/ Theatre and Dance NI News

Belfast Children’s Festival 2020

We would like to share with you all the exciting events happening at the years Belfast Children’s Festival. Their annual international festival for children aged 0-17 years and their accompanying adults. Events take place both in and out of school time for schools, groups and families to attend. TheatreNI are delighted to partner with Young at Art on The ‘R’ Word and Stone Soup at the festival!

The ‘R’ Word 
in association with TheatreNI
Sat 7 March, 3:30pm. The MAC
Free, booking essential
Resilience is a word we are hearing more and more. Reductions in public subsidy in a time of economic restraint means we need to build resilience. But how do we become more resilient? What does resilience look like, and feel like, in practice in the arts sector? Join panellists Gill Robertson (Catherine Wheels) Niall Cleary (Grafitti) and Paula McFetridge (Kabosh Theatre Company)
Stone Soup
in association with TheatreNI
Sun 8 March, 12:30pm. Black Box
Free, booking essential
‘Stone Soup’ is a folk tale in which hungry strangers convince people of the town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that nourishes everyone. And that’s what we invite you to do in this very special discussion in which you bring the topic for discussion. There is just the one rule: the ‘F’ Word is not allowed (F = funding).
Hosted by Tony Reekie

TYANI Showcase

Fri 6 – Sun 8 March
Tickets £70
The showcase will raise the profile of performance work for young audiences within NI, offer development opportunities for artists and local companies, and present the best performance work for young audiences being created in Northern Ireland. It will bring leading practitioners, producers and artists together to explore, discuss and network, and reflects our interest in bringing forward new, innovative and ground-breaking work.
A delegate package is available Friday 6 – Tuesday 11 March at a cost of £70, including all performance tickets, talks, works-in-progress, scratch performances, discussions and networking events.
Tetris (Arch8, Netherlands)
Age 5yrs+
Wed 11 March, 7:15pm. The MAC
Tickets £10
Inspired by the game Tetris, this extremely physical dance quartet explore how we connect with one another and how we belong to a community. It investigates how we build private languages to communicate and then gently invite others to enter into our world.
It is for the kids who can’t sit still, for the ones who like to climb walls and those who can imagine further than they can see.
‘It’s a feel-good, fully inclusive ending to a work of intensive artistry.’
Stick By Me (Red Bridge Arts/Andy Manley, Scotland)
Age 3-6yrs
Sat 7 & Sun 8 March 2:15pm & 4:15pm. The MAC
Tickets £10
When I wake up, you are there. Ready? Let’s run, play, hide. Follow me. Don’t get lost. I will stick by you. If you will stick by me.  
Stick By Me is a beautifully crafted, joyful and quirky show. It is about friendship, invention, play and the importance of treasuring the little things. Together these new pals explore the limits of friendship and boundaries with hilarious, and at times moving, consequences. A non-verbal, physical performance that delights young and old alike.
…a joyful and funny show… a masterclass in comic choreography.’ 
The Guardian
Hermit (Simone de Jong, Netherlands)
Age 2-6yrs
Tues 10 & Wed 11 March, 6:30pm. The MAC
Tickets £10
There is a cube. Is it a house? There is sound. What’s happening inside? A lid opens. Is there something inside? 
What is inside? Who is inside? Hermit is a non-verbal physical performance about a mini house and its shy inhabitant. He is not at home, but we do hear him. Celebrating the joy of discovery, this is a gentle, funny and moving performance about being alone and coming home.
Untold Truth of Captain Hook (Replay Theatre Co, NI)
Age 7+
Fri 6 March 7pm, Sat 7 & Sun 8 March 2pm & 4pm. Lyric Theatre
Tickets £10
Even A Villain Can Be the Hero of His Own Tale. Lost Boys, shipwrecks, mermaids, crocodiles, and pirates. You may know the facts, but do you know the truth? Join us for an awfully big adventure through the time before Neverland, in this brand new show full of classic charm.
Inside the Speaker (Helen Hall, NI)
Age 10+
Sat 7 & Sun 8 March, 2pm & 4pm. Crescent Arts Centre
Tickets £10
What do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel?
