Within the repetitive rhythm of their dull existence,
imagination takes hold.

 

Lost Property was Monkeyshine’s first theatre production created in 2001. Devised and performed by Meabh Ivers and Kareen Pennefather.

This bittersweet physical comedy explored the lives of two women stuck in the most mundane of jobs, processing other peoples lost property.  Within the repetitive rhythm of their dull existence, imagination takes hold.  The downtrodden characters are transported beyond boredom to a place where the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred and their dreams become an almost reality.

The production toured in Northern Ireland and to the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival.

 

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‘Poignant, brilliant, and at times oddly uplifting theatre’
— The Stage

A little girl falls asleep and one of her more
mischievous dreams comes to life!

Created in 2003, this exquisite, wordless performance combines mime, music and shadow puppetry to explore the twilight world of children’s dreams. A little girl falls asleep and one of her more mischievous dreams comes to life, wakes her up and wants to play.

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Created & performed by
Helene Hugel & Kareen Pennefather

Directed by Jennifer Jordan

Supported by
Young At Art International Children’s Arts Festival Belfast.

 

The story of an unhappy old lady
who lives in a lighthouse on a small and far away Island.

 

‘Child’s play at it’s best’ ****

The Irish Times

“Better than all my cartoons!”

Child attending the show
 

‘The Grandmother’, was nominated for The Jayne Snow award
for innovation, risk taking and artistic excellence

 

A warm and funny story about an unhappy old lady, who lives in a lighthouse on a small and far away Island. One windy Wednesday a small boat arrives, bringing George, the grandson she never knew she had. Slowly but surely George’s mischievous nature and happy spirit begins to melt his grumpy grandmother’s long frozen heart.

 

Created & performed by
Colm O’Grady & Kareen Pennefather

written by Kareen Pennefather

Dramaturge Chrissie Polter

 

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A magic train ride through a deliciously
wicked cocktail of sweet and slimy stories

 


Grimm Jam follows one man’s journey on a magic train ride through a deliciously wicked cocktail of sweet and slimy stories. Made with traditional ingredients such as apples, frogs and lost slippers, mixed with a sprinkling of scary bits, a spoonful of circus tricks and generous splash of laughter. This is an entirely new and off the wall concoction of physical comedy, object theatre and gruesomely tasty tales.

 

 

‘…Excellent physical theatre with a comic touch’

Fringe Report

‘…A unique atmosphere, which was hard to look away from.’

Children’s express

Created and performed by:
James Jobson, Serena Brabazon, Kareen Pennefather

The Bedmaker transforms
a bed into a performance landscape.
 

Absolutely wonderful. Proof again that imagination is the greatest toy!

Parent, at the Bed maker

The Bedmaker transforms a bed into a performance landscape. This intimate, playful and sensitive show includes clowning, storytelling, object manipulation, child’s free play and sound. This is a multi-sensory, highly participatory experience for young children.

Devised by Helena Hugel
Directed by Kareen Pennefather

Supported by:
- The Irish Arts Council
- Tallaght Community Arts Centre
- South Dublin City Council

 

Follow four Alice’s and one white Rabbit on an immersive
adventure full of surprises and delights...

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An ingenious adaptation of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.
The audience were invited to follow Alice down the rabbit hole and join her as she wonders through a real life wonderland.

 

 
 


Over 200 hundred audience members followed four Alice’s and one white Rabbit on an immersive adventure full of surprises and delights. puppetry, masks, live music and a seat for everyone at the mad hatters tea party.

 
 

Alice was Monkeyshine’s first out door site specific and immersive production.

Created in 2008 for Killruddery House and Gardens and performed
in the beautiful garden of the house.

 

Two children wake early one morning to discover
a giant present waiting for them...

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Two children wake early one morning to discover a giant present waiting for them.  Excitedly they tear open the paper only to discover that there is nothing inside. But they are mistaken, inside is a wonderful gift, a magical adventure into their

imagination, full of surprises and delights.
This ingenious physical theatre production uses cardboard, wrapping paper and ribbon to create a world where anything can happen.

 

Co-produced with Mermaid Arts Centre in 2007

 

You are invited to a party! There’s glitter and sparkles, a tiny theatre and a magical story to be told...

 

 
 
 

Roll up your sleeves, open your ears and sit down and watch as the paper princess is whisked away, up into the sky, out into the world.

 


★★★★★
‘Monkeyshine Theatre clearly have a talent for children’s shows’
Three Weeks at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013
 

★★★★
‘A thoroughly engaging show for younