26 May 2022

Feeling ten feet tall at launch of Lasta National Arts Festival in Longford

Feeling ten feet tall at launch of Lasta National Arts Festival in Longford

Maria Knox & Daíre O'Muiri with Will & Dee The Stilt Performers

Backstage Theatre’s Young Curators caused quite the stir in Longford last week as they took to the streets to mark the launch of Lasta Festival presented by NASC in association with Brightening Air.

The Young Curators have lined up so many fantastic shows as part of this unique festival for babies, kids and young people, with a mixture of theatre, dance, comedy set to dispel the Covid lockdown blues.

Longford’s Young Curators are Emer Tyrrell, Daire O’Muiri and Maria Knox, and they have worked hard to ensure there is something for everybody in the programme.

“As someone who is studying drama in college, the stagnation of the past year has had a huge effect on my perceptions of the future - what the industry might look like when we leave college, whether there’ll be room and resources for new voices and artists when already organisations such as the NCFA are having to fight for the rights of established arts workers,” Emer told the Longford Leader.

“However, working with Backstage Theatre on Lasta Festival, as part of Brightening Air, has really re-instilled me with a sense of hope and artistic excitement.

“Watching ideas whizz and be shared across ight NASC venues nationwide, among 21 Young curators from a diverse range of backgrounds, has proven to me that there’s so much ground still to be covered by the next generation of arts workers and our venue managers want nothing more than to support our journeys to full fruition.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my home venue, Backstage, and their forward-thinking in conceiving this programme last year, in a time of great uncertainty when very few would have had the courage to take such a risk.”

Daire was equally excited about the national festival, which kicked off on June 11 last and will run until this Sunday, June 20, with several more fantastic events planned.

“Working as a young curator on this year’s Lasta festival has been amazing,” e told the Leader.

“I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time. We are so excited for the young people of Longford to dip their toe into the events that we’ve scheduled over the next few days and hope that they not only find some events that they know they’d enjoy, but new events that they may not have experienced before.

“We honestly couldn’t have done this without the help of our mentors Maisie and Fionn, as well as Mona, Janice and all the rest of the staff at Backstage.”

For a full line up of events and tickets visit

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