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   ADVENTURES IN CLOWNTOWN
 

A new show for primary schools in the Kildare region was toured during May. The show, called Adventures in Clowntown, was funded by Kildare County Council's Arts Office. This was Crooked House's second primary school show - 2000's successful production was also funded by Kildare County Council.

Adventures in Clowntown featured Darren Donohue and Nick Devlin in a style of performance based on red-nose theatre.

The show ostensibly examined ways of making learning fun and was based on material from the primary school curriculum (including Adventures in Numbers, Language, Geography and Nature!). More importantly, however, this interactive show explored issues of social and personal development particular to the needs of six to eight year olds.

Included with the visit was a free copy of a teacher's pack called Clowns in the Curriculum, an original pack of starter games, exercises and drama-based methods designed by the company to explore and create clowns with children.

Darren Donohue is in charge of script development with Crooked House. He is currently working on a play about masculinity for transition year students. Darren is also the director of Kildare Youth Theatre at Crooked House, and has worked for a number of years with Crooked Mice, the company's children's drama workshops. His work with the company includes acting in its several productions, and facilitation and groupwork with a range of organisations like the Irish Wheelchair Association. He has also worked with TEAM Theatre in Education.

Nick Devlin trained with the Gaiety School of Acting and also with Teatro Occupato in Bologna, Italy. His acting work includes Look Back in Anger at Andrew's Lane, The Winter's Tale with the G.S.A. and Finnegan's Wake in Newman House.

Feedback from our touring productions included the following samples:
"I want to express our gratitude for the wonderful performance of Clowntown you put in for the children. They thoroughly enjoyed it. We (the teachers in particular) were amazed at the energy of the players, and especially appreciated the relevance of the material."

"The visit was an unqualified success for many reasons. They kept them enthralled for the hour. The artists/performers themselves were brilliant, the educational content of the performance was well chosen, age appropriate, and wide-ranging. The children (and teachers!) thoroughly enjoyed the whole event and it was a wonderful opportunity for the pupils to experience theatre in their own environment. Our compliments to Crooked House and Kildare County Council for promoting and funding this wonderful initiative."

 
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