Founded in July 2017, Be Unique Drama School aims to provide children with an insight into the importance of drama and dance to help them grow as a unique individual. By igniting the children's imagination, promoting their confidence and having lots of fun along the way, Be Unique Drama is an experience which every child can blossom in and enjoy.
We strongly believe that drama can be used in every area of life, building confidence and developing imagination, helping us to aspire to be the very best we can be. Teaching the importance of this to a child at an early age will undoubtedly provide them with a sense of self importance and confidence in their own ideas and opinions. The ultimate aim is that we ensure the child enjoys and learns more about drama, as an art form and gets the opportunity to express themselves as the unique individual that they are.
Martina McAfee, the company's director, is extremely passionate about bringing her love of drama to the younger generation, and providing them with opportunities and experiences she feels were lacking in the Arts sector during her own childhood.
MEET THE TEAM
Director and Founder
Martina, a BA Honours Drama Graduate from Queen's University, has extensive experience in leading drama workshops for children from the ages of 3 – 16 years, in various locations across Northern Ireland. Having worked and trained alongside some of the best drama facilitators in Northern Ireland, Martina feels very lucky to be in the position to share this knowledge and skill within the realms of her own company.
She also has co-founded and co-directs another company, Ever Unique Productions which is an educational theatre company, bringing film and theatre opportunities to young people aged 12-18yrs, with fresh and exciting shows being produced in both Coleraine and Ballymena twice a year.
Throughout her life, Martina has been involved in a variety of productions, both onstage and offstage, as an actress (winning a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award in Queen’s) , a choreographer for local children’s productions and director of ‘Remembrance’ by Graham Reid, which was performed in both Belfast and Rasharkin. She has now branched out and recently undertook training in children's yoga concepts, mindfulness meditation and behavioural management. Martina has a real passion of sharing arts and theatre with young people.
Assistant Creative Director and Curriculum Co-ordinator, Facilitator & Choreographer
Hannah Reilly is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast with a 2:1 in Drama and English with specialisation in devising, applied and physical theatre. She is co-director of Ever Unique Productions, sharing this educational theatre company with our director Martina.
Hannah has been a freelance drama facilitator for 5 years, working with companies all over Northern Ireland. An avid director, Hannah has worked on several productions including credits in the Mac, Accidental and Belvoir theatres in Belfast.
Working as a facilitator, Hannah has successfully put several students through their LCM Acting exams where all pupils successfully received merits and above! Hannah also has several acting credits including two performances in the Grand Opera House.
Choreographer, Music and Video Producer and Facilitator
Warren has completed his Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts in the North West Regional College. He is currently signed to Nova Artists Casting Agency and has been involved with Londonderry Musical Society and the Playhouse Theatre Company, playing a lead role in each performance - most recently, taking on the role of William McKinney in the widely acclaimed 'The White Handkerchief' which was broadcast globally.
Warren has produced his own music, written a range of original songs (many which Be Unique use in nurseries and schools) and is a very talented video editor and producer - check out some of his work on our Youtube page!
Cherith Mc Cook
Assistant Curriculum Co-ordinator and Facilitator
Cherith has completed her Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts in the North West Regional College. No stranger to the stage, like her brother Warren, Cherith has previously played the role of Nancy in 'Oliver' and Rizzo in 'Grease'.
Cherith has to admit that her main love within performance is singing and in 2012 Cherith’s family, The McCook Family Band formed and they often perform at weddings and guest spots at concerts. She also teaches singing lessons from home and performs with a band around Northern Ireland.
Cherith absolutely loves being able to share her passion for song, drama, music and dance with young people and is very proud to be part of the Be Unique Drama School team!
Yasmin has a passion for all things theatre and performing! She was first introduced to acting and the world of performing at high school. At age 13 in the musical, ‘Oliver’ she played an orphan and one of ‘Fagin’s boys’. From this, she went on to play ‘Amber’, one of the lead roles in Hairspray and a ‘Pink Lady’ in Grease! Yasmin has been a member of Belfast School of Performing Arts and Riverside Theatre Company for a number of years. She recently played ‘Rosie’ , one of the leading roles in Ever Unique Productions’ production of ‘Things I Know To Be True’.
Yasmin just LOVES acting, performing and everything that revolves around the arts and she is very happy to share her passion with all of the children who attend Be Unique.
Throughout primary and secondary school, Mark both enjoyed and excelled in creative subjects such as Drama and English. Post - secondary school, he took part in several roles that allowed him to share his appreciation of the Arts.
In 2016 he joined the team at Take To The Stage Theatre School, allowing him many opportunities to encourage the children’s learning. It was here that he was able to share his love of music in particular as, being a keen drummer, he was able to help invigorate music classes and performances at the theatre school.
In 2019, Mark graduated from Ulster University Coleraine with a Degree in Applied Languages and Translation and since then has been working both in and out of schools to tutor French and Spanish to younger children and teenagers – Mark is currently studying a PGCE in Queen's University, Belfast.
Declan is a performer, devisor, director and writer. He trained in Musical Theatre at the International College of Musical Theatre. Declan has been involved in many shows and plays over the years. He has worked with several theatre companies across Northern Ireland including Big Telly Theatre Company, Bruiser Theatre Company and Bright Umbrella Theatre Company. Declan also makes his own work, the most recent of which was performed in Smock Alley, Dublin.
Declan has worked with children and young adults for many years through various youth groups and summer camps. He places an emphasis on play and encouragement in his classes. Declan is delighted to be working with Be Unique Drama School.
Neve is a first year Drama and English student at Queen’s University Belfast! Drama and Theatre have always been HUGE passions of hers, starting drama classes from the age of 8 and being in her first musical at age 11. Neve is currently working towards her Associates Diploma in Musical Theatre singing and has performed in venues like the Grand Opera House and the Waterfront Hall. Her favourite roles to date have been Wendla in ‘Spring Awakening’ and Velma Von Tussle in ‘Hairspray’.
Neve has worked with many companies, including Irish Youth Musical Theatre (IYMT), workshopping a brand new musical last summer. She was also a member of Belfast School of Performing Arts for 3 years. Neve is delighted to apply all the skills she has previously gained to this new role, and is very excited to be a part of the Be Unique team.