A new show for primary schools in the Kildare region was toured
during May. The show, called Adventures in Clowntown
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
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
"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."