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Two strategic milestones for Galway’s Blue Teapot

April 3, 2023

An impressive week for Blue Teapot who welcomed Walter Balfe, QQI Head of Quality Assurance and colleagues Marie Cotter and Yvonne Agnew to join the celebrations of Blue Teapot Theatre Company in their successful re-engaging with QQI as a provider of quality assurance programme delivery.

Prior to this, Blue Teapot was a legacy provider under the FETAC umbrella on the national frameworks of qualifications. It is a significant milestone for the company which provides performing arts training at QQI Levels 2 & 3 to adults with intellectual disabilities.

 The rigorous process by Quality and Qualifications Ireland recognises the high-quality work in developing, enhancing and implementing quality assurance processes. It is a benchmark that has to be achieved by all institutional and independent providers of QQI programmes, and Blue Teapot has met that threshold at first time of re-engagement.

 Last year Blue Teapot shared the news they had bought their building on Munster Avenue. This was enabled by Clann Credo the Social Finance Foundation, a non-profit body that provides loan finance for community organisations around Ireland. The foundation reported a 29% increase in loans to the sector in 2022. The €26.6 million lent to 265 organisations from all 26 counties included a loan to Blue Teapot Theatre Company in Galway.

Commenting on how social finance made a difference to its operation, Blue Teapot Director, Petal Pilley, said: ‘’It has been a long-held aim to secure a permanent cultural home for Blue Teapot. Our vision is to be a centre of excellence for Disability Arts in the Western Region, this goal would not have been possible to achieve without the social finance provided through Clan Credo and facilitated by the Social Finance Foundation.’’

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Blue Teapot – Owning the Space!

October 12, 2022

Blue Teapot Theatre Company has launched its Strategic Arts Plan 2023 – 2027 ‘Owning The Space’ which sets out the company’s vision for the next five years. This is their first arts strategy that is built on three key priorities of Production, Progression and Provision and is a response to the positive development of disability arts in Ireland over the last 20 years.

CEO Artistic Director Petal Pilley said, “We are proud to present our 5 year Strategic Arts Plan ‘Owning The Space’ which reflects a coming of age for Blue Teapot Theatre Company and the unique talent and contribution our artists make to Irish cultural life. With over 25 years performing on the main stages of Ireland, it is all about the artists who can engage and develop on their own terms through three distinct programme strands. They own the space.

Fortuitously, we also recently became the new owners of our theatre premises on Munster Avenue that we have inhabited since 2008. We are thrilled to have a permanent home in the heart of this very special neighbourhood in Galway City. It is time to celebrate!”

Creating the strategy involved the company artists, staff and Board Directors and was developed in consultation with arts advisor & cultural planning specialist Mary McAuliffe, who has over twenty-five years’ experience working in the public and cultural sectors.

Blue Teapot has worked consistently to radically transform theatre practices by telling stories through the lens of disability and pave the way for inclusive practices to become the norm. Particular focus is given to how the company is positioned today at local, national and international levels.

Speaking at the launch, Chairperson Fiona Coffey said, “The Board of Blue Teapot is delighted to be presenting such a visionary and progressive Strategic Arts Plan. Delivering on its goals and objectives will nurture and progress the skills and talents of the company artists and help inform arts and disability policy in Ireland. We look forward to ambitious and exciting times ahead”.

Commenting on the building purchase Chairperson of Galways Westend Traders Association, Simon Heaslip, “Everyone in Galways Westend is ecstatic to hear the news, that our beloved neighbours Blue Teapot, now have a permanent home in our area. This very welcome news only adds to our reputation as the cultural quarter of the city.”

Owning The Space purposely aligns with the Government of Ireland Culture 2025 policy and the Arts Council’s 10-year strategy Making Great Art Work. It informs the development and delivery of artistic programmes and shapes Blue Teapot’s role as influencers in the longer-term for disability arts across Ireland. 

The plan is available to view on their new website at  which includes accessibility controls for those who are visually impaired.

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July 12, 2022


The award-winning Blue Teapot Theatre Company makes a welcome return to the stage this September with the world premiere of ‘Into The Dark Woods’ at Galway’s Black Box Theatre. Written by debut playwright Charlene Kelly, Into The Dark Woods is a story told through the lens of intellectual disability, drawing on archetypes found in fairytale and nature and features an inclusive cast.

Blue Teapot have worked towards a strategic ambition to stage a theatre production written by an artist from within the company. Charlene Kelly’s play emerged from a series of creative writing initiatives with dramaturg Eileen Gibbons, leading to collaboration with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre, as co-producer.

Directed by Petal Pilley, the play tells the story of a Prince tired of being controlled by his father. Heartbroken he runs away, into the woods. Cold and alone he calls out for help. A girl, also lost, is charmed into leaving a safe and familiar path. Hunted by darkness, their way out is uncertain.

Into The Dark Woods runs from Wednesday 14th until Saturday 17 September in the Black Box Theatre, Galway at 8pm with additional day time shows on Friday 16 September at 11am and Saturday 17 September at 3pm.  The show is suitable for adults and children aged 10+ years.

A Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture Commission. Tickets for Into The Dark Woods are available online via and from Town Hall Theatre Box Office 091 569777. For more on the company visit