Mac's Arcadian

Mac's Arcadian make fearless, experimental and accessible performances for young audiences.

First realised in Belfast, in the late 1940’s by Margaret and John McAuley, Mac’s Arcadian began life as a travelling show, delivering brave and entertaining stories through vaudeville style sketches and the universal languages of music, mime, dance, song and the spoons!

'Mac's' came from McAuley, and 'Arcadian' was borrowed from Margaret and Johns local cinema; The Arcadian was known informally as the ‘Ark’ or ‘Johnny Donnelly’s’. 


Esther McAuley re-founded the company in 2017, proudly adopting her Grandparents' company name and philosophy, to make contemporary theatre that thrives on risk. The work always integrates creative access, with a focus on children and young people. After a few years of tongue twisting introductions, we're proudly adopting the wonderfully simple 'Ark' as our new nick-name!

Associate Artists announced!!


Meet Mac's Arcadian's wonderful new Associates;

Caroline Parker, Amelia Cavallo, Reuben Johnson, Amelia Bird and Andrew Revell

Click on the link below to for more about who we all are

Who We Are

Supporting partners and funders to date include:

Improbable, The Unicorn Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse,

Arts Coucil England,

The Boshier Hinton Foundation, Lighthouse Poole and a number of individual donors.

Image above: black and white photograph, of the Mac's Arcadian original founders, Esther's Grandparents; Margaret and John McAuley. They sit side by side in a pub at an after-show knees up; Margaret has short, voluminous coiffured black hair, wears a white top and sparkling jacket. She looks slightly over her shoulder, smiling broadly and holding a glass of wine. John smiles too. He has short dark hair, wears a dark jacket and rests his arm on top of the large accordion on his lap.


Image above: a grainy black and white photograph,of the Arcadian Cinema on 74 Albert Street, Belfast. The cinema blends into the adjoining houses / shops and looks no bigger than them. On the front of the cinema there is a vertical sign with the word 'Arcadian' written length-ways and in front of the building and a horse-cart is parked outside.

The Arcadian Cinema opened in 1912 and closed in 1960. It was demolished later that decade when slum clearance swept away many of the buildings in the area.