Made in Darndale 2023

The Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow, CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Courtney’s Daredevil Circus, Sharyn Ward, Mark Flynn & many more announced for

Made in Darndale
An initiative of the Creative Places Darndale Project

Friday May 26 – Sunday May 28
at The Bell Square and The Darndale Park Big Top, Darndale, Dublin 17. All events are FREE and suitable for all ages!

Made in Darndale, the North Dublin Summer Arts Festival returns this May 26 – 28! Following on from a hugely successful debut in 2022, Darndale will once again be filled with music, dance, story, song, circus and performance in a joyous cross-community celebration.

With a super-size Big Top tent taking over Darndale Park on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, Made in Darndale 2023 will feature local hero Jerry Fish and his incredible Electric Sideshow, the multi award-winning CoisCeim Dance Theatre will present Francis Footwork, a magical and uplifting virtual reality performance, while Courtney’s Daredevil Circus will bring edge-of-the-seat thrills and spills including fire breathing, knife throwing, aerial performances and motorbike cage skills. Also on the Big Top line-up are well known local artists Sharyn Ward and Mark Flynn, while Dublin band Shakalak – poetician John Cummins, musician Fin Divilly and their bandmates, will raise the roof with their socially charged spoken-word rock riffs, layered with hip-hop.
D17 writer Amber Kidd, who is now living and working in London, returns to her hometown for a three-part performance of her new spoken-word piece, which was specially commissioned for Made in Darndale and has inspired many of the other performances throughout the Festival.

“I loved you from when you still span in a Honda Civic
Now it’s civic centres and saving for a psychic
To see if I might ever manage to
Find enough metres of fabric
That could reupholster our reality
I loved you in our teenage years
I do my best for each our kids despite my fears
That we haven’t exactly much going on in the Credit Union
And my only emotion I show toward you lately is that I’m fuming
And according to your family all I do is cause you stress
I’m a bit dim, too much of a princess
Lazy because I don’t play enough political football
With my own babies to try barter for a house for us all
“Use the waterworks”: they say
Your ma with her miserable dinners and letters to the TD
Have a fit, act like you can’t cope
As if it’s even an act that we’ve zero hope.”

(An excerpt from Made in Darndale, by Amber Kidd)

The Voice of Darndale Choir, led by Irish National Opera conductor, Medb Brereton, will rouse the crowds with their eclectic repertoire of original works and old favourites. Enjoy dynamic routines from local collective DanceX Youth Academy, comedy capers with Jitterbug Jackson and plenty more, all free of charge and suitable for all ages. With painting and modelling workshops, live art performances, the Darndale Heads walkabout portrait photographer, face painting, food trucks and loads of family fun, the entire Darndale community and friends beyond are invited to join together for the biggest celebration the village has ever seen!

Made in Darndale is just one of the many incredible outcomes of the Creative Places Darndale initiative, a three-year project to weave the arts into everyday life in Darndale, supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council.

Speaking about Made in Darndale, Catherine Martin T.D., Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media said:

“What a year it has been for Creative Places Darndale! This second year of the Made in Darndale Festival is shaping up to surpass the roaring success of last year’s festival, which is no mean feat. The Arts Council-led Creative Places Programme is a wonderful initiative and the Darndale community are showcasing that, with the right investment and dedication, amazing things can happen.”

Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy added:

“I am very much looking forward to experiencing the creative energy and community spirit at the Made in Darndale Festival in late May. Arts initiatives such as Creative Places and the Dublin City Public Art Programme are vital, grassroots investment in health, wellbeing, pride of place and multi-generational community connection. I commend the Creative Places team and the residents of Darndale for their passion and commitment in creating such wonderful, inclusive community events. Made in Darndale demonstrates the positive impacts that result when communities come together in creativity and art.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said:

“The Arts Council’s role is to support artists to make work and also to open as many avenues as possible to enable the public to enjoy and benefit from their work. We are delighted that the Made in Darndale festival is returning for its second year and thrilled to support it as part of our Creative Places programme.”

