The Experiment for Derry Halloween – acknowledgements

Echo Echo has a long history of being involved in the Derry Halloween festival over the last two decades. We’ve worked with a range of artistic and community partners to provide high quality artist-led experiences including major projects with LUXe – on some of their incredible landscape theatre installations and processions such as Awakening The Walls; with In Your Space Circus – most recently on the Murder of Crows performance in The Forest of Shadows aka St Columb’s Park in 2021; the Talking Heads installation by Barry Davis at Artillery Bastion in 2019; with TG4 and BBC on Samhain Live TV concert broadcasts in 2018 produced by Gifted Empire; presenting new theatre work with otherworldly themes Ghosts and Legends of the Coven by Gemma Walker-Farren and Abby Oliveira also in 2018; with Derry Halloween festival stalwarts North West Carnival Initiative over the years; as well as many other projects such as Halloween themed discos and kids classes.

For several years the idea of using Echo Echo’s home studios at Waterloo House for a Halloween production has been developed to various levels of detail but wasn’t quite possible, usually for financial reasons. This year in 2022 the company collectively decided to take a big risk with creating a new Halloween-themed production that would blend the team’s different expertise in movement theatre, choreography, performance, sound design, lighting and video projection mapping, along with the unique setting of Echo Echo Studios and its resources. An original co-creation between Echo Echo Ensemble Artists – Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey, Tonya Sheina – and Echo Echo Technical Manager – Barry Davis – was conceived, developed, produced and presented.

The Experiment – a blood chilling sensory experience was very much an experiment for all involved and we are delighted to report that it was a great success and a complete sell-out with 32 shows over 4 nights all fully booked in advance. A big thank you to everyone who came along to watch and participate as test subjects – it was great to see so many happy and scared faces leaving the building!

There was a large behind-the scenes effort to make The Experiment happen:

Special thanks to The Experiment Co-Directors Zoe Ramsey and Barry Davis for their dedication to all aspects of the production over many months.

A big thank you to Echo Echo Ensemble performers Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley and Tonya Sheina for their ever-constant commitment; as well as our current intern from University of Limerick, Liberty Rose, who took part in all 32 performances.

Thanks very much to the team of volunteers who performed and supported including Marcella Di Palo, Paul Nicholl, Maddie Nicholl, Cara McGeehan, Charlie Dobbin, Tommy Capper, Mia McGettigan, Mia Doherty and Ella Hawkins.

A big thank you to the front of house team Anna Nolan, Leeann Toland, Karen Cassidy and Deirdre Gillespie.

Special thanks to Terence McDowell – Principal of St. Eithne’s Primary School, to The Playhouse, and to Jes McSparron for their invaluable support.

Thanks to the Festivals and Events Team at Derry City and Strabane District Council and Derry Halloween for all of their support, and special mentions for Jacqueline Whoriskey, Orlaith Meenan and Ailish McDaid – and to all of the other staff across Council who support Echo Echo throughout the year.

Thanks to Echo Echo’s principal funder Arts Council of Northern Ireland for its ongoing annual support, and also an acknowledgement of the Arts Council NI Health & Safety Capital Programme which enabled outdoor equipment purchase for use on this event.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on The Experiment please comment below or get in touch.

Thanks to Liberty Rose for the behind-the-scenes photos, and to Barry Davis for The Experiment promotional artwork.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s