Tag Archives: Mike Kenny


Boy with a Suitcase, by Mike Kenny
A play for children aged 8-12 years

 

Boy with a Suitcase is the story of a 12 year old war refugee, who undertakes a long and dangerous journey to find asylum in Ireland. He carries with him only a small suitcase and a treasure of stories from his childhood.

Like his hero, Sinbad the Sailor, who undertook many perilous voyages in search of his fortune, Naz must travel half-way around the world to reach the safety of his brother in Dublin. Naz teams up with Krysia, a young girl in similar circumstances, who helps him dodge soldiers and find safe passage over mountains, across seas and through the mire of a city slum.

A gripping tale of adventure and stories, Naz’s journey throws a spotlight on the real dangers faced by children in other parts of the world, and the lengths to which they must go to reach safety in the relative security of a country like Ireland.

Theatre Workshops and Teachers’ Resources
For Co Kilkenny schools, classes attending a performance will receive two workshops in their school, a session on visual literacy in advance of the performance and a second workshop on critical analysis in the days following their visit to the theatre – there is limited availability and will be provided on a ‘first-come’ basis. A resource pack, developed in association with Ann Murtagh, will be provided to participating teachers. The pack will provide a focus for exploration and discussion of themes raised through the play.

The Author
Mike Kenny is a teacher, a parent, an actor and an award-winning playwright.
He has written in excess of 50 plays for children of all ages and is included in the list of Britain’s top ten playwrights.

Booking

Boy with a Suitcase plays at Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from March 6 -9 2019.
Visit Watergate for full booking and time details

 

 

A new Irish fairy-tale by Mike Kenny.

“a quirky thought-provoking modern fairy tale, it was undoubtedly a highlight of the Belfast Children’s Festival” –  Belfast Telegraph, March 2014

“Spellbinding performances in The Ice Child”- Kilkenny People, March 2014

The fairy-folk bell chorus

The fairy-folk bell chorus

You can’t trust the fairy-folk. They stole the baby and left the Ice Child in its place.

The Ice Child is not like other children. He’s lost in a world that doesn’t understand and doesn’t welcome him.

The Ice Child can’t be hugged, can’t be cuddled. He’ll melt. How do you love a child that can’t be touched? And what is love anyway – when you come right down to it?

This is a tale of growing up different. It’s a fairy story – a story told by the fairies about people. And it’s a love story – a story about love.

Using sound, real-time video and live performance, a motley band of contemporary sídhe (Irish fairy-folk) enact a dazzling once-upon-a-time tale about people.

Commissioned and produced by Barnstorm, the world premiere will take place at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny on 27th February.

Family Performance on Saturday 1st March at 7.30pm. Bookings: 056 7761674

A play for children aged 8+

Running time: 55 minutes approximately

Tickets: €10 / €7 for school groups

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Murder of Crows - Crows Perch

A Murder of Crows - Crows Perch

After two years of development and devising by the Barnstorm Acting Ensemble and scripting by Mike Kenny, A Murder of Crows has finished its première run in The Watergate, Kilkenny. It has received a rapturous response from all who have seen it.

“The lads had a great night, the play was amazing, well acted & well written. Thanks again to all concerned.”

“Your best show yet”

The cast of Paul Curley, Conor Donelan, Annette Flynn, Sarah Kinlen, Fiona McGeown and Shane O’Reilly, the design team and crew, who brought this gothic story of two children’s journey to the stage, have produced a show that enthrals both children and adults alike.

If you missed A Murder of Crows during its first run, don’t worry, A Murder of Crows is back in Kilkenny for one night on Wednesday 26th October, as part of Gathering 2011. All proceeds of the night are in aid of Carlow-Kilkenny NCFA (National Campaign for the Arts) to help campaign to maintain current levels of public investment in the arts. Bookings at The Watergate- 056 7761674.

A Murder of Crows will be on national tour in spring 2012.

Two years ago Barnstorm realised a long-held aspiration when we formed our Acting Ensemble – three actors who worked and trained with the company in the development, devising and realisation of theatre productions for our various audiences but in particular children & young people.

Olivier award-winning author Mike Kenny

Olivier award-winning author Mike Kenny

In exploring ‘how’ we tell stories in these productions we engaged with other artists and developed a new play based on the original Hansel & Gretel tale. The team involved in the process were our three actors Paul Curley, Sarah Johnson and Shane O’Reilly, writer Maeve Ingoldsby, visiting actors Will Pinchin and Ben Samuels, Designer Carol Betera, our Outreach Officer Anna Galligan and Artistic Director Philip Hardy. And after working on the ideas at various stages throughout 15 months we invited Mike Kenny to script the piece. Mike is a prolific writer in children’s theatre and indeed Barnstorm has a long relationship with him – we have produced six of his works to date.

A Murder of Crows is the result, and it is appropriate that this world premiere of a new script by Mike Kenny is produced by Barnstorm in celebration of the company’s 20th year serving young audiences throughout the country.

