‘Reset’@The MAC Theatre

Congratulations to Grosvenor’s hugely talented Deputy Head Girl Claire Sullivan, Year Fourteen, who recently put her abundant abilities to great use by composing and directing her own play, entitled ‘Reset’, which was produced and performed at Belfast’s prestigious MAC theatre at the beginning of April.

The journey which led to ‘Reset’ eventually reaching the MAC’s stage began when Claire auditioned for the MAC's inaugural Youth Theatre last summer, eventually being accepted into the company of fifteen young people: rehearsals took place once a week, at the MAC itself, throughout the year, with full-day rehearsals taking place throughout school holidays. Not only Claire’s acting, but also her devising skills, were developed as she was given responsibility for overseeing script development as well as creating an original play for the company to perform – which eventually took the form of the aforementioned ‘Reset’.

The play takes a sideways look at the current political situation in Northern Ireland from young people’s perspectives, exploring the possibility of a world, in the near future, in which recent history has been banned following a period of unspeakable violence and conflict. Set against this political climate, a group of highly skilled eighteen-year-olds are brought together in a space and are faced with the ultimate conundrum: can we ever erase the past or are we destined to forever repeat history? The engaging, captivating and challenging play proved a huge hit when performed at the MAC on two occasions over Easter, and hopefully it will now serve as a springboard for Claire to further develop her writing skills as she looks to pen further plays in the near future.

In addition, building on Claire’s recent success at the MAC, she has also since been cast in Youth Music Theatre UK’s company of Paperboy which will be performed in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, in July 2018. Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) is a national performing arts company that specialises in creating brand new music theatre: it works across the UK and Ireland with leading industry professionals to offer unique opportunities and high-quality training to young singers, actors, dancers and musicians, as well as emerging artists and stage technicians. Its alumni includes Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, and it has created over sixty brand new musicals, including Loserville the Musical, which went on to be produced professionally in the West End and was nominated for ‘Best New Musical’ at the Olivier, Whatsonstage and BroadwayWorldUK awards. 

Paperboy is a new musical drama set against the gritty backdrop of 1970s Belfast on the Upper Shankill Road. Based on the much-loved memoir by Irish novelist and peace builder Tony Macaulay, it has been adapted for musical stage, with music from award-winning artist Duke Special and writing by stand-up comedian and published writer Andrew Doyle

All at Grosvenor wish to extend a huge congratulations to Claire on her recent success at the MAC whilst also wishing her the best of luck for her impending performances at the Lyric Theatre this summer; we look forward to following her theatre-related progress as she no doubt enjoys continued success over the many years to come.

Grosvenor's Deputy Head Girl Claire Sullivan (front row, third from left) with the cast of 'Reset' during rehersals for the play, which she wrote and directed, and which was performed at the Mac Theatre in early April.