RoolaBoola 2010: The fun is about to begin

Sleeping dragons, Jack and the Beanstalk, a very hungry caterpillar, a man who planted trees, and a fish who wants to be human. It can mean only one thing — RoolaBoola is here again. The annual children’s arts festival is back with a vibrant programme of shows, workshops, drop-in events, and more for young people of all ages, and lots of fun for the whole family too, over the October Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 22 to Monday October 25 at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar.

This year offers some cracking shows to engage and delight, including The Man Who Planted Trees, a beautiful and inspiring blend of comedy and puppetry about a shepherd who sets out (with his dog! ) to plant a forest and transform a barren wasteland. A touching tale and a hilarious puppet show by Scotland’s Puppet State Theatre Company.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle favourites by Canada’s Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia follows the amazing and brave journeys from three of hugely popular children’s author Eric Carle’s most beloved stories, brought to life on stage using spectacular black light puppetry. Then there’s Jack, a high energy and hugely entertaining retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk by Ireland’s own Barnstorm Theatre, full of beans, magic hens, and golden eggs, and of course, a giant (and his wife! ), all served up with music, dance, puppetry, and lashings of fun.

There is also a film screening of the stunning Japanese animated film Ponyo, and don’t forget the aforementioned Sleeping Dragons, a magical free open-air night-time experience created by artist Tom Meskell for all the family, kicking off RoolaBoola 2010 on October Friday 22 at 7.30pm at the HSE Rural Training Centre. And there is much more besides. There is the ever-popular stories room complete with free books and readings, a bagful of arts workshops for ages from two to 12 years, from story creating to gamelan, pop-up card-making to dance, and singing to samba. Plus there’s a whole bunch of drop-in activities for those ‘in-between moments’ and Cascade, a brilliant visual art exhibition by artist Vanessa Daws for all the family to enjoy. The RoolaBoola programme is available now on Booking is essential for all events. Contact the RoolaBoola box office at (094 ) 9028886.


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