Ever been attacked by a swarm of 100 angry bees? No? Excellent news. Yes? Then you’ll understand exactly how Dan Leith felt at the end of every show of Woofle which played a run at the Lyric Theatre as part of Young at Art’s Belfast Children’s Festival in March. Each of the audience members was gifted a kazoo (or kazoofle as we hilariously nicknamed them) to join in with Dan on a reprise of one of the songs from the show. It was noisy, kind of annoying for the parents on the way home in the car, and Immense Fun. Reviewer Lyn Gardner wrote in The Guardian that it was “daftly enjoyable” and we think that sums it up nicely. The show is about to go on tour across Northern Ireland and Ireland so we anticipate plenty more kazoofling. Yep. Kazoofling.
In other exciting Replay news, in February we held the second development on our new show for kids with mobility impairment called Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, which gives everyone a chance to dance. For the show we’ve partnered with Firefly by Leckey who make the amazing mobility aid the UPsee. You can see more about the UPsee here: https://youtu.be/LbWQhPdtr48. We worked in the studio and at our partner school Parkview in Lisburn throughout the development, and we think we’ve come up with something pretty wonderful that we can’t wait to share next February/ March. We’re also going to be at both the Northern Ireland Science Festival and Belfast Children’s Festival in 2018 sharing a little about the making of the show and how it marries art and science, so if that sounds like your kind of thing, keep an eye out.
In March we also held an event at Parliament Buildings, Stormont. The event celebrated the completion of the first 3 years of our UP programme for audiences with disabilities, funded by BBC Children in Need. It also gave us a chance to celebrate their repeat funding, meaning that we can continue to make great theatre for these audiences for the next 3 years. At the event, Sharon Pettis, teacher at Parkview Special School said:
“Replay’s open hearts, deep understanding of where our pupils are at and creative approaches to engagement, both in high drama and magical calm have led to some quite experimental, gutsy and emotionally charged experiences with some of our pupils who struggle with being in the world the most.”
While Gilly Campbell, Drama and Dance Officer at Arts Council of Northern Ireland said:
“There’s exceptional, there’s exceptional, and then there’s Replay”
And with that sentence, we’re going to quit with this blog issue while we’re ahead. Thanks for taking the time to read, more soon!