When I found out that I had been chosen to take part in the NAYD Young Critics weekend, I was over the moon!
For the two weeks before the weekend,I could talk of nothing else. On some occasions, the anticipation of an event is more exciting than the event itself but this was certainly not the case with this weekend! From the comical moment as myself and Niamh walked past the GPO staring at, ( and being stared at by) another member of the group as we tried to ascertain whether or not they were part of the Young Critics then eventually decided they were and joined them, I knew it would be a fun weekend!
The weekend was a non-stop whirlwind of activity. We leapt straight in on the Friday evening with a three hour workshop which introduced us to the programme and to each other.
Then on the Saturday, we were up bright and early, despite the busy day before, ready for another workshop followed by “I, Malvolio” and “King Lear”. I had been looking forward to the productions immensely and they were every bit as good as I expected, better in fact!
That Saturday was one of the best experiences I have ever had in theatre. The plays made me laugh, cry, think and wonder throughout. It was also was the busiest day, we met Karen, prepared to see the plays ran for buses desperately trying to extract change from our bags, saw two brilliant pieces
of theatre, scribbled surreptitiously in our notebooks, chatted, laughed and munched our way through a scrumptious dinner at Luigi Malone’s!
After that whirlwind of a day, we settled down in the common room at Marino to eat some supper, discuss our day and play cards and other games, we even asked to have our curfew extended. This was an example of how great the weekend was, normally, if you had that busy a day you would want to tumble into bed and go straight to sleep but we just wanted the day to go on and on!
The next morning, we had our last workshop where we critiqued the plays with Alan and Karen. It was a really interesting workshop as we found out all of the different opinions and ideas everyone had about the plays.
After that, we had to catch our last bus (cue another mad dash to the bus stop with suitcases, change and laughs flying in all directions!) and go home.
I would have loved the weekend to last longer but I suppose I have to be content with the thought of our next one in October (six months away, such a long time!)
The Young Critics weekend was a fun-filled, fascinating, fantastic weekend where I learnt lots, made 14 new friends, (I already new Niamh), and had the time of my life!
Saoirse is a member of Laois Youth Theatre