Baboró International Arts Festival For Children Announces Its 22nd Programme

Artists from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Scotland, England and Ireland will present a feast of 51 events across 7 days designed especially for children and families.

Baboró 2018 features an exciting Irish and international programme of theatre, dance, music, puppetry, exhibitions, film and literature as well as talks and workshops for children and adults. There are also opportunities for children and adults to get their creative juices flowing while spending quality time together as part of the festival’s innovative Creative Connections strand.

Baboró enables children and families to experience first hand the transformative power of the creative arts. Its mission is rooted in its commitment to children and ensuring that each child’s experience of the arts is enriching and deeply engaging.

Commenting on the 2018 festival programme, Executive Artistic Director, Aislinn Ó hEocha said:

At Baboró we passionately believe the arts enhance childrens’ experience of life and expands their worldview. We’re delighted to share our 2018 programme with children, families and schools. For 7 days in October, artists from Ireland and all over the world will bring creativity and colour into the lives of children and their families. We’re very grateful for the support of our main funders The Arts Council and Galway City & County Council. We’d also like to thank our premier sponsors KBC and Medtronic, and the Galway business community, for their generous support.”

The international programme includes Sky, a lyrical piece of dance theatre from Teater Minsk, Denmark; The Young King, from Slingsby Theatre, Australia, tells the story of a boy raised by goatherds in a beautiful piece of immersive theatre with the tender language of Oscar Wilde; Getting Dressed from Theaterhaus Ensemble, Germany, sees two opera-trained performers combine their playful dances with beautiful singing from Henry Purcell’s baroque opera The Fairy Queen, and Night Light from Andy Manley, Scotland, and Teater Refleksion, Denmark, is a beautiful immersive experience which journeys through the night and welcomes a new day.

Other international work includes Black Beauty from Red Bridge Arts & Traverse Theatre, Scotland, which blends storytelling, music and puppetry in this vibrant retelling of the much-loved classic, Black Beauty; Narrow from Laika, Belgium is an intimate and funny love story about one couple’s quest for domestic bliss; Dracula, but not quite as you know it, is Nosferatu from Bob Théâtre, France - a gripping story with dramatic and colourful lighting and ingenious light bulb puppets; Is this a Dagger? from Andy Cannon & Red Bridge Arts, Scotland distils the essence of Macbeth into a one-man show using simple props and wicked humour; EGG-tion Hero from Maas Teater en Dans, Netherlands, is a hilarious theatre and mime show that is guaranteed to have children and adults alike in fits of laughter, and Tetris from Arch 8, Netherlands, inspired by the game of the same name, is an extremely physical dance quartet exploring how we connect with one another.

Irish work includes two Galway-based companies; Branar Téater do Pháistí presents How to Catch a Star based on the beloved book by award-winning Irish author, Oliver Jeffers, and Brú Theatre presents Cleite, which tells the story of an old woman who waits for her husband to come back from sea and features live singing as Gaeilge. Cleite will also tour to Teach an Phiarsaigh in Ros Muc. Dublin-based Bombinate Theatre present Half Light, combining storytelling, comedy and live music in a tender tale about finding light in dark times.

Events take place right across the city in a variety of venues. Sponsors of The Town Hall Theatre and the Black Box Theatre, KBC Bank, commenting on this year’s festival said:

We are delighted to extend our partnership with Baboró festival for the 5th year. Inspiring children’s creativity and exposing them to arts at a young age is critical to their development and well-being and being able to support Baboró in their mission to provide families and schools with affordable access to high-quality Irish and international children’s theatre is important to us. As the Bank of You, KBC is passionate about giving back to communities and is once again excited to get involved in driving initiatives that will have a positive impact in communities now, and in the future.” - Declan Russell, KBC Galway Hub Manager

This year’s Creative Connections strand, sponsored by Medtronic, offers children and adults the chance to enjoy interactive art experiences while spending quality time together. It will see Baboró use the Connacht Tribune’s former print works on Market Street for the first time. This new venue, The Wonder Works, will house Roaring Rockets, a STEAM challenge for budding designers and engineers; Wonder Walls which brings together expert illustrators, and former Children’s Laureates, Niamh Sharkey and PJ Lynch, for a unique live drawing experience, and The Colour Factory, from Toodelou Creativity Lab, an interactive art experience where children are the creators and curators and will transform the space into a three-dimensional, multi-sensory rainbow. There’s also a chance to make your own Stop Motion Movie with Designer Minds in The Portershed.

Commenting on the Creative Connections programme, Ronan Rogers, New Product Development Director and STEM lead at Medtronic, Parkmore said:

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. We have a long standing partnership with Baboró which is collaborative in approach with our employees engaging in volunteering and aligned with Medtronic’s partnership with Baboró, which strives to foster children’s creative and innovative minds.”

The literature programme will see Darkmouth author Shane Hegarty share his top writing tips at a fun and interactive event in Westside and Ballybane libraries; Peter Donnelly will engage children with a lively mixture of storytelling and live drawing based on his latest book The President’s Cat; Sadhbh Devlin and Tarsila Krüse invite school children to present their own compositions at a bilingual creative writing workshop, Bí ag Spraoi Liom; Fighting Words Galway will deliver a story making session, and TG4 will launch, Ár Scéal, a new animation series from Fíbín Media. There’s also the hugely popular Storytime in one of Ireland’s best bookshops, Charlie Byrne’s.

Visual Art exhibitions include a new body of work from Galway artist, Finbar McHugh. Floating is a series of abstract paintings created outdoors in nature where McHugh feels most at home. Finbar will also lead workshops with school children encouraging them to daydream and explore their inner worlds; Human Being and Human Becoming includes sculptural, collage and audio artworks by Siobhan McGibbon and third class children from Scoil Chroí Íosa which explores what happens when art, science and youthful imagination meet. In Celebration of Children is the culmination of a project by Michelle O’Grady from Réalta School of Speech and Drama, and Julia Dunin Photography, which captured portraits of children during a special photoshoot designed to empower the children and to raise self-esteem and confidence.

Workshops for children include print-making, dance, sculpture and a ‘design your own board game’ workshop with one of the world’s leading game designers, Brenda Romero. DJ Donal Dineen will lead a Tiny DJ workshop on how to use vinyl record decks as well as a Tiny Dancer event where kids can throw some shapes. There’s even a workshop on how to repair your toys.

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 including a masterclass with David Bolger, artistic director of CoisCéim Dance Theatre; a workshop on music composition with Australian composer Quincy Grant and everything you need to know about writing a picture book in association with Children’s Books Ireland. Workshops for teachers ways to foster an environment of imagination and innovation in the classroom.

Baboró is delighted to be working with the Pálás Cinema on its film programme, which features The Breadwinner and The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales. Baboró also continues to include Relaxed Performances as part of the festival programme. These shows aim to provide a comfortable and supportive atmosphere for children with additional needs. This year there are four productions with relaxed performances; Getting Dressed, Night Light, EGG-tion Hero and How to Catch a Star.

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 Premier Sponsors, KBC and Medtronic.

View the e-brochure here.