Kilkenny theatre barnstorming at home and abroad

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny theatre barnstorming at home and abroad

Ireland’s much-loved and lauded theatre company Barnstorm has just celebrated 25 years of making theatre in Kilkenny and kicked off 2017 with an amazing list of new work and international touring.

 

The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket, which wowed audiences throughout Ireland (and subsequently in the UK), kicked off a North American tour in Garden City USA this month and will take in venues in New York, Ontario Canada, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, Kansas and Arkansas.

While at home the company is producing the world-premiere of a new play for children that was born out of an exploration of story with local and visiting artists in 2016. Star Chasers went into rehearsals earlier this month and will open in The Barn, Kilkenny on February 27 for a two-week run.

At the same time another of Barnstorm’s successes will head off on a tour to the UK in April. Monday’s Child was a phenomenal success in Ireland and was picked up by fourteen venues in the UK.

“Barnstorm was founded in 1991 and our aim was to make theatre accessible to all children ” said Artistic Director Philip Hardy. “

Early on we travelled throughout the country building partnerships with managers and programmers of the growing network of theatre venues in the 90’s, including our own Watergate Theatre. It is only natural that our touring widens to international audiences as our reputation and expertise has grown!”.

Star Chasers is written by Scott Young, directed by Katy Weir and stars John Delaney and Conal O’Sheil. It is a modern day adventure for all, which sees Billy and Dad heading north with just a tent and a box full of Mam’s memories.

On the way they pitch their tent, conjure Mam’s stories and quarrel as they seek journey’s end and a new beginning.

This is a rich exploration of the relationship between a parent and child and their attempts to come to terms with the shared loss in their lives.

The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket written and directed by Sarah Argent, starring Paul Curley and Aidan Crowe, examines what friendship is, what goes wrong and how you fix it. The play is described as ‘Beckett for children’ and ‘a stand-out piece of children’s theatre ,’ and the two characters likened to Laurel and Hardy.

Children delight in the humour and the visual antics of the two friends, This is an entertaining, thought-provoking exploration of friendship for children aged 4 and older, and their families.

Barnstorm’s production of the poignant and moving Monday’s Child, a play for children about age-related memory loss, is written by award-winning writer Brendan Murray, directed by Philip Hardy and stars Noelle Brown and Iseult Casey.

A little girl meets an old woman who is searching for searching for something. She can’t quite remember what it is but it is important! Together in a dream-like garden, they sing and dance and dress up as they joyously explore a treasure trove of memory boxes. It becomes a birthday party, full of surprises that assist the woman in reclaiming her memories and identity. Barnstorm is supported by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealíonn and Kilkenny County Council. Its international touring is made possible through the generous support of Culture

 

Ireland. something. She can’t quite remember what it is but it is important! Together in a dream-like garden, they sing and dance and dress up as they joyously explore a treasure trove of memory boxes. It becomes a birthday party, full of surprises that assist the woman in reclaiming her memories and identity. Barnstorm is supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealíonn and Kilkenny County