘Arguments for Terrorism’  (Oran

Mor/Ransom), ‘Over the Bridge’ (Green Shoot), ‘Confusions’, ‘Blue Remembered Hills’, ‘O What a

Lovely War’ (Bruiser), ‘Zoo Story’, ‘Time Flies’ (C21), ‘Have a Nice Life’  (Pleasance), ‘Lovers’ (Big

Telly), ‘The Dreamer Examines His Pillow’ (Stray Dawg), ‘Danny Boy’ (Westcliff Palace)

Film and TV credits include: ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘The Keith Lemon Movie’, ‘Free Spirits’, ‘Titanic Town’,

‘S.O.S The Titanic Inquiry’, ‘Betrayal of Trust’, ‘Scapegoat’, ‘At Water’s Edge’, ‘Wodehouse in Exile’, ‘The

English Class’,  ‘I Can’t Stop My Dream’ (NI Screen Short).

For full programme details and tickets, £12-17 are available from www.themaclive.com.