Announcing 2016 Baboró Festival Programme



This October 17 - 23, the 20th Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Ireland’s flagship festival for children and families, invites you to Galway on a fantastical journey of flying suitcases, dancing feet, vanishing queens, wild adventures, curious giants and toe-tapping tunes.

Offering a host of treats for boys, girls, grown-ups and babies, this year’s festival features some of the most imaginative Irish and international work from Ireland, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and the UK. Over seven days of theatre, dance, music, puppetry, film, animation, exhibitions, talks and workshops, the festival will enchant young and old alike in venues throughout Galway. The full programme is now live on Baboró’s newly launched website

Commenting on the 2016 festival programme, Executive Artistic Director, Aislinn ÓhEocha said:

“We’re delighted to share our 2016 programme with children, families and schools and we look forward to welcoming you all to Baboró over seven days in Galway this October. There’s a wonderful range of shows and events to choose from and we encourage visitors to explore all aspects of the programme. The festival of course wouldn’t happen without the support of our main funders The Arts Council, Galway City & County Councils and The American Ireland Fund and we’d like to extend our thanks to them. We’d also like to thank our many sponsors including KBC and Medtronic and the Galway business community for their generous support year on year.”

Programme highlights include a beautifully tender story from one of Europe’s most exciting theatre companies, Kopergietery from Belgium. The Queen Has Vanished (ages 6+) features live music and illustration that speaks to children and adults alike about the power of hope, when it seems that all is lost. Dream City (ages 8+) from De Dansers in Holland is a high energy live music and dance show inspired by the fairgrounds of Dream City, Iraq; an exhilarating and thought-provoking ode to children in war zones, where the ability to dream is essential to survival. Graffiti Classics (ages 4+ Family) from the UK aims to make classical music wickedly funny and will have audiences, young and old, laughing, clapping and singing along to their all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy cabaret show.

Whoosh! (ages 1-4) from Alle Hoeken van de Kammermuziek in Holland is a heartwarming and gentle introduction to the power of live music, featuring three wonderful musicians where the only spoken language is music. I Pack My Bag (ages 2 – 6) from Theater Nuu in Austria is a playful show full of humour, dance, movement and song exploring fantasy, imagination, and the simple games children love to play. Ailie Cohen from Scotland presents an immersive puppet show packed with wit where we join Larry as his world gets turned upside down in The Secret Life of Suitcases (ages 4+ Family). Aston’s Stones (ages 3 – 6) from Teater Pero in Sweden reminds us of the joy that the simplest things, even a little stone, can bring to our lives, and about how easy it is to love.

Closer to home, Galway’s much-loved Branar (Maloney’s Dream, The Way Back Home) present a new bi-lingual show developed especially for very young children (ages 6 months to 2 years). Set in a soft tactile environment, The Shape of Things is an interactive story told through puppetry, object theatre, music and sound. Youth Ballet West have created a show filled with drama, acrobatics and high energy dance in Alice Underground (all ages); a modern interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tales ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’.

Irish work sees the welcome return of Theatre Lovett to the festival with their vastly entertaining musical fable, A Feast of Bones, serving up songs, fun, and fright. Monkeyshine are back with another adventure, Voyage, an electrifying new play inspired by Jonathan Swift’s fantastic stories of Gulliver’s Travels. This physical, visual, and visceral piece of theatre with music and songs is a big-hearted epic brought to life with Monkeyshine’s unique style.

Following on from the success of last year’s Happy Heart Zone, Baboró is delighted to welcome back artists Deirdre Rogers and Órla Kelly to guide young and old on a creative voyage of discovery. Get your crafty creative juices flowing with Deirdre and Orla in Baboró’s Creative Lab at NUI Galway; a place to invent, create and build using a wealth of unusual materials from tubing to foam gleaned from Recreate’s ‘Warehouse of Wonders’.

If you’d like to explore robotics and engineering in a fun and interactive way, Robotic Adventures from Colmac Robotics provide the perfect environment for children to be creative and innovative while learning skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer programming.

Exhibitions include a group showing curated by Maeve Mulrennan of Galway Arts Centre with Alan Clarke, Louise Manifold, Pawel Kleszewski and Kasia Zimnoch presenting Becoming: The Adventures of Growing Up, an exhibition that sees growing up as an adventure in itself. Illustrator Shona Shirley Macdonald presents Juniper, a richly detailed and visual story. One of her stunning illustrations, which was commissioned by Baboró, can be seen on the cover of this year’s festival programme.

The literature programme, dedicated to the late Teenagh Cunningham, Baboró General Manager up until her passing in August 2015, will feature Galway-based author Patricia Forde reading from her award-winning children’s book The Wordsmith; Gemma Breathnach reading from Luán agus and Mórphianó, and MáireZepf and Tarsila Kruse will facilitate an interactive bi-lingual workshop based on Na Gabh ar Scoil. The film strand is presented in association with Galway UNESCO City of Film and UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and will feature Amhrán na Mara / Song of the Sea and The Long Way North.

There’s also a series of talks for grown-ups with one of Ireland’s most lauded artists, PJ Lynch, Laureate na nÓg, and with Aoibheann McNamara, mother and restaurateur (Ard Bia at Nimmos) about nurturing your child’s love of food through travel and adventure. There’s storytelling from PigNut productions and Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, and immersive theatre with Moonfish Theatre.

The festival’s hugely popular Relaxed Performances aim to provide a comfortable and supportive atmosphere for children to enjoy the show, and in turn reduce any discomfort or anxiety families or schools may have in attending the theatre. There are three productions with relaxed performances; Whoosh!; I Pack my Bag; The Secret Life of Suitcases.

Baboró would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Arts Council and Galway City and County Councils.

Baboró offers performances for both the general public, families and schools. Full programme details available at Baboró International Arts Festival for Children runs in various venues throughout Galway from October 17 – 23.

For further information contact: Sinead McPhillips T: 086 631 9004 E: or Sabrina Sheehan T: 086 250 3751 E: