Brassneck and Anthony Boyle

22 June 2017

St Mary’s was delighted to welcome a very special guest to St Mary's earlier this week as part of the Brassneck Youth theatre group, which is currently based in the College. It was none other than West Belfast's very own star, Anthony Boyle. Boyle has recently returned from a massively successful run in London's West End playing “Scorpius Malfoy” in the production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This role gained Boyle many “best newcomer” awards over the last year, but the most exciting award he won was the Olivier Award for Best Newcomer!

Alison McCrudden, Brassneck Youth Coordinator, said:

“Anthony had heard great things about Brassneck Youth and contacted us to offer a masterclass! The young people tonight were absolutely ecstatic about the workshop and left feeling inspired and ready to take on the world! We're very lucky to have such great talent in West Belfast!

Without the support of St Mary’s as our base, these opportunities just wouldn't happen! Their communal ethos is very much in tandem with our own, and we believe that a quality learning environment is equally as important as the quality of teaching and learning that takes place there.”


Brassneck Youth is a subsidiary of Brassneck Theatre Company, which was founded by Tony Devlin. Devlin, a local actor, writer, director and producer, left West Belfast to train in London and went on to have great success working alongside practitioners such as Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, to name but a few. Devlin returned to West Belfast in 2007 and established the theatre company.

Its vision is to provide access to quality performing arts training for children and young people led by industry professionals. Brassneck Youth currently has sixty children and young people on their books who attend weekly workshops at St Mary’s. The group also offers outreach projects and has recently finished working with young women from the Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group. Their workshops are based in West Belfast; however, the children and young people they reach come from as far away as Co. Armagh and are from all races and creeds.

Brassneck Youth operates without any core funding but has been fortunate enough to receive funding over the last two years from the Arts Council NI and is currently funded for this year’s work by Children In Need. The group has charitable status, and all profits go back into the business. Their long-term strategy is to expand their outreach work with a view to providing at least sixteen local schools every year with free performing arts training.

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