Events for young talkers and readers at Bualadh Bos

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 19.23.44It’s October and the leaves aren’t just falling but being blown off the trees. Running all this month, the inaugural Bualadh Bos Children’s Festival—organised by the Lime Tree Theatre—is getting into the swing of things.

There are lots of events, particularly theatre (read more here and here about the full programme) but also stimulating events that are designed to further engage little ones.

I’ve taken part and written about it for grown-ups but now Salon Du Chat is holding a children’s event for kids in fourth, fifth and sixth class this Saturday (Oct 11) from noon-1pm.

Salon du chat“In a world where children are told to be quiet and listen, Salon du Chat creates a place where children have their say.”

“The children are welcomed not into a theatre but into a cafe, for this event the gallery space at 69 O’Connell street is set up like a cafe.  They take a seat and are given a drink, a cookie, and a menu. But instead of ordering food they order conversation. Then for the next 30 minutes or so they chat their way through a meal that is all about talk. Salon du Chat creates an informal space for children to talk and listen to each other in a gently directed and unthreatening way. Sitting in small groups of 3–5 the children will have the chance to voice their opinion on topics that matter to them.”

It’s an interesting premise so if you have a chatterbox that age, or even a shy one who has a lot to say but needs an opportunity to express it, it might be a good way to pass an hour. The cost is €3 and includes a cookie and a drink. See for more deets.

I was a big reader (and writer) when I was a kid and Bualadh Bos has lots to offer in that area with author readings and workshops later in the month. All but one event (which happens to be sold-out) take place at 69 O’Connell Street (former Belltable).

On October 29, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald will give a workshop for over 12s called ‘Getting Started with your Writing’. From Dublin but living in Limerick, as a young child and in early adulthood, Sarah wrote fiction “constantly, furtively and under cover of darkness. Eventually, she came out as an author with the completion of her first novel, for yoReading-quotes-2ung adults Back to Blackbrick. Her second novel The Apple Tart of Hope was published in June 2014”. This workshop is open to all aspiring writers particularly useful for those writing for children and young adults.

On October 30, Andy Stanton eight to ten year olds are invited to a workshop withAndy Stanton, who is “the award-winning author of the Mr Gum series for a hilarious mixture of storytelling, mad jokes and true-life tales about being a writer. His mad wit is reminiscent of Roald Dahl and Monty Python and his crazy events are loved by children all over the world. Get ready to laugh your socks off—this is an event not to be missed!”

Also on October 30, ‘The Ideas Shop: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?’ for the over nines will take place with authors, Sarah Webb and Oisin McGann.

“The Ideas Shop is a very special interactive show presented by Oisin McGann and Sarah Webb, ideal for young readers and young writers. If you want to encourage your children or teenagers to think creatively, then this is the show for you!”

The first question writers are always asked is ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ Well, where do writers get their ideas? What inspires them to write in the first place? How do they create characters so real they practically leap off the page? Are any of their characters based on real people? How can young writers follow in their footsteps? And how does a book live on beyond the writer? During the show, the clever folk from The Ideas Shop will share all their writing secrets.”

Oisin McGann lives in Ireland and works full time as an author and illustrator. He has written and illustrated numerous books for young children, including the Mad Grandad series, The Forbidden Files series, and two short retellings of Irish legends, The Goblin of Tara and The Evil Eye. He has also produced seven Young Adult novels; The Gods And Their Machines, The Harvest Tide Project, Under Fragile Stone, Small-Minded Giants, Ancient Appetites and Strangled Silence, as well as his most recent novel, Merciless Reason.

Sarah Webb is the author of the Ask Amy Green series for readers of 10+. Her latest book is Ask Amy Green: Wedding Belles. Her books have been published in many different countries including the US, Poland, Italy and Indonesia. Ask Amy Green: Bridesmaid Blitz was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards and Sarah is currently working on a new series for children called The Songbird Café Girls.

halloween-300x300As the spookiest time of the year approaches, Celine Kiernan will give a workshop for the over 12s on Halloween, Oct 31, called ‘Fantasy, Horror and the Supernatural: Why do we still love them?’

“For most of us today a flick of a switch can banish the darkness, and a quick internet search can reveal the science behind ‘supernatural’ phenomena. So why do we still tell ghost stories? Why do readers still hunger for monsters and aliens, when many of us no longer believe in god? Celine Kiernan explores her ongoing love affair with the fantasy genre, and tries to explain what she is looking for in her exploration of the supernatural.”

Celine Kiernan is an award-winning author of dark, complex fantasy novels for young adults. Her books, The Moorehawke Trilogy and Into the Grey have between them won: the 2009 RAI Best Book Award; been included in the White Raven Collection; short listed for the 2009 Irish Book Awards; won the 2012 CBI Book of the Year (formerly The Bisto award) and the 2012 CBI Children’s Choice Award; won the 2013 RAI Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Sakura Medal (English High) 2014.

Also on Halloween, author Darren Shan, “will be reading out some of the especially grisly passages from his books and answering questions from fans. All ages are welcome, but the content is most appropriate for teenagers upwards. Under 13’s should only come if they are VERY brave!”

Darren Shan was born in London but has spent most of his life in Limerick. His books, some of which include Cirque Du Freak, The Demonata and Zom-B have sold over 25 million copies across the world, in more than 30 languages.

