Bualadh Bos Children's Festival 2022 Wrap Up - Lime Tree Theatre

Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival 2022 Wrap Up

By Festival Curator Liam McCarthy


Our main aim at Bualadh Bos this year was, rather ambitiously, to try to include as many children as possible in our festival. We wanted every child to walk into our venues and to believe that these civic spaces were theirs too – a safe place for them to be creative and to experience creativity around them. We really wanted to include those children and families who, for whatever reason, might never have attended an arts event before.

Our Pay it Forward initiative, with donations made by the public along with match funding contributed by the Lime Tree Theatre, raised €3711. This meant hundreds of children (and their families) were able to attend events throughout our festival for the first time. We are particularly grateful to everyone at Doras who helped us to realise our ambition.

We partnered with the ‘Embracing Diversity Nurturing Integration Project’ at Mary Immaculate College (MIC). Organised through MIC, hundreds of school children in our city centre schools were offered tickets (and follow up workshops) to events throughout Bualadh Bos. We were delighted that DEIS schools were such a huge part of our school’s audience this year and we are particularly grateful to Áine Lyne at MIC for making this happen.

Our ‘Thomond Youth Theatre Open Workshop’ was a collaboration between the Local Creative Youth Partnership, through the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, and Thomond Community College. This project saw young people between the ages of 14 and 17 create original pieces of theatre, workshopped throughout the summer and earlier this term, and presented on the Belltable stage.

Bualadh Bos on Tour, our exciting community workshop programme, was a central element of our festival. This engagement project was made possible through the support of Limerick City and County Council and the Creative Limerick programme. Working alongside teachers and children in our local schools across the city and county, we produced a series of workshops in music, visual art, drama, dance and creative writing . These workshops were inspired by the Bualadh Bos Festival artistic programme. We were very excited to work with artists including Helena Close, Sinéad O’Brien, Zara Starr, Darren Yorke, Tetsuro Shigematsu and Aisling Ryan- as well as such outstanding international companies including de Stilte Dance Company (Netherlands) and Curious Seed (Scotland.) We were delighted to work with Southill Hub and St. Vincent’s School, Lisnagry on some of these workshops.

In collaboration with colleagues and students from MIC, Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival was delighted to present a bespoke POP-UP storytelling event, Unhappy Endings? inspired by The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy.

This event involved lecturers and students from MIC’s Education Programmes and BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies Programme in the creation and performance of a communal storytelling experience with children. The creative Team featured Dr Fiona McDonagh, Dr Dorothy Morrissey, Dr Ailbhe Kenny and Visual Artist Enda Griffin (MIC PhD Candidate).

Crucially, we wanted to make sure that children’s voice and opinions were at the very centre of everything we did. We created a “children’s panel” – a small group of children gathered through our existing community projects. These children participated in collaborative workshops and attended all of our events at last year’s festival. Through months of zooms and in-person sessions, the children offered their insight, their feedback and their opinions for Bualadh Bos 2022. They supported the entire team on the artistic programming and delivery of our festival.

We presented some of the best available work for young people across our stages. We loved de Stilte Dance Company’s presentation of Do Re Mi Ka Do –a beautiful dance show for 2–5-year-olds by Europe’s leading dance company for children – presented in partnership with Dance Limerick.  This year we also hosted Scotland’s Curious Seed Company and their internationally acclaimed Chalk About – a beautiful show about how we see ourselves. The Egg and Travelling Light Theatre (UK) presented I Wish I was a Mountain – an exceptional and award-winning play adapted from Herman Hesse. Our festival also featured home grown work.  Fergal – a play about being yourself and the importance of enjoying your own company opened Bualadh Bos this year. We were thrilled with its inaugural reception, and excited that the production has already received several offers to tour. We were also delighted to welcome Ireland’s leading theatre company for younger audiences, Branar,  with their new show, Grand Soft Day as well as Anna Newell’s Sweet Dreams are Made of This, which was presented at St. Gabriel’s School.

Thank you so much to everyone for supporting Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival 2022, we couldn’t do it without you!


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