23 – 30 OCTOBER 2015



Dark autumn evenings, Halloween just around the corner and the October Bank Holiday… at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar it can mean only one thing: RoolaBoola! From 23rd – 30th October, the Linenhall’s annual children’s arts festival is back with another brilliant programme of shows, workshops and more for ages 2-12 years and their families.

As part of this year’s programme, the wonderful Branar theatre company presents Bláth/The Flower (Monday 26th October, with shows at 1.30pm and 3.30pm), a magical stage adaptation of the children’s book of the same name by John Light, told with puppets, original music and a huge amount of creative imagination. It’s the story of a young boy living in a grey, colourless world, who finds a magical book that leads him to a packet of flower seeds in a junk shop, and with them a way to transform his drab world of concrete. Artist Maeve Clancy brings the story to visual life for this imaginative staging, creating a captivating paper city in which the puppets act out the enchanting tale, with atmospheric music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire (of Irish rock group The Frames). While the title of the show is bilingual, you don’t have to have Irish to engage with the company’s productions. Branar Artistic Director Marc Mac Lochlainn confirms, “We create shows that are not language dependant and that captivate the audience both young and old.” And something extra for young artists, in tandem with the show, Maeve Clancy presents the art workshop Build a City with Bláth for 8-12s on Monday 26th October at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

And for more RoolaBoola fun, award-winning children’s theatre company Cahoots NI will be presenting a delightful new theatrical adventure for young audiences on  Sunday 25th October. Shh! We have a Plan is based on the hugely popular Chris Haughton book of the same name, published by Walker Books. It is a funny, engaging and poignant tale that follows the journey of three madcap characters who set out to capture a beautiful bird that they have spotted on an island. It seems a very simple quest but the quest becomes an obsession and the obsession becomes the absurd! Follow the trio on their extraordinary escapades and find out whether their plans will work… Prepare to be enchanted and amazed by this unique and engaging production featuring magic, music, puppetry and lots, lots more in Shh! We have a Plan. The secret is out…

And there’s loads of workshops too, including Global Musical Adventure drumming workshop for family groups, circus skills, and themed workshops inspired by the shows (like Cartoon Saloon Shape Shifters Workshops that show you how to create your own cartoon characters and Branar’s Bring An Image to Life Drama Workshops) plus drop-ins, readings and the CBI’s Book Clinic for reading advice, and a brilliant exhibition based on the Oscar-nominated “Song of the Sea” (the film itself is screened as part of RoolaBoola on Saturday 24th October at 4.30pm).

And it’s not just about the Bank Holiday Weekend, with a programme of daily animated films in the coming week: Disney classic “Pinocchio”, dazzling new animated French/Belgian film “Zarafa”, and a screening of episodes of RTE favourite “Puffin Rock” for little ones. Wondering what to do over the mid-term break? Look no further!


(RoolaBoola programme details:

Bláth/The Flower for 6yrs+ on Monday 26th @ 1.30pm & 3.30pm)

Build a City with Bláth art workshops for 8-12s on Monday 26th @ 2.30pm & 4.30pm.

Shh! We have a Plan for 4yrs+ on Sunday 25th @ 12.30pm & 3pm

Song of the Sea screening on Saturday 24th @ 4.30pm

Cartoon Saloon Shape Shifters Workshops on Sunday 25th for 8-10s @ 11am; and family groups with 7-9s @ 1.30pm

Bring An Image to Life Drama Workshops on Saturday 24th for 5-7s @ 12noon; 8-12s @ 2pm

Weekday films: “Pinocchio” on Friday 30th @ 2pm; Zarafa on Wednesday 28th @ 2pm; and episodes of Puffin Rock (for accompanied 2-5s) on Thursday 29th from 10.30am.)

Full programme and booking on and from the Linenhall. Tel: 094 9023733

The Linenhall Arts Centre acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council & Mayo County Council in making this festival possible.