Barefeet is back in town thanks to Adam’s vision

Some of the performers from Empyre
Some of the performers from Empyre

A theatre company in Zambia which was established by a Ballymoney man to give homeless street children a positive purpose in life has evolved into a new and exciting project which is coming to Portstewart later this month.

Former Dominican College student Adam McGuigan founded Barefeet Theatre Company in Lusaka in 2006.

Speaking to the Times in a previous interview, Adam said: “Barefeet is a creative arts and performance project staged, rehearsed and presented mainly, though not exclusively, by children on, or formerly on, the streets of Zambia.

“The project uses theatre, art, dance, music and creative writing as a tool to engage with and support the development of children most at risk of disengaging from their communities. Barefeet offers them an opportunity to have their voices heard and a channel through which to express themselves.

“It works. It’s not rocket science, by giving children some encouragement, confidence, self belief and allowing them to ‘shine’, you can really start to work together to find brighter opportunities,” said Adam.

“What started as a few modest workshops with children living on the streets of Zambia has organically grown into one of the most exciting and inspiring projects working with children in the country.”

After enjoying huge success with Barefeet, Adam left Zambia about four years ago and has now set up his own company ‘Wake the Beast’ in London. Before he left, he secured the ongoing support from UNICEF and Barefeet Theatre continues to support vulnerable children throughout Zambia.

Three of the young men who started out with Barefeet spent one year in China at a circus school and set up Circus Zambia on their return.

Adam has collaborated and co-directed with Circus Zambia and the outcome is a new comic musical circus spectacle called Empyre which is coming to Portstewart Town Hall on July 26 as part of the Red Sails Festival.

This is a great opportunity for the people from Ballymoney and the Triangle area to see how their donations to Barefeet over the years really have made a difference to street children in Zambia.