Cast Revealed For Cahoots NI University of Wonder and Imagination

Immersive digital show for children presented by top Northern Irish stars

A stunning array of Northern Ireland talent has been gathered to present Cahoots NI’s immersive digital theatre experience with the aim of bringing the magic and joy of theatre to young audiences at home.

The University of Wonder and Imagination is an hour-long interactive digital theatre production that allows audiences to effectively direct the performance, based on their interaction with the performers.

 “A huge amount of effort is going into the development of this show on all levels. From writing and development, vision and production, technology and design there is a crack team of individuals working together to produce what I believe will be hugely entertaining and a theatrical revelation in these unusual and testing times.”

Hugh Brown
Bangor actor Hugh Brown in Cahoots NI show The University of Wonder and Imagination

In this ambitious and innovative undertaking, actors, magicians and composers will be part of the Cahoots NI team broadcasting from an extensive, purpose-built set in Belfast, where magic and illusion have no boundaries.

From Belfast to Ballycastle, from Bangor to Armagh, all have assembled to help families enjoy the theatre experience, this time with a tremendous twist. The show will have its Northern Ireland premiere as part of this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival (running October 22nd – 25th and 29th to November 1st).

“The wonderfully frightening thing about this project is that the format is new to all of us, so we are all discovering it together. “Technically the show is enormous, and we are still figuring out what can be achieved. As the University Motto states ‘In Imagination we Trust and in Wonder We Must.” 

Sean Kearns
Newry actor Sean Kearns in Cahoots NI show The University of Wonder and Imagination

The cast includes actors Sean Kearns (Newry), Hugh Brown (Bangor), Philippa O’Hara (Belfast), Lata Sharma (Bangor) and magician Caolan McBride (Armagh). Also involved with the show is composer, sound designer and musical director Garth McConaghie (Ballycastle).

Limited to booked audience numbers per performance, guests will assemble with their fellow University students and, led by the mysterious Professor Bamberg, will embark on a journey where nothing is quite what it seems.

“From a magician’s point of view there were things I hadn’t seen done anywhere before and I knew early on that something special was happening.”

Caolan McBride
Armagh magician Caolan McBride in Cahoots NI show The University of Wonder and Imagination

Audiences will interact with lively lecturers, experience themed rooms filled with illusion and encounter problems and puzzles in an attempt to unlock magical powers and graduate with flying colours.

“It feels like we’re entering a new frontier of online theatre due to Covid-19 and Cahoots are diving headfirst into this new world.” 

Philippa O’Hara
Belfast actor Philippa O’Hara in Cahoots NI show The University of Wonder and Imagination

The University of Wonder and Imagination is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Age guidance: The production is suitable for ages 7+

For more information go to or follow Cahoots NI on social media #UniversityofWonder #CahootsNI