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Sorcha Shanahan and Gemma Walker-Farren are ‘MakeyUppers’, an original comedy storytelling act. They use their skills as performers, facilitators and theatre makers to create dynamic and involving storytelling. They aim to engage their audiences in experiences that are multi-layered, highly enjoyable and beautifully simple.

The ‘MakeyUppers’ work is hugely diverse and ever changing but always rooted in a mutual desire to create meaningful work through play. They are 'Serious Eejits'. 

They perform multi-disciplinary, high-energy, comedy shows as well as interactive, intergenerational storytelling workshops, a range of walkabout characters and bespoke workshop/performance packages for community and corporate events. For more information see our For Hire section or Contact Us.



Our Team


Gemma is a Derry-based theatre maker, performer and writer. She was director of the Ulidian Youth Drama Group in Derry 2007-2020 and regularly devises new theatre with community groups from all areas and backgrounds. As a freelance facilitator/director/writer she has worked across the UK and Ireland for over 15 years with people of all ages and abilities. She trained in the world renowned Meisner technique with The Impulse Company, London/New York from 2013-2015 and writes and performs regularly in a diverse array of projects. Gemma has received numerous Arts Council NI awards  to help her to further her skills and develop new work. She is currently learning British Sign Language and looks forward to being able to implement it in her work. Her greatest passion lies in continuously finding new ways of telling stories.


Sorcha is from Derry and trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. She has worked as a theatre maker and performer for 15 years, and is passionate about theatre being used as a tool of social and personal change. As an actor, she has toured the UK, Ireland, Europe and USA with different professional productions, but her main interest has been in comedy. She's performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2009 and 2016), was a member of 'Love The Concept' comedy sketch group, featured on a number of BBC NI radio comedies and has performed stand up regularly. She recently was a winner of the prestigious 'Panel Prize' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival's Comedy Awards 2016 for her work on 'Iraq Out Loud' - the continuous reading of the 2.6 million word Chilcot Report into the Iraq war -  which she co-produced. 

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