NI creative arts production company ‘Wee Yarn Productions’ was founded by Aoibh Johnson and Cahal Clarke, who felt the need to platform and produce their own work while studying their masters degrees in Contemporary Performance Practice. With ‘Wee Yarn Productions’ Aoibh and Cahal have found success all across the North, and have even traveled with their talents to Australia, only coming home again when COVID-19 restrictions popped up last year. Aoibh spoke to the Jumble Magazine about the company and their story, as well as one of their latest pieces of spoken word “In Solidarity with all the Women and Girls” which was written in response to the recent international conversations about women’s safety following the tragic death of Sarah Everad.
Originally studying theatre, myself and Cahal are both passionate about storytelling and its impact on the world around us. We are strong believers in creating art to explore, question and illuminate our world. Not long after establishing the company, Wee Yarn produced our first original play, ‘The Daughters of Róisín’ (written by Aoibh) , which was a play about the church and state abuse against women in Ireland over the last 100 years. Shortly after this, we had the opportunity to travel to South Australia, and bring the production to the Adelaide Fringe. This was an invaluable experience, which allowed Wee Yarn Productions to collaborate with international artists, perform on an international stage, and truly appreciate the power of performance to educate, inspire and resonate. Wee Yarn throughout this time had the opportunity to collaborate with artists in both South Australia and Melbourne, which was an incredible opportunity.
Due to COVID-19, like many artists, we were forced to return home as the industry took a huge blow with theatres and venues closing for the foreseeable. However, we made the decision to not be defeated, but instead adapt to this ever changing world. We are currently working on alternative methods of producing work, as well as preparing ourselves for the glorious return of the theatre.
Recently, we released a spoken word piece, written by Aoibh, titled, “In solidarity with all Women and Girls” on our instagram account, which managed to reach a wide audience. The piece was written in response to the harrowing news of Sarah Everard’s death and the frightening statistics on sexual harassment against women. As young artists, we feel it is our duty to use our creativity to protest, raise awareness and stand in solidarity with causes we believe in. This is exactly why this piece was written and shared. We also wanted to create a piece that would reach out to all women and let them know that they are valued, seen and listened to. It is so important to us to create work that responds to the world around us, and helps people come together and share in their experience. We were overwhelmed with the response to this piece, and just how much it resonated with people. As artists, having people feel moved and supported by the work you create, is all you could ever wish for, and we are extremely grateful that this piece did exactly that. We pledge to be resilient in this strange time for the arts, and assure you that Wee Yarn Productions will keep doing our best to tell the stories that matter.