Strolling players – travelling theatre groups in the Tudor period in England, who toured the country delivering theatrical performances.
In 1998 Barnstorm, supported by Kilkenny Arts Festival and in partnership with ten local communities, presented Strollers,
an outdoor theatre spectacle involving EVERYONE. The show toured the county visiting town squares and greens, and involved both the talent of the company and those of the communities that hosted this unusual presentation. Performers, musicians, singers, jugglers, men, women children, horses, dogs….you name it. All were involved in Strollers – as the company said at the time “EVERYBODY IS A ‘BEGINNER’ ON THIS PROJECT, SO DON’T BE SHY, COME AND HAVE A LAUGH THIS SUMMER”
Strollers consisted of an open air performance of The Selfish Giant, a fairy tale by Oscar Wilde, preceded by a grand entrance parade and followed by a grand exit!
Strollers took place in Graiguenamanagh, Callan, Inistioge, Castlecomer, Ballyraggett, Freshford, at Kilkenny Castle, Kells, Gowran and in Jenkinstown Wood. Each hosting community used the opportunity to create a ‘celebration day’ for locals with a range of events (stalls, music, dancing, markets etc) to complement the Barnstorm event which was directed by Veronica McGuire and Helen Walsh.
Oh Yea Oh Yea, come one and all
Be still and hearken to my call
The mighty Strollers show’s now o’er
And weekends are our own once more
But before this moment ‘s passed away
A word of thanks we’d like to say
To all the players and designers too
To the office staff and the valiant crew
To organisers one and all
And to our hosts at [local] hall
But most of all our thanks is due
To Veronica and Helen too
Whose tireless work and artistic eye
Brought joy to child and passer by
Nothing ask they for their cause
But let us now give our Wilde applause.