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
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
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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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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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