In The Open | Faoin Speir

Smashing Times and Front Line Defenders in partnership with Amnesty International, Fighting Words, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Trócaire, and Poetry Ireland will implement the 2021 Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival to showcase and highlight the extraordinary work of human rights defenders in Ireland and around the world, past and present, and the role of the arts and artists in promoting human rights today. The festival will run for ten days from Friday 15 October to Sunday 24 October 2021. The artistic curator for the festival is Mary Moynihan, Artistic Director, Smashing Times and the human rights curator is Laura O’Leary, Front Line Defenders.

This year’s festival will contain both online and in-person events in line with current Covid-19 guidelines, and will facilitate the opportunity to share, celebrate, remember, explore, provoke and promote the arts for human rights. Join us as we bring together artists, activists, citizens, families, communities and all those interested in using the arts to celebrate and promote human rights and equality for all. The theme of this year’s festival is Hope, Courage and Resilience: The Story Continues. The festival celebrates human rights and links the arts to civil society, active citizenship and politics through a series of inter-disciplinary performances, film screenings, documentaries, theatre, music, dance, visual and digital art, poetry, literature, historical memory, discussions and arts-based workshops, featuring Irish and international artists and guest speakers celebrating and promoting dignity and respect for all people equally.

The full festival programme can be found here

Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality are delighted to announce a number of events taking place in the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle Park during Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival 2021, as part of In The Open | Faoin Speir, funded by the Arts Council.


Gathering on the Pond

A dazzling storytelling performance suitable for families that is fun, magical, and sparking. A theatricality staged fusion of story, colourful costumes and fun moments intersected with dialogue, and song on science, community connections and the environment, and a love of dreams!  Our play takes place outdoors in the natural, outside ‘amphitheatre’ of Rathfarnham Castle park, around the beautiful pond at the Castleside Drive end of the park.

Professor Magpie Lovelace arrives at Rathfarnham Castle in a panic. It’s her first night in her new role as Choir Director and she’s late. Well, she travelled there on the infamous number 16 bus, so say no more. A young scientist, a bus conductor, the dawn chorus and big dreams and especially . . . the right to dream of a better world!  What will happen next?

Audiences will be seated on the low stone wall that surrounds the pond and ‘performance’ space.  Bring your own cushion and wrap up warm. 

An original show created by Aoife Reilly, Mary Moynihan and Michael McCabe, produced by Smashing Times for The Art of W/Rights: A Literary Carnival of Arts and Rights.

Part of In the Open – Faoin Spéir. Funded by The Arts Council.

Tickets: €12 child, €15 adult, €35 family (2 adults and up to 4 children)

Our performances from Monday 18 to Friday 22 October have already Sold Out, but there are tickets remaining for:

Saturday 23, 1pm

Saturday 23, 3pm

Sunday 24, 1pm 

Sunday 24, 3pm


The Smashing Times Walk in the Park series is an artistic celebration of Ireland’s rich cultural heritage, sharing stories of artists, human rights defenders and citizens.  Smashing Times have created two public performances as part of its Walk in the Park series – Walk in the Park: The Artist Speaks and Walk in the Park: People Who Inspired. While visiting the iconic setting of the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle, we invite you to listen to stories about the thrilling lives and work of some of Ireland and Europe’s unique artists and citizens.

Walk in the Park: The Artist Speaks

Walk in the Park: The Artist Speaks is a promenade performance created for The Art of W/Rights, a literary carnival of arts and rights taking place in Rathfarnham Dublin, as part of In the Open – Faoin Spéir funded by The Arts Council. Two artists walk the park on a magical journey of reflection on the work and life of artists from the past and today.   Join the stroll and be regaled by stories, poetry and a few surprises along the way.  Listen to the stories of visual artist Angelica Kauffmann, the ‘the 18th century Tracey Emin of her day,’ who once visited Rathfarnham Castle where our walk is set, and to Irish singer Rachel Baptiste who enjoyed a successful career performing the length and breadth of Ireland for over twenty years.  Enjoy a reflection on the life and work of writers William Butler Yeats, J.M. Synge and Lady Gregory and stories of women writers and freedom of expression today. Walk in the Park: The Artist Speaks is also funded by Creative Ireland South Dublin Programme.

Tickets: €12 / €10


Friday 22 October, 2.30pm

Saturday 23 October, 11am

Saturday 23 October, 4pm

Sunday 24 October, 11am


Walk in the Park: People Who Inspire

People Who Inspire is an intimate portrayal bringing to life stories of people who inspire us, people who lived lives of courage and resilience and who stood up for human rights.  Enjoy a walk-about performance, and chat, promenade style, in the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle park.  Join artists and guest speakers to share stories and insights into a world of care and compassion. 

People Who Inspire celebrates the lives of ‘forgotten heroes’, sharing stories of men and women from history and today who stood up for the rights of others.  We are all formed and shaped by the people who pass through our lives, people who inspire.  Our stories are about equality, compassion and rights, stories of people who carry us forward like a river lowing.  The public will be invited to interact and respond to these stories, with questions, comments, and maybe even a tale of their own! Walk in the Park: People Who Inspire is also funded by Creative Ireland South Dublin Programme.

Tickets: €12 / €10


Friday 22 October, 3.30pm

Saturday 23 October, 12pm,

Sunday 24 October, 12pm

Sunday 24 October, 4pm