Tag Archives: theatre for young audiences


Barnstorm Theatre Company in Kilkenny City will launch its latest world-premiere at the Watergate Theatre this October.

Noah Barleywater Runs Away is the world premiere of a truly exciting theatre piece which has been adapted by internationally renowned playwright Mike Kenny from John Boyne’s novel of the same name.

The book explores the world of childhood and the adventures that we can all have there. Noah is running away from his problems, or at least that’s what he thinks, the day he takes the untrodden path through the forest. When he comes across a very unusual toyshop and meets the even more unusual toymaker, he’s not sure what to expect. But the toymaker has a story to tell, a story full of adventure, and wonder and broken promises. And Noah travels with him on a journey that will change his life for ever. This is a thought-provoking fable for our modern world from the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

School performances for this magical play are from Monday 16th to Friday 20th October with a family show on Thursday evening 19th October.

To get your tickets, call the Watergate Theatre (056 7761674) or book online  HERE

Barnstorm is delighted to present a new play, Monday’s Child by Brendan Murray

Monday's Child by Brendan Murray

Monday’s Child by Brendan Murray

What’s it about?

This sensitive and exciting play tells a simple poetic story of the unique bond between an old woman and a young girl. It explores how we make and store memories, and how these shape who we are as we discover the world around us.

Monday’s Child incorporates elements of both music and dance, two characters play joyously with a treasure trove of spurious memories which perhaps ultimately belong to them both. Commissioned by Tutti Frutti, the original production has just completed a highly successful tour in the UK.

Who’s it for?

This is theatre created especially for children of 4 years and up, and their families and teachers. Schools performances take place daily at 10am and 11.30am.

Bookings are now open! Tel 056 7751266.

Monday 6th October to Friday 17th October, daily at 10:00am and 11:30am. Tickets €5.00 for school & pre-school groups.

Saturday 11th & Saturday 18th October, at 2:30pm and 4:00pm. Tickets €6.00; Family of 4: €20.

Monday’s Child tours to Mullingar Arts Centre and Mill Theatre, Dundrum later in October.

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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By Sarah Argent, in collaboration with Barnstorm Theatre Company


Bucket & Henry take a drive

Bucket & Henry take a drive (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)


What is friendship? What happens when it goes wrong?

What do you have to do to make it work?

Barnstorm Theatre Company’s national tour of its insightful new play for children aged 4 and older, commenced at Draíocht on Monday 8th April. The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket looks at friendship through a day in the life of two friends who live in a bockety world of discarded objects.

Responses to its World Premiere in Kilkenny have been resoundingly enthusiastic – comments included ‘pure theatre’, ‘visually imaginative’ and ‘…they haven’t stopped talking about it since.’

Written and directed by Sarah Argent, based on a collaborative devising process with Barnstorm, The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket is humorous and rich in visual antics. Through Henry and Bucket’s relationship we can examine what friendship is, what goes wrong and how you fix it.

Their friendship reflects the bockety world they inhabit – there are wobbles and shakes, and it’s not quite level all the time but it works! How do friends reconcile when they’ve had their battles, got on each other’s nerves, and even stooped to telling lies…?

This is an entertaining, thought-provoking exploration of friendship for young children and their families.

A play for children aged 4 and older.

Running time: 40 minutes


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Youth Theatre Week @ Barnstorm will run from 9th-13th July. It is a theatre camp for young people who are interested in drama and theatre. It will be facilitated by professional youth drama facilitators.

Each group will work towards a short theatrical piece. During the week they will look at the skills needed in creating and performing a piece of theatre including acting, voice, devising and improvisation.

The workshops will also encourage the development of confidence and social skills. All the sessions will be delivered knowing it’s the summer holidays so enjoyment and fun will also be high on the agenda.

If you are interested please read the information below and fill in a registration form or contact Anna at anna@barnstorm.ie or 056 7751266.

Where? The Barn, Church Lane, Kilkenny (behind St Canice’s Cathedral)

When? 9th – 13th July

10am -1pm             11-13 yrs.