Stephen Coughlan, Project Manager of Archways Systemic Family Support added:

“We are delighted to support Creative Places again this year and look forward to seeing the local community showcase their amazing talent”.

Dr. Jack Nolan, Chair of the Darndale Economic and Social Plan Implementation Oversight Group (IOG), the community focused initiative of Dublin City Council for the area, said the festival would promote Darndale in a wonderfully positive light, as well as bringing great fun and colour. “It will be wonderful to see an event which celebrates the superb community spirit of the people of Darndale,” he said. “The Darndale Economic and Social Plan Implementation Group is delighted with a festival programme which celebrates the area in a special way. Most importantly of all, the event will showcase the bonds which tie the community together and make it such a special place.”

Made in Darndale is for everyone, from the longest residents to the newest neighbours – this is the moment that the united community spirit of Darndale shines bright. The festival kicks off on Friday May 26 when we first invite all Darndale residents to join us at the Chipper from 12-1pm to meet our Citizen Commissioners. Supported by the Dublin City Public Art Programme, this group of residents have come together to explore public art beyond the village, in order to understand what public art is, the purpose of it and how it is commissioned from artists. The Citizen Commissioners will be central in decisions made as to the kinds of public art that are created and displayed in the community. Join in to find out what the Citizen Commissioners have been up to and ways to get involved in this really exciting and unique opportunity.

Then head over to Bell Square from 1pm – 3pm to enjoy street theatre, circus acts, puppetry and more as the first performances of Made in Darndale get under way! From 12 midday to 8pm, the Darndale Heads project will be roaming Darndale taking photo portraits of residents across the village. Anyone who would like to have their portrait taken should contact the Creative Places Darndale team in advance at and book a session. All are welcome – individuals, families, neighbours, friends, local teams and groups, work colleagues etc.

The celebrations continue Saturday May 27 from 4pm – 7pm in Darndale Park where festival goers can enjoy face painting, street performances, an outdoor Painting Workshop with Immanuel Godson and a Model-Making Workshop with Alan Mongey, as well as food trucks and much more. At 3pm there will be an Open Rehearsal of the Dare to be Darndale Cabaret and all are welcome to attend, and then from 7pm – 9pm the full spectacle of the Dare to be Darndale Cabaret will light up the Big Top Tent, hosted by the hilarious Jitterbug Jackson, showcasing the incredible talent and skills of local artists and performers, Sharyn Ward, Mark Flynn, DanceX Youth Academy, Amber Kidd, the Voice of Darndale Choir and more to be announced. Throughout the Dare to be Darndale Cabaret, Courtney’s Daredevil Circus will be fire-breathing and knife-throwing, and demonstrating their mesmerising aerial performances and jaw dropping motorbike cage skills.

On Sunday May 28, the Big Top Tent will open for two shows at 1pm and 2pm with multi award-winning dance company CoisCéim Dance Theatre, who bring their magical Virtual Reality show Francis Footwork to Darndale. Later that evening, the citizens of Darndale will welcome home local hero Jerry Fish, the internationally renowned musical magician, who brings his majestic, magnificent, macabre Electric Sideshow to the Park. Jerry’s father was one of the first social workers to live and work in Darndale and Jerry spent a number of his early years growing up in the village and treasures many long lasting friendships and connections in Darndale. Opening for Jerry in the Big Top Tent will be Dublin band Shakalak, who’s socially charged meld of poetry, rock and hip-hop has been creating waves on the Irish music scene over the last number of years, including sell out shows across Ireland and festival turns at Electric Picnic, Beyond the Pale and many more.

The Dare to be Darndale Cabaret on Saturday May 27 and Live at Darndale Park on Sunday May 28 are free but ticketed due to capacity restrictions. Tickets are available from Eventbrite, please see here for more details. For the full list of events, please see here for more details.

Made in Darndale is made possible by the Arts Council, with support from Dublin City Council and Archways.

Photos by Marc O’Sullivan.

we have good harmony here

in Darndale

darndale resident