At the end of February, a month ago today, I had the privilege to witness what can only be described as an emotionally charged and exceptionally devised play by the name of ‘Trial & Error’. The actors who wrote, devised and performed this truly fulfilling play are a group of students nearing completion of their final year of the performing arts course in Dundalk Institute of Technology and have recently organised themselves into their own theatre group – ‘Red Paper Clip Theatre Company’.

red paper clip

The play was staged in the intimate and perfectly apt setting of Dundalk courthouse which accentuated the spirit of the play in a most effective way. Without a doubt the actors complemented one another’s performances beautifully while the professional chemistry between the group was palpable. Each of the actors were expressing their own interpretation of a chosen area of human rights, using speech, music and dance to demonstrate their understanding of the area in question. Tackling issues such as ‘Free Speech’, ‘The Right To Protest’, ‘Due Process’, ‘Rest and Recreation’, ‘Equal Marriage’ and ‘The Right To Practice’ or ‘Not To Practice Religion’ – meticulously delivered, resulting in thought provoking consequences for the audience. The passion involved for the subjects concerned was tangible in the courtroom and the topics being tremendously relevant today, made the experience all the more fulfilling.


I wonder whether the students fully comprehend exactly how phenomenal their play truly was.  Magnificently addressing these subjects, individually the performances were delivered with skill, confidence and natural talent. When combined, the overall production was electric, enlightening and emotionally moving to the core. They’ve managed to define what we should and should not be concerning ourselves with in a world that is becoming more superficial as time goes on. People involved in the arts and performing arts need to see what these guys have done with this and be inspired to do more along these lines of addressing the important issues that people are challenging in modern life.  It was thought provoking and visibly an eye opener for many audience members. If there is any justice in the world, it won’t be the last time the group unite to perform this play, I live in hope to see it again and for many more people to witness and relish it as much as I did. In the meantime I will have to sate my longing with their next installment, a play written by Martin Crimp, ‘Attempts On Her Life’ . The actors are being directed by Gary Keegan (Broken Talkers), for this – their final college production and it opens Wednesday the 2nd of April in Dundalk for a three night run. Find the Red Paper Clip Theatre Company on Facebook and on Twitter @RedPaperClipTC for more information.


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