There are six actors in this production and final auditions are now complete. The design team includes Carol Betera (set), Mark Galione (lighting), Harmless Creatures (costume), Alé Mercado (graphics) and Pól Brennan (music). Rehearsals begin on 5th September.

The production will open in the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny on 11th October and runs until 19th October, and will tour nationally in the Spring of 2012. There will be a showcase performance of A Murder of Crows in the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity College, Dublin on Saturday 22 October.

By Mike Kenny, in collaboration with Barnstorm Theatre Company

‘…Barnstorm has achieved a combined strength through its small ensemble, reflected in the harmonies of their speech, the fluidity of their movement and their capacity to segue smoothly into doubling as both the crows and the human protaganists.  ‘A Murder of Crows’ is rooted in story-telling but it upends the form in a satifying manner. Irish Theatre Review, 26 October 2011

 

Shane O' Reilly (Crow), Fiona McGeown (Old Woman), Paul Curley (Boy). Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Shane O’ Reilly (Crow), Fiona McGeown (Old Woman), Paul Curley (Boy). Photo: Dylan Vaughan

 

A Murder of Crows is a dynamic and theatrically exciting work for children aged 8 and over, based on the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel. The play explores themes of famine, family loyalties and personal growth.

Six actors weave a gothic story of two children’s journey from abandonment and fear to ultimate survival, seen from the quirky perspective of a chorus of raucous and garrulous crows, whose boisterous antics will delight children.

The production ran in the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny from 11th – 19th October, and will tour nationally in the Spring of 2012.

This new script by Mike Kenny is being produced by Barnstorm in celebration of the company’s 20th year serving young audiences throughout the country.

A play for children aged 8 and older.

Running time: 60 minutes approximately

 

Press Release Barnstorm-A Murder of Crows

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By Mike Kenny

Jack (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)

Jack (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)

Jack has been a great disappointment to his mother. Now he is about to become the Giant’s dinner. The giant’s wife hasn’t got it easy either, coping with a demanding and bad-tempered husband.

But between hens with golden eggs, magic table cloths and giants that only dance on a Wednesday, this play focuses in on the potential for transformation, where even giants can come good, bad-tempered bullies can get their comeuppance and lazy boys can become heroes.

In this quirky, witty and hugely entertaining take on Jack and the Beanstalk, Barnstorm’s acting ensemble enthrals its young audience with its unique brand of visually exciting, high-energy performance, served up with music, dance, puppetry and lashings of fun.

A play for children aged 4 to 7 years.

Running time: 35 minutes.

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By Mike Kenny

Boy with a Suitcase - Naz (Paul Curley)

Boy with a Suitcase - Naz (Paul Curley) Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Boy with a Suitcase is the story of a 12-year-old war refugee, who undertakes a long and dangerous journey to find asylum in Ireland. He carries with him only a small suitcase and a treasure of stories from his childhood.

Like his hero, Sinbad the Sailor, who undertook many perilous voyages in search of his fortune, Naz must travel half-way around the world to reach the safety of his brother in Dublin. Naz teams up with Krysia, a young girl in similar circumstances, who helps him dodge soldiers and find safe passage over mountains, across seas and through the mire of a city slum. With the help of Krysia and his stories, Naz finds his way to Dublin and his brother. But is it the ‘heaven on earth’ that he expects….?

A ripping yarn of adventure and stories, Naz’s journey also throws a spotlight on the real dangers faced by children in other parts of the world, beyond the relative security of life in Ireland. You’d imagine there’s not much room for laughter in this production but writer Mike Kenny has elevated this story with humour and spirit.

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By Mike Kenny

“(The cast).. maintain a breathless momentum using a series of economical theatrical devices that call for the imaginative collaboration of the audience.” – Irish Theatre Magazine

Naz (Paul Curley) and Mum (Céire O'Donoghue) (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)

Boy with a Suitcase - Naz (Paul Curley) and Mum (Céire O'Donoghue) (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)

Boy with a Suitcase is the story of a 12-year-old war refugee, who undertakes a long and dangerous journey to find asylum in Ireland. He carries with him only a small suitcase and a treasure of stories from his childhood.

Like his hero, Sinbad the Sailor, who undertook many perilous voyages in search of his fortune, Naz must travel half-way around the world to reach the safety of his brother in Dublin. Naz teams up with Krysia, a young girl in similar circumstances, who helps him dodge soldiers and find safe passage over mountains, across seas and through the mire of a city slum. With the help of Krysia and his stories, Naz finds his way to Dublin and his brother. But is it the ‘heaven on earth’ that he expects….?

A ripping yarn of adventure and stories, Naz’s journey also throws a spotlight on the real dangers faced by children in other parts of the world, beyond the relative security of life in Ireland. You’d imagine there’s not much room for laughter in this production but writer Mike Kenny has elevated this story with humour and spirit.

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