Come with us and step Inside the Speaker into the world of partially sighted-dancer and choreographer Helen, where she invites you to experience dance differently.  Through light, sound and movement, Inside the Speaker takes you on a journey of the senses and challenges how we experience the world around us. Inside the Speaker celebrates the idea of difference and how that difference can actually make the world around us a very interesting place.
Work-in-Progress: Feileacán agus an Rí (Clara Kerr & Máire Zeph, NI)
Age 8+
Sat 7 March 3pm, Sun 8 March 2:30pm
Tickets £5
This work-in-progress performance is based on new retelling of the ancient Irish myth of Mídhir and Étaoin. From acclaimed  writer Máire Zepf in collaboration with contemporary dancer/choreographer Clara Kerr with illustrations by Shona Shirley Macdonald. (In Irish, with English translation)
Work in Progress: Priming the Canon (Abbey Theatre, ROI)
Age 10+
Sat 7 March 3pm
Tickets £5
The Abbey Theatre’s Priming the Canon is a series of commissioned plays for young people which brings classic irish characters into the heart of the classroom. Join us for a work-in-progress performance of the latest in the series, based on JB Keanes’s SIVE.
ScratchWorks (4 individual artists, NI)
Sun 8 March, 6pm. The MAC
Tickets £5
A chance to see new and innovative performance work at the very first stages of development. Curated by Richard Croxford. Come along to see a selection of ideas and performance extracts of work still in development by these Northern Irish artists curated through an open call
Right Twig Showcase (Fighting Words Belfast & Lyric Theatre)
Age 14+
Mon 9 March, 6pm. Lyric Theatre
Free, booking essential
A showcase of rehearsed readings of new theatre writing by young playwrights. Brand new plays by NI’s newest playwrights (aged 14-18) developed in a series of in-depth workshops and brought to the stage with professional directors and performers. The Right Twig gives young writers the opportunity to learn from theatre artists and create plays of their own. We can’t wait to show you the results!
Garden of Spirited Minds (Dalija Acin Thelander, Sweden/Serbia)
Age 0-12 months
Fri 6 March 10am-11:30am, 11:30am-1pm
Sat 7 & Sun 8 March 10am-11:30am, 11:30am-1pm, 2pm-3:30pm, 3:30pm-5pm
Brian Friel Theatre, QUB
Tickets £10 (Includes baby & parents/carers)
Part performance, part installation, The Garden of Spirted Minds is a multi-sensorial experience for babies aged 0-12 months and their parents/carers. (Ticket price includes one baby and one parent/carer)
Participation is baby-led and babies and their parents/carers can come and go as they please within their allocated time slot.  Created and performed by Stockholm – based choreographer Dalija Acin Thelander in collaboration with Noah Hellwig, babies are invited to move freely, enjoy the multiple perspectives, explore, be active and/or relax and chill!
Choreographic Practice for Babies with Dalija Acin Thelander
Fri 6 March, 3pm. QUB Drama Department
Free, booking essential
Dalija Acin Thelander’s (Garden of Spirited Minds) choreographic practice for babies is a synergy of choreography and installation art. Join her to hear about the latest developmental scientific research on infants,and get an overview of her choreographic methods and main approaches as she encourages us to rethink and challenge the concepts and aesthetics of performing arts for babies.
Physical Theatre & Modern Mime Workshop with Simone de Jong
Mon 9 March, 2 – 4:30pm. The MAC
Free, booking essential
The difference between an actor and a physical actor is their starting point. The first starts from text or a problem, the second starts from the body. In this workshop, suitable for theatre professionals and performance students, you will find different ways to perform and explore sensitivity, movement qualities and physical awareness.
Simone de Jong is a performer, director and teacher specialising in modern mime and music theatre. Educated at the AHK Mimeschool (Amsterdam) she trained with o.a. Lorna Marshall and Andrew Morrish. She has invented children’s performances since 2015. Her show Hermit, part of this festival’s programme, tours internationally.
Creating Work for Young Audiences
Tues 10 March, 2pm. The MAC
Free, booking essential
We all know when we’ve seen a great piece of performance work for young audiences, we can ‘feel’ it. But it’s not ‘child’s play’, to create a great piece. A truly memorable work is a carefully crafted entity. So what makes a great performance work for young audiences ‘great’? Are there key elements and if so, what are they? Or is it simply just alchemy? So come and join the conversation.
For more information, click here.