2pm – 5pm              14 + yrs.

  • The cost is €75, with a 10% discount for members of the same family
  • Contact Anna for a registration form – anna@barnstorm.ie
  • Places are reserved on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed until a deposit is received
  • Parental consent, a registration form and a non-refundable deposit of €30 is required to secure a place
  • Please make cheques payable to: Barnstorm Theatre Company

 

 

 

Rehearsals are more than half-way through at The Barn, for the landmark production, the first ever production, of A Murder of Crows, written by Mike Kenny in collaboration with Barnstorm.

Here’s a musical taster of the lullaby from the play. Music composed by Pól Brennan; lyrics by Mike Kenny; vocals by Tara Byrne.

Barnstorm_AMurderOfCrows_Lullaby

A Murder of Crows - actors' crow pose

Off-site rehearsals - actors' crow poses

Cast Paul Curley, Conor Donelan, Annette Flynn, Sarah Kinlen, Fiona McGeown and Shane O’Reilly are physically limbered up and are well into the production.

Collaborative work continues with set design (Carol Betera), costume designers (Harmless Creatures), music composer (Pól Brennan- of Clannad) and lighting designer (Mark Galione).

Alé Mercado, illustrative artist and graphic designer has captured the essence of the play with his brochure design – he also created an exquisite limited edition screenprint in honour of Barnstorm’s 20th!

 

Crow Row

Crow Row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Richard Conlon 

Paving Paradise

Cast - The Tree, Students and Protestors

Chris has a headache, a migraine, he’s off form and now he has to work with the ’geeks’ of the school on an Environmental Project, you just know it’s not going to be his week…or is it? He becomes the centre of attention not only of his peers but of local and international media, and all he wanted to do was pick up some litter at the park…Life is never goes the way you think, especially when you have a headache!

Following on from the incredible success of Burying Your Brother in the Pavement by Jack Thorne and Moira Buffini’s A Vampire Story, Kilkenny Youth Theatre chose a vibrant and thought-provoking play that asks us what is our responsibility in taking care of our world.

The play jumped between the real world of school and the unreal stories of the students’ imaginations.  They battle with working together as a team and getting a job done. Chris, always on the outside of the group, struggles more than others. He says he’s ill but is he just a layabout?

In the end Chris’s difference provides the solution to the others problem of getting the job done.

Directed by Anna Galligan, Paving Paradise ran at The Barn from the 15th – 17th April 2011 with a cast of sixteen young people.

 

 

By Moira Buffini

A Vampire Story

A Vampire Story

Following on from the incredible success of Burying Your Brother in the Pavement by Jack Thorne, Kilkenny Youth Theatre chose a tale of the gothic and the everyday: A Vampire Story.

Two young women arrive in a nameless British small town. Their names are not their own. They don’t declare their ages. Are they sisters as their assumed identities declare? Or are they mother and daughter? Are Ella and Claire vampires? Or are they troubled young women on the run?

Ella tells Frank she has qualms about killing people and frequently goes hungry. But her so-called sister has no conscience. Frank, also an outsider, thinks she’s delusional but fascinating. And while he tries to get to the bottom of her delusion, things start to fall apart, people start to disappear and her class mates begin to believe it could be true.

Written by multi-award winning playwright Moira Buffini (born in England to Irish parents), in 2011 A Vampire Story was in the process of being adapted for the big screen under the title Byzantium, with irish actress, Saoirse Ronan in the role of Ella.  In a recent interview with CultureNorthernIreland.org about A Vampire Story Moira says she writes plays for young people and wants them to be able to stage them with absolutely minimal resources. ‘All you need is a potato peeler,’ the playwright smirks. ‘A potato peeler and a pint of blood.’

And there was plenty of both when Kilkenny Youth Theatre performed Moira Buffini’s A Vampire Story to full houses from April 15th to Saturday 17th at The Barn, directed by Anna Galligan with a cast of eleven.

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