Galway Makes a Move in Rijeka


Creative Europe’s Make a Move programme travels to Galway’s European Capital of Culture partner, Rijeka for another exciting session of creativity and skill-sharing.

Make a Move was conceived in 2018 as a hot house for budding European partnerships – “an art incubator for contemporary European non-institutionalised theatre”. The project sees a core group of 10 European practicioners in movement-based theatre join heads with local theatre-makers through a series of creative labs held in Galway, Rijeka (Croatia) and Targu Mures (Romania). The fruits of these sessions will later meet their audiences at events in Galway and Rijeka during the 2020 celebrations.

Galway Theatre Festival launched the first lab on Inis Oírr in April 2019, as part of InterAction, a Galway 2020 project exploring the power of interactive technologies in theatre. A core group of 10 European practicioners attended a workshop in digital practices, along with 10 local theatre-makers. Participants left equipped with new methods for engaging audiences and developing their practices (both artistically and professionally) through the use of new technologies.

For its next session, the Make a Move incubator will focus on urban locations as sites for artistic intervention. An expert historian will lead the core group on a tour of key locations throughout Rijeka which will form the framework for projects to come. A cultural expert on audience engagement will accompany, explaining the significance of each area to local communities in both historical and contemporary contexts. Over the course of nine days (10–19 September), theatre-makers will collaborate with the people of Rijeka to transform their everyday surroundings, drawing new, perhaps unsuspecting audiences.

James Riordan, artistic director at the emerging Brú Theatre, will represent Galway in Rijeka. You might remember James’s work from Galway 2020 Small Towns Big Ideas project The Fisherwives, where shawl-clad, masked characters transported audiences back to the fish markets of early 20th Century Galway. Brú Theatre is known for bringing stories to life through physical expression. James often employs live music, masks and puppetry to move audiences and give form to characters’ emotions. The urban landscape of Rijeka, a bohemian city on the shores of the Kvarner Bay, is sure to leave its mark on James’s practice.

Galway has solidified its reputation in the world of contemporary theatre and performing arts throughout the years. Projects like Make a Move grow that influence while injecting new skills and perspectives into the county’s cultural fabric. Collaboration with European partners is invaluable to up-and-coming creative companies like Brú Theatre, as they work to secure their presence on an international platform. We can’t wait to see what the creative minds of Make a Move have in store for us in 2020.


Make a Move is a Creative Europe programme of the European Union, co-funded by Galway 2020 and presented by Galway Theatre Festival, with additional funding from the Arts Council and Galway City Council.

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