Events involving the incredibly popular author, Judi Curtin, as well as as the puppet and book-making workshop have already sold out so get booking…no pun intended!

See the full programme at

Bualadh Bos has other exciting events and I’ll do my best to post about others soon.

My Name is Saoirse

-1The award-winning show, My Name is Saoirse, is coming to 69 O’Connell Street (former Belltable) this Friday (October 3) at 8pm.

The play, written by Clare-woman Eva O’Connor, won The First Fortnight award at the Dublin Fringe theatre festival awards “for challenges to prejudice on mental health”.

It has garnered stellar reviews.It won the Emerging Artists of the Year Award, 2012 at the Edinburgh Fringe. FringeReview gave it five stars and called it “without flaw”. The Irish Times gave it four stars and the reviewer said: “I laughed, I cringed, I cried–all in the space of an hour” and Irish Theatre Magazine dubbed it “utterly fascinating”.

The plot is as follows: “1987: Johnny Logan has just won the Eurovision, mobile phones are about to be invented, and in Limerick, Saoirse O’Brien is sick of her best friend calling her a frigid. Soon after agreeing to a night of drinking with the lads in Wilson’s Pub, she discovers her pregnancy, and is forced to set out on a journey that leads her miles away from home, and the carefree adolescence she knew.”

My Name is Saoirse is directed by Hildegard Ryan; produced and designed by David Doyle and the music is by Dan Cummins.

The show, brought to you by the Lime Tree Theatre, seems like a great bit of theatre with a strong local flavour. Check it out if you can.


Exciting theatre for Limerick this week

All you theatre fans out there have lots to look forward over the coming days with a variety of shows on in Limerick.

-1The Bridge Below The Town, a brand spanking new play by Pat McCabe, author of darkly comic tomes like The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto, will come to the Lime Tree Theatre this Friday and Saturday nights (March 14 and 15) as part of a national tour.

McCabe describes the play as “6 parts Glenroe to 5 parts Harold Pinter”—quite possibly the most engaging proposition I’ve heard this year.

The blurb is as follows: “Love will survive us all. In this new play The Bridge Below The Town, set in the colourful, innocent world of 1950’s small-town Ireland, Golly Murray discovers this gratifying truth. Almost broken by the travails of life’s struggles, she and her husband Patsy are seen to triumph over adversity in the most extraordinary and uplifting way. From the team that brought you The Dead School comes a rollercoaster production about life, love, Butlins and Nuns who make marla men all to the beat of a classic soundtrack.”

NASC Theatre Network in association with Livin’ Dred Theatre Company produced the play and reunited McCabe with director, Padraic McIntyre. The collaboration previously spawned The Dead School, which was a stellar hit in 2010 and was nominated for three Irish Times Theatre Awards. It toured to full houses nationwide before playing at the Dublin Theatre Festival and The Tricyle Theatre, London.

The impressive cast includes: Malcolm Adams (Ripper Street, Trivia) Lorna Quinn (Fair City) Gina Moxley (Game of Thrones, Stardust, The Butcher Boy) Damian Devaney (The Clinic, Raw) Janet Moran (Trivia, Love/Hate, Breakfast on Pluto) and Catherine Walsh (Eden, Casualty, Druid Synge).

Tickets are €18/16 and I can guarantee that if you ring the box office (061-774774) and scream “I LOVE PAT MCCABE!!!!!” down the phone…you will seriously unnerve a staff member there. Maybe don’t do that but just book online at

hera_mediumAlso available to book on the Lime Tree website/box office is Irish classic, Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey—presented by the long-standing local theatre group, The Quarry Players. That is running all week nightly until Saturday (March 15) in 69 O’Connell Street (former Belltable).

Directed by John Anthony Murphy, Quarry is proud to present “the richly humorous yet deeply moving classic”.

Set in a time of civil strife, a mother struggles to hold her family together against extreme poverty  and a feckless, idler husband who drinks his days away. Hope comes from an unexpected inheritance and for a time the promise of a better life seems possible. Brittle, heroic and heartbreaking, Juno Boyle is not only a woman of her time but a character that resonates still for us today. A searing indictment of social and domestic upheaval, this timeless masterpiece is not to be missed.” Tickets are €15/13.

And in case, you’ve been living in a cave (because the announcements/media saturation is too intense to ignore), the spectacular show, Fuerza Bruta, starts from this Thursday March 13 and runs until March 22 (two shows nightly for the most part). It will run in the Culture Factory, Plassey Park Road, Castletroy. The postmodern show hails from Buenos Aires and has been performed all over the world.

fuerza-bruta-2-816x1024The blurb is: “This show will astonish and amaze you. The fastest-selling show ever at London’s The Roundhouse, and playing to sold out houses around the world, Limerick will host the Irish premier of Fuerza Bruta!”

“Featuring mind-blowing visual effects that must be seen to be believed, it’s an all-standing rave of a show.  Join these outstanding performers in a foot-stomping spectacular full of sexual energy, gravity-defying stunts and moments of real wonder – a Kafkaesque suited figure bursting full throttle through a series of moving walls, figures swooping through the shadows, a watery world suspended immediately above the audience. This is an event where worlds collide, where dreams are real, and reality takes a back seat. Give in to it, let go and enjoy the ride.”

More information and booking at Tickets can also be purchased at 061-312802 between 9-5.30pm on weekdays. They are priced at €28/20.