The Pick 'n' Mix Players
Bringing cutting-edge theatre to stages in 2008
The Pick 'n' Mix Theatre Festival in association with OMAC kicks off on June 13, showcasing some of the best acting, directing and writing talent around.
Click here for a large photograph of The Players - the talented people generating a weekend of rehearsed readings, tasters and mini-plays at Belfast's spiritual home of cutting edge theatre, the Old Museum Arts Centre.
The Pick 'n' Mix Players are an ambitious bunch. It would take nothing less to bring together 11 theatre companies and 15 performances in the space of a single weekend.
'My greatest ambition is for the company to be huge,' says Rosie McClelland (pictured), producer with Red Lemon Productions.
'We want to create new work and challenge the boundaries of Northern Irish Theatre.'
Red Lemon's artistic director PJ O'Reilly says that he'd settle for simply putting on a good play.
He jokes, of course, adding: 'We want to make Belfast one of the main platforms for new writing and great pieces of theatre. We want to make Belfast internationally recognised.'
The ambition of Steven Beggs (pictured), manager of Bruiser Theatre Company, stretches beyond Bruiser's production of The Case of the Frightened Lady.
'My biggest ambition,' he says, 'is to become Dr Who.
'Failing that, though, I'd be happy for Bruiser to continue to produce innovative physical theatre, accessible to as wide an audience as possible.'
Lisa May, Bruiser's artistic director, shares his enthusiasm. 'We want to continue producing exciting, challenging work and - hopefully - to tour internationally.'
Richard Croxford, artistic director of Replay Productions, wants to bring something musical to Belfast. 'My biggest ambition in theatre at the moment is to get Pride & Prejudice: The Musical - the new adaptation - onstage.
'Scenes of it will be at the Pick 'n' Mix Festival, and we're hoping to do a full-scale production as part of the Belfast Festival.'
Fra Gunn, an actor whose face will become familiar to Pick 'n' Mix audiences, savours any opportunity to do what he loves.
'I really enjoy acting,' he says. 'You could say it's my heart's desire, and I enjoy following it.'
Ciaran McQuillan, outreach manager with Prime Cut Productions, sees the Pick 'n' Mix festival as a chance to sow theatrical seeds in the minds of people who come to watch.
'We want to spark the imaginations and ambitions of others through our work,' he says.
Mick Duke (pictured), artistic director of Tinderbox Theatre Company, has a humble and succinct take on what he wants to achieve.
'My ambitions are projects like Pick 'n' Mix,' he says. 'To do great projects, with great people.'
Pick 'n' Mix Theatre Festival runs from June 13-15 at the Old Museum Arts Centre. Box Office: 028 9023 3332.
All tickets cost £5. The Wild Card Pick 'n' Mix festival pass (6 tickets) costs £20. Wild Cards should be purchased before May 30.