West Belfast actors leading programme to sustain young people in resis…

Two actors from West Belfast are taking on leading roles in a new virtual theatre programme aimed at supporting young people in resisting the peer pressure of underage drinking.

The Smashed Live Virtual Tour is an interactive performance that will be live streamed into classrooms across Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.

Tierna McNally, who attended St. Louise’s Comprehensive College and Conor Cupples, who attended St. Colm’s High School in Twinbrook, will be delivering creative theatrical performances in 45 schools across the vicinity.

This will be followed by interactive workshops focused on educating young people aged between 11-13 on the dangers of alcohol misuse.

The two young actors characterize in the production for the first time this year, and the programme is currently running for three weeks from October 4. It’s set to bring the total of young people in NI who have seen Smashed since it was first launched in 2016 to over 60,000.

Conor has a joint degree in Acting and Musical Theatre from the University of Cumbria, and has worked with many of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies since his training and is currently a Resident Artist at the MAC Theatre in Belfast.

Tierna has just finished her final year at drama school at The Arden School Of Theatre in Manchester, but the young actress has already taken to the big stage, performing for Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2018 at the National Youth Music Theatre in London.

Led by Diageo and Collingwood Learning, Smashed is a global initiative, with Northern Ireland being the first to great number the tour in its new live virtual format during the pandemic.

Claire Hutchinson, Corporate Relations Manager at Diageo said they’re happy to be showcasing local talent in the programme this year.

She said: “The Smashed programme has played a very important role in making a positive contribution to young people in Northern Ireland and across the UK as they encounter the challenges of peer pressure and underage drinking.

“We are especially delighted that the programme is showcasing the very best of our local acting talent and I would like to wish Tierna and Conor well as they embark on the tour and start to deliver engaging and powerful performances in schools throughout Northern Ireland.”

Tierna and Conor additional that they’re both excited to be part of the virtual team this year.

They additional: “It’s been an amazing opportunity for both of us, and we hope the NI schools enjoy!”

To register an interest in bringing the Smashed programme to your school, please contact Katie Broomhead via [email protected]



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