Baboró International Arts Festival for Children Announces Its 21st Programme

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children has announced details of its 21st programme which takes place in Galway from 16 – 22 October. Artists and companies from Denmark, Mexico, Argentina, USA, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, France, England and Norway will join forces with artists from Ireland to offer children and families an opportunity to explore the world through a rich programme packed with colour and fun. Featuring theatre, dance, music, visual arts and literature, Baboró invites audiences to explore our world and how we each find our own place in it.

“We’re delighted to share our 2017 programme with children, families and schools and we invite you all to join us for the 21st Baboró festival. As Galway starts its build-up to European Capital of Culture 2020, we’re excited to welcome artists from Ireland and all over the world to Galway this October. We’re very grateful for the support of our main funders The Arts Council, Galway City & County Councils and The American Ireland Fund. 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. See you all in October!”

Amongst the international programme highlights are The Peter Pan Experience, (ages 7+) from Het Laagland in the Netherlands, a quirky, high-energy show about rediscovering the joys of play; Bounce (ages 7+), from Arcosm in France, a sensitive and funny dance show featuring live music with plenty of climbing, playing, dancing and singing and Wot? No Fish!! (ages 9+) from England’s Danny Braverman tells the wonderful true story of Braverman’s Great Uncle Ab and Great Aunt Celie bringing up their family in 20th century London.

Irish work is presented by some of Ireland’s leading companies who make work for young audiences. The Abbey Theatre present Me, Sara (ages 10+), based on Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World; festival favourites Theatre Lovett present They Called her Vivaldi (ages 7+), an upbeat comedy-adventure about a sensitive musical-prodigy making a quiet name for herself in a cacophonous world; Fidget Feet present Strange Feathers (ages 18mths – 4) mixing contemporary dance, aerial dance and live music in an engaging performance for the very young, and Monkeyshine’s The Magic Bookshop (ages 4-8) features a treasure trove of wonders where old books flock together and their stories hop from the pages.
Something for all the family is Catching Waves (all ages), a vibrant performance from some of the most talented young musicians and dancers in the West of Ireland with joyful music from Sym-Phonic Waves and dancers from Youth Ballet West. Sym-Phonic Waves is the west of Ireland’s brand new youth orchestra, and an exciting orchestral project from Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, which will see the orchestra grow to a full symphony orchestra as part of Galway’s 2020 programme.
Other international work includes World Images (ages 2 – 6) from Denmark’s Theatre Madam Bach; Mexican/Argentinian Teatro al Vacío’s playful dance show, Close (ages 3 – 6); multi instrumentalist Tom Chapin (ages 4-10) from the USA invites you into his world of music where you can expect plenty of foot-stomping fun; What Does Red Do On Thursday? (ages 4 – 8) from Germany’s Thalias Kompagnons combines visual arts with music in this dreamlike journey, and We Come From Far, Far Away (ages 10+) from New International Encounter in the UK and Norway tells the story of Abdullah from Syria who has travelled a long way, mostly on this own. Performed in a small tent this is a big story told in a beautifully intimate way.

The literature programme will see master storytellers RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy and illustrator PJ Lynch talk about their collaboration on Patrick and The President, a stunning book about John F Kennedy’s trip to Ireland; Galway-based author Patricia Forde will introduce children to Lísín the pirate through an interactive bi-lingual event; Jane Mitchell will read from her book A Dangerous Crossing based on the experiences of Syrian families while award-winning author Dave Rudden will share his insights on how to get your own writing career started while talking about his writing journey with his Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy. There’s also the hugely popular story-time in one of Ireland’s best bookshops, Charlie Byrne’s.

 This year’s creative engagement programme offers children and adults the chance to get their creative juices flowing while spending quality time together. The Imagination Playground (ages 3 – 10yrs) from Bricí Spraoi is a child-centered space encouraging self-expression through free play. Toodlelou Creativity Lab present Little Hands, Big Art (18mths – 2yrs), a world of creative expression using a vast range of everyday materials.  Schools are invited to take part in an interactive art installation, Planning Through Time (ages 8 – 13), where children will explore heritage and architecture as they build, and rebuild, an imaginary town each day.

Visual Art exhibitions include Maeve Clancy’s beautiful paper huts, which will use written and visual stories to look at journeys of child migrants and how to feel safe, and ‘at home’ when you’re on the move. Two of the most exciting illustrators working in children’s books today will present a true feast for the eyes in A World Of ColourBeatrice Alemagna and Chris Haughton invite us to enter their world of imagination with artwork from their award-winning, lively and colourful picture books.

 Workshops for children include Design Your Own Board Game - with one of the world’s leading game designers, Brenda Romero. There’s also an opportunity to explore the origins of wool and tweed used in the manufacture of clothing with The Tweed Project as well as workshops in animation, dance, art and writing.

 A professional development programme for adults includes talks and workshops to help educators and arts practitioners develop their skills around making work for children and young audiences. Drawing on both academic and practice-based perspectives, a symposium presented in collaboration with Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway will explore how theatre for children can respond to the current refugee crisis.

Baboró’s Relaxed Performances aim to provide a comfortable and supportive atmosphere for children to enjoy the shows, and in turn reduce any discomfort or anxiety families or schools may have in attending the theatre. This year there are four productions with relaxed performances; World Images, Close, What Does Red Do On Thursday and The Magic Bookshop.

Baboró would like to acknowledge the continued support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Galway City and County Councils, and the support of its major sponsors, KBC and Medtronic.

Baboró offers performances for both the general public, families and schools. Full programme details at  Baboró International Arts Festival for Children runs in various venues throughout Galway from 16 – 22 October.  
For further information please contact: Sinead McPhillips T: 086 631 9004 E: