Ageing Provocateur


Ageing Provocateur is a social media initiative designed to generate debate and content about age/ing and creativity through short written provocations by various artists.  For the initiative, Bealtaine has joined up with Creative Ageing festivals in England (The Age of Creativity), Scotland (Luminate) and Wales (Gwanwyn) to get ideas circulated and discussion going on Twitter about how we approach creativity in older age, its role, and how we can support it more.

We hope that the profile of each writer will enable us to reach new audiences and challenge the negative stereotypes of ageing. Read the other provocations here:

Luminate - Old vines but always a new vintage by David Francis

Age of Creativity - Four provocations

Gwanwyn - Read their #AgeingPro twitter conversation here

Bealtaine’s selected writer is film producer Lelia Doolan. You can read her provocation here:


On Behalf Of Badness and Skites — A Bealtaine baker’s dozen of provocations

1.   By badness I mean to be creatively seeking out alternative ways to change the society we live in for the better.  And getting a great kick out of it.

2.   Being political with a small ‘p’, and working for a fair and just world is part of being alive at any age. 

3.   Finding ways of doing  this is  a challenge, especially when younger people regard themselves as singularly entitled to run the world. Get  together with a few other bockety citizens if you don’t       want this.

4.  Being patronized and vanishing into the woodwork happens if you are too shy to speak up. 

5.  Playing with two year olds is a tonic. Borrow if you haven’t one handy.

6.  There’s plenty of sickness and neglect and poverty and depression and loneliness and bad manners around, and people who think they know more than you do. That’s the wisdom you’ve learned but do not have to live by. There is always someone to listen. Hopefully.

7.  There’s loving-kindness and giving and an indomitable sense of humour In everyone, as well.

8.  Your imagination is your power.

9.  Get out the paracetamol for the sciatica.

10. The Irish broadcaster, Seán Mac Réamonn, compared himself in old age to the census: broken down by age, sex and religion.

11. Mary Kenny the writer, quoted him and added her wished-for epitaph from the Cuala Press:

Oh, and how good is life —

Good to be born, draw breath

The calm’s good; and the strife

12.  So bring on dancing, scrawling a poem, engaging in sex, laughing a lot, seeing a friend, a play, a film, going on a skite.

13.  A skite is an impromptu outing or escape/escapade, with a sandwich, a piece of cake, hot water and a few teabags, a welcome bottle even. Can be grander and fancier... With any one or other       persons. Can be any time, any where, any age.

Lelia Doolan, May 2019


Lelia Doolan is a producer, actress and director, known for Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey (2011), Theatre 625 (1964) and Theatre Night (1957).