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  • Anna Newell

revealing what adventures are in store for 2020......

Updated: Feb 28


It's only February and there's already one show out on tour - I AM BABA (for babies aged 0-12 months) is winding its way all over Ireland over the next 10 weeks playing theatre venues and community venues (the latter in collaboration with the Children & Young People's Services Committees and National Childhood Network). Around 150 shows, nearly 1000 babies and lots and lots of singing....... Funded by Arts Council of Ireland and in co-production with The Civic, Tallaght.


March brings a tour of Dublin libraries (with a date at the Pavilion which is already sold out after being on sale for just a few days!) for BLUE!, my interactive adventure for children aged 18 months to 4 years. Funded by Dublin City Arts Office.


April/May will bring the development of BABY MUSIC ADVENTURES, a new collaboration with Early Years musician Eamon Sweeney. Four multi-instrumentalists take babies aged 0-12 months on an exquisite journey of sounds. Funded by Wicklow Arts Office and hosted by The Mermaid, Bray. And hopefully touring sometime further down the line.....


May/June sees the creation of a new show for children with complex needs called GROOVE touring special schools and theatre venues. Styled as a 60's/70's blissed out happening, it is performed in a brand new 'purple palace' created by designer Alison Heffernan who designed LULLABUB for me at Theatre Hullabaloo in Darlington in 2018. Our audience members recline on gorgeous seating (generously donated by Ireland's amazing Buddabag) while four performers sing chilled out harmonies created by my collaborator of 30 years, David Goodall. Tactile costumes by award-winning designer Susan Scott (who's just finished costuming a film starring Guy Pearce) and stunning immersive video art by Conan McIvor. Very very excited to get started creating this one! Funded by Arts Council Ireland and created in co-production with The Civic, Tallaght.


In late May, we're screening the wee documentary we made about my CONNECT project (funded by Wicklow Arts Office and hosted by The Mermaid) - where we took a group of 15/16 year olds and made a show for babies with the teenagers as the performers - with three researchers from Trinity College Dublin exploring what the impact on the teens might be. We're hoping that there will be another home for that project with another different kind of a group of people. Watch this space......


And then we're straight into our Summer 2020 tour of SING ME TO THE SEA - a show for kids with complex needs which is performed in hydropools - with both the audience and the performers in the water! Touring July and September, this one has only been made possible by a massive range of wonderful partners including the Civic, the Mermaid, Hawks Well, Down Syndrome Centre North East, Riverbank Arts Centre, Wicklow Arts Office, Fingal Arts Office, Sunbeam House, Music Generation, Cavan & Monaghan Education & Training Board, Cavan Arts Office, Monaghan Arts Office, Sligo Arts Office & Kildare County Council.


And in the autumn, another new show takes its first tiny steps - Arts Council Ireland has funded a week's Research & Development on I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT - Ireland's first dance show for audiences of babies aged 3-18 months, created with Scottish choreographer Hayley Earlam, composer David Goodall and video artist Conan McIvor. Co-production with The Civic, Tallaght.


I'm also mentoring theatremaker Muireann D'Arcy, musician Ali Behan and choreographer Monica Munoz to create shows for babies and a dance piece for Early Years audiences respectively.


Elsewhere, FOUR GO WILD IN WELLIES that I created in 2017 for Scotland's professional inclusive dance company, Indepen-Dance4 is heading to 42nd Street, NYC and LITTLE MONSTER and TWINKLE TWINKLE that I created with Touched Theatre last year are out and about in the UK as well as MESS, a classroom adventure for children with PMLD, that I was part of the creative team for with Tenterhooks in Scotland.


And of course I'm already plotting and planning and writing funding applications for 2021.......

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