The Mad Hatter is the very first festival of children’s theatre in Sligo! The festival is the result of collaboration between the Hawk’s Well Theatre and Blue Raincoat Theatre Company and takes place from Saturday 20th of October through to Monday 22nd of October. In its first year it brings a selection of the best performances on offer around Ireland to the young people of Sligo. It is hoped that the festival will become an annual event in Sligo, providing access to a diverse range of high quality artistic productions from home and abroad as well as entertaining, teaching and inspiring the next generation.
From Saturday 20th of October through to Tuesday 23rd Sligo town is the place to be for children of all ages with fun-filled theatre, music, workshops, readings, puppet shows and tea-parties bringing the town to life. All young Mad Hatters eager to get in the mood before the festival kicks off can attend a costume workshop on the 13th of October to prepare for The Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Hawk’s Well Theatre at 4p on the 20th. Amy O’Hara’s workshop starting at 2pm on the 13th at the Factory Performance Space and running all afternoon is free of charge and will give young Mad Hatters plenty of ideas for costumes and tips on how to make them!
Events on Saturday the 20th of October include a production from renowned children’s theatre company Barnstorm at the Hawk’s Well Theatre with a play called ‘The Song from the Sea’ by Mike Kenny at 11am and 2pm. This enchanting performance suitable for children from four years upwards, urges us to listen to the deeper music of everyday life and nurtures a sense of belonging in the great world. (Tickets €5) Also on the 20th Lewis Carroll’s children’s masterpiece will be read in its entirety at the Co. Sligo Library from 2.30 til 5pm by various local artists and performers. So drop in for a minute, a chapter or as long as you like….A Punch and Judy show for all ages will take place at Sligo Youth Theatre at 3pm and 4pm on the 20th, suitable for all ages (admission €3). In this unique (Dublin) adaptation, a very naughty Mr Punch is left with the task of minding the house while Judy gets busy with other important chores. Mr Punch’s inability to take on the simplest of chores leads to hilarious consequences involving the Gardai!
Sunday 21st is another fun-filled day which kicks off at The Model with Graffiti Classics at 12.30 – 16 strings, 8 dancing feet and 4 voices provide a stunning show that no-one will forget. Combining classical, jazz, opera, folk and acoustic music with energetic, choreographed moves and brilliant comic audience interaction, Graffiti Classics will leave you and your family with big smiles on your faces. Admission €7 (€24 family (2 & 2). Over at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, the Speks will be taking to the main stage at 1pm following previous sold-out shows at the theatre with their live show described as ‘riverdance for toddlers’. All 2 – 7 year olds will love this live show of nursery rhymes performed to traditional Irish music from the imaginative and lively band The Speks from Glasses Island. (Tickets €5) At 4pm at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, The Queen of Hearts hereby summons your presence at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for a very merry Un-Birthday party! Dress up as your favourite Alice in Wonderland character or just put on your maddest hat and come to enjoy an event that is full of surprises. (Admission €5)
The festival continues into Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd of October at the Hawk’s Well Theatre with a special show for primary schools from Theatre Lovett at the Hawk’s Well Theatre (10am & 12pm on Mon 22 and 10am on Tues 23, Admission €5). This play ‘The House that Jack Filled’ performed by the accomplished actor Louis Lovett is suitable for ages 7+ and adults of all ages. Jack McNally’s Hotel has 13 rooms (all of them sunny) for 13 people (all of them different). When the visitors stop visiting, Jack must become a hotel’s worth of friends.
The Mad Hatter actively promotes its Child Protection Policy, which adheres to the Children First Guidelines. For the safety and enjoyment of all, children under 12 must be accompanied to performances by a guardian. A website with all the details of the festival has been kindly designed by Sligo web design company in Tandem Web Design and tickets can be booked from this website www.themadhattersligo.com.
For further information or to buy tickets over the phone or in person contact the Hawk’s Well Theatre Box Office, Temple Street Sligo or phone 071 916 1518