Saint Patrick’s parade Ireland

Saint Patrick’s parade 2011

Since 2003 Artastic have created a pageant spectacle for St Patricks festival parade in Dublin, using a variety of community groups along with our talented artists. This blog will describe in brief of a spectacle along with credits to those involved in the Saint Patrick’s parade Ireland 2011.


History of Group

Saint Patrick's paradeArtastic was founded in 2003 by its Artistic director Vijaya Bateson. The idea at the time was to work with local communities in Co Kildare to create street theatre events by the local people for the local people.

Artastic’s collaborative art projects are now, nationally recognised as models of community theatre in Ireland, where artists and community groups work together to transform our urban landscapes with colourful creative performances

Although Artastic was a Kildare based group, now it is Kildare and Dublin based group, as the studio remains in Kildare but many of the groups they now work with are based in Dublin.

This will be Artastic’s eight year involved with our national St Patricks parade in Dublin.

Artastic is involved with four different parades today, with over 300 costumes in parades throughout the country. Organising this has been a real challenge to the team


This parade was created to various chapters of a story by Rody Doyle



Description of Pageant

Artastic adapted chapter three, to set the scene of the three children Raymond, Gloria and Ernie (who was a bit of a vampire), running though the streets from one house to another. Artastic split the story in to three sections, 1/ The intro – Bright lights and brilliant, 2/ Mooney House and 3/ O’Driscolls house. Artastic interpreted and translated the story using own unique carnival style costumes. There is a repeated emblem of the black dog of depression. These images of the dogs are created in Celtic style to reflect the back dog of depression that emerges from the Celtic Tiger. The Performers will dance and perform to the wonderful sound of Imelda May, to set the scene of a contemporary Dublin. The pageant attempts to create a colourful imagination of the scene of the story, rather than a literal one.

Section one, is lead at the front of the parade by the three lead characters played by, Saoirse Kearney, Amber Short, Joe O Loughlin.

Next we will see the white lace costumes which represent the white flood lights at O Leary’s house. The bright yellow section is to represent, when the lights go off Gloria shouts brilliant, and the passage is full with yellow light.

This whole section is performer by Atomic Dance Group for Dublin, and choreographed by Mark Kennedy.


In Section two we see the first emblem of the dogs, closely followed by the two big eyes and tongue of O’Mooney’s dog, lulu Mooney. Watch out for the cheeky letterbox girls and those funny bones.

This section is performed by, Celbridge and Balitore youth theatres, The Base Youth service, as well as students from IADT and ISI. Performances are directed by Johnny Murphy and Vijaya Bateson.


Section three is opened with shadows of the children as the run through the streets to O Driscoll’s house. It is here the meet Fang, O’Driscoll’s dog, and the ever so strange Ernie O’Driscoll who is a bit of a vampire. It is all a bit dark a scary for Gloria, as they run off in to the distance with, vampires and the large shadows of the dog that Ernie just spotted.

The final section was performed by young people for the north inner city through the Bradog regional youth services, and directed by Rachel Laley.


Artistic team involved including titles

Artistic Directors –  Vijaya Bateson, Caitriona Mc Gowan

Atomic Dance group choreographer – Mark Kennedy

Performance Directors: – Vijaya Bateson, Johnny Murphy, Rachel Laley

Lead Production Artist  –. Caitriona Mc Gowan

Creative Team– Eileen Bateson, AnneMarie McGrainne, Aoife FitzGerald, Niamh Kett, Amy Binions.


Other Groups/people involved in the project

This year Artastic has a cast of over 160 performers from group such as;

Dancers from Atomic Dance Group – Dublin

Students form Model making course in IDAT Dunlaoire – Dublin

Celbridge Youth Theatre – Kildare

Balitore Youth Theatre – Kildare

Bradog Regional Youth Services – North inner city Dublin

Youth Group from THE BASE in Ballyfermott – Dublin

ISI – English language school  – Dublin city centre


Any specific music to be played in Parade?

To set the scene of contemporary Dublin we decided to use a lively collection of songs by Dublin based Imelda May. Imelda will be playing in London roundhouse on St Patricks day after completing her Australian tour.


Any information on individual members….

Aside from the Artistic Director Vijaya Bateson, Aoife FitzGerald is now the only participant that has been all eight St Patricks day parades with Artastic. She got involved the first year as a transition year student, but enjoyed herself so much she has returned every year bringing a few friends along. Aoife has been involved with many Artastic projects, and has been part of the creative team, who created the costumes for St Patricks day for the past two years,