Are you recently retired and looking for a new challenge? Are you an older person who loves going to the theatre and have always dreamt of being on stage yourself? Or has your granny/granda secretly fancied dabbling with some drama classes for a bit of craic?  Maybe you simply want to try something new and meet likeminded people in a fun and creative setting?  Enter Stage Right and prepare to take a bow at the Millennium Forum’s latest access project!

The Millennium Forum today announced details of its brand new initiative for older people – Act Your Age Drama Group.  The age friendly project is aimed at older members of the community and is a FREE monthly event that will be delivered as part of the theatre’s award-winning Access Programme in partnership with Specsavers, AAA (Access to Arts for All), and the Halifax Foundation Grant.  Facilitated by Bernadette MacFarland, the aim of the project is to workshop an original theatrical piece throughout monthly classes which will culminate in a short sketch performed in the Millennium Forum’s Studio Theatre in the summer.

Bernadette has been involved in theatre and drama for over 35 years, having acted in numerous productions on stage and screen. She is also a graduate of the University of Ulster at Magee, having completed a course in Community Drama.  Last year, she directed the one act play, Roll Over Play Dead, which she brought to the Millennium Forum to tremendous applause.

Lisa Heaney, Access Manager at the Millennium Forum, encourages everyone to take part.  She said:

“In keeping with our commitment to provide access to the arts for everyone in our community, we are delighted to be offering drama workshops specifically for older people.  We are working incredibly hard to ensure that our venue is fully accessible to all our patrons and we greatly recognise the importance of removing barriers for anyone, regardless of their age.  This new drama group for older people promises to give participants the confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zone and enjoy learning new skills in a fun and relaxed environment.  We can’t wait to see what they produce at the end of the term!”


Dolores O’Reilly (Chairperson, AAA) added:

“This is going to be great fun! I know everyone who takes part will enjoy the experience. Act Your Age Drama Group will provide every participant an opportunity for self development, to increase confidence and to make new friendships.


As Chair of Access to Arts for All, I am delighted to welcome this latest initiative to our growing range of access programmes.


We are very grateful to the Halifax Foundation for their financial sponsorship of this project, this support makes this initiative possible. Thank you Halifax Foundation”.

Debbie Taylor, Grants Officer with Halifax Foundation also commented:

“Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland are delighted to support Access to Arts for All’s programme of activities via a £4,230 community grant award.”

Act Your Age Drama Group begins on 8th February in the Millennium Forum’s Studio Theatre from 2pm- 3.30pm.  It continues on a monthly basis until August and is FREE to attend.  Anyone wishing to take part should contact Lisa Heaney on 02871 272779 or email [email protected] to secure their space.