Barnstorm’s new play The Ice Child promises to be a ground-breaking “must-see” for all ages but especially for children aged eight years and older. Billed as ‘a new Irish fairy-tale’ by award-winning writer Mike Kenny The Ice Child is a dazzling once-upon-a-time tale told by fairy-folk about people.
The fairy-folk in the play (a mischievous raggle-taggle bunch, a motley crew) are based on Irish fairy lore but are re-imagined into contemporary Ireland. These fairy-folk are baffled and bemused by humans. They like people when they are still babies, full of fun and play. But they don’t understand grown-up behaviour at all…”Going to school, doing what you are told. And love! What is that?”
But you can’t trust the fairy-folk. They stole the baby and left the Ice Child in its place. The Ice Child is lost in a world that doesn’t understand and doesn’t welcome him. He doesn’t fit in. And how does a mother love a child that can’t be touched?
A video camera becomes a portal, linking the worlds of the fairies, people and the once-upon-a-time world of the Ice Child. This is essentially a story about our capacity to adapt in the face of adversity, and to find love.
At the heart of the play are four versatile and multi-faceted actors who weave the tale for us. Jack Walsh is immediately recognisable as Jimmy Burke from television comedy series Killnaskully, a role Jack played for all five series, and enjoyed immensely. If you are a question-setter for pub quizzes, here’s one for you: What do Killnaskully’s Jimmy Burke and Marcel Marceau have in common? Answer: Both featured Jack Walsh! Jack trained for three years at the Marcel Marceau International Mime School in Paris. He lists some of the disciplines he trained in mime, dance, fencing, acrobatics and movement - the kind of skills that stand me in good stead for The Ice Child, which is a very physical piece of theatre.
For over 30 years Jack has appeared on stage and screen across Ireland and Europe. He visited Kilkenny most recently when he toured to the Watergate with Guerilla Days in Ireland, playing no fewer than 11 characters! Jack features regularly on the small screen.