In his own words — Marc Mac Lochlainn

In his own words — Marc Mac Lochlainn

Marc Mac Lochlainn

Marc Mac Lochlainn is artistic director at Branar Téatar do Pháistí and owner of Bricí Spraoi — The Imagination Playground — in Co. Galway.

At Branar we are committed to being at the forefront of children’s theatre in Ireland. We strive for a simple, elegant form of theatre for young people, such as Rothar, recently staged in London.

I am also lecturer in educational drama and theatre at Acadamh na hOllscoile Gaillimh. I guest lecturer in St Pats Drumcondra, CICE and Froebel colleges of Education.

Currently I'm working on two new theatre pieces for children, one with Cambridge based NIE and one at home in Galway as well as.

James Thiérrée, the Swiss circus performer, violinist, actor and director, is probably the performer who has most influenced me. In a wider field I love watching Cillian Murphy perform.

I live in Headford Co. Galway. Beside me is the beautiful Loch Corrib.

It’s hard to be human and I feel like most people are doing their best in their own way. But I do admire people who have the strength to question what is going on especially when it’s unpopular.

A man called Séamus Ó Duilearga set up the Folklore Commission in Ireland in the 1930s and it because of his work and the work of people like him that we have a such a rich treasure trove of songs, stories and heritage. I have huge admiration for him

My motto would be, “Ní bhíonn sa saol ach seal” - life is for living. But I love the line from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, “There is always something left to love.”

Ulysses by James Joyce has been very present in my life over the past year. Our theatre has just finished an adaptation for children.

Talking about inanimate objects, my tools are my most precious possessions. When I am not making theatre I am mostly making something or working in the garden. Its really is good for the soul

I truly believe that some of the greatest works of art that I have seen have been work that is made for children. Nothing is off limits with work for children: it can be a mix of puppetry, dance, live music, clown and whatever else is needed to tell the story. Theatre for young audiences cannot rely on words so the inventiveness of the work knows no bounds.

For those who come to see Rothar, I would want them to enjoy the pure unedited play. I tried to be inventive and imaginative, children will look at what the performers do in the play and say “yeah I do that”, there is no end to the inventiveness of imagination when children are playing and we want to celebrate that.

Children are audiences of now. They are not audiences of the future. You only get one chance to be 3,4 or 5 and they are a sacred time, years that are completely different from any other year of your life. It is our responsibility as adults to make sure that children get the most amazing arts experiences ever. The importance of a festival to celebrate this work allows for a focus on the magical work that is made specifically for the early years the magical years.