Grand Stretch is an improvisation-based Irish Arts & Entertainment company that was founded by Darren Yorke in 2017, with a view to:
In brief, Darren Yorke is a multi-skilled maker of theatre and music, an improviser and improv teacher, and the founder of Grand Stretch.
Darren hails from Co. Longford, and has primarily been based in Dublin since 2009. He holds a BA in Drama & Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin, and has been working in improvisational theatre since 2014. Whether he's facilitating Grand Stretch Workshops or Directing and Performing in Grand Stretch Productions, Darren's year-round ambition is to put the 'Grand Stretch' in everyone's Evenings. And Mornings. And Noons. And Late Nights. As he's known to say himself, it's all to play for!
For a more in depth look at Darren's profile, follow the link below.
To learn more about The Grand Stretch Players, follow the link below.
'Grand Stretch' is inspired by a quintessentially Irish idiom. ‘There’s a grand stretch in the evenings’ echoes 'round the country as Spring breaks - when Summer is on your doorstep, and daylight triumphs over night. It’s the boring, obvious and unoriginal 'something-to-be-saying' that provides an honest platform for meaningful conversation. It's bright-side. It's clear skies. It encapsulates times of positive change in our attitudes to sport, and play, and taking risks and making things happen.
Our tagline - 'it's all to play for!' - is a favourite in rural Irish Bingo Halls. While it underpins a thrilling gamble in our improvisational approach, it also serves to embolden the company in our all-inclusive, leap-of-faith, sky's-the-limit values. It underlines the values we aspire to in 'Grand Stretch', and we find ourselves saying it all the time.
The company logo pays tribute to Darren's grandmother (and all-round favourite person), Rita McDermott - the National Treasure best known to Longfordians as 'Nanny Mac'. Never one to heed RTE weather reports, Nanny Mac decides on hanging out washing by the skies she sees above her, there and then. Forever in the moment (and never a one of them wasted), Nanny Mac encompasses everything Grand Stretch aspires to. And fair play to her!