The annual Lollipops festival gets underway this month at Roscommon Arts Centre and this year’s programme boasts something for everyone aged 12 and under!
From early year’s activities to shows suitable for pre-schoolers and upwards, the festival opens with the premiere of a brand new children’s show ‘An Ant Called Amy’ which has been written by a well-known Roscommon actress Julie Sharkey, who also stars in the show.
Julie, a Ballaghaderreen native first developed the show during a residency at Roscommon Arts Centre in 2017/18 and with the support of Creative Ireland and now The Arts Council, the production finally takes to the road on a nationwide tour to no less than nine venues.
A Roscommon Arts Centre production, ‘An Ant Called Amy’ is a story about Amy the ant, her brother Andy and a brown spider. Amy the ant works very hard. When she wins the Employee of the Month Award Amy feels happiness that drives her to work even harder. But with the help of the Brown Spider, Amy finds true happiness by embracing her brother’s memory in the everyday. A story about a busy little ant who learns to slow down.
Also to coincide with the annual Lollipops festival, we have Anna Newell Theatre Adventures with ‘Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This’ for very young audiences with complex needs and the ever-popular Branar Theatre Company return with both school and family performances of their new play ‘Grand Soft Day’.
‘Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This’ is a gentle adventure for younger children with complex needs performed inside a dreamy blue tent with a limited capacity to enhance the experience. It drifts its audience off to a gentle magical place of dancing lights, curious mice and giant moons. Family show ‘Grand Soft Day’ is a beautiful show of all seasons from splashing in puddles, wind whipping your hair, dripping on your nose to crunching frost under your feet. A playful show about always being prepared even though you don’t know what the day will bring – a great first show for pre-schoolers and junior/senior infant primary school children.
For music lovers, on October 21, the Arts Centre hosts the amazing Kakatsitsi, a group of traditional drummers, dancers and singers from the Ga tribe of Southern Ghana, with their roots in the fishing community of Jamestown. Their music takes traditional rhythms and chants from their own Ga tradition and those of a variety of other West African cultures, rearranging them in a modern and accessible way and a showcase of young Roscommon musicians continues in association with Music Generation, with a festival ‘Sunday Sounds’ on October 16.
The gallery space remains open until October 22 with ‘The Playroom’, an exhibition by artists Jane Fogarty, Maree Hensey and Celing Sheridan exploring ‘play’ as a means to engage, develop and learn by doing and playing through ‘hands on’ experiences. Artist Maree Hensey is hosting baby and toddler groups ‘WonderPools’ to co-incide with the exhibition on 20.
The brilliant Marian Balfe will be offering primary schools the chance to participate in a tour of the exhibition and complimentary workshop via the ‘Primary Colours’ programme and plans are also underway for a ‘Family Day in the gallery with Marian’ as part of the festival.
Interested in finding out more, or coming along? Then check out the website www.roscommonartscentre.ie or contact the box office on 09066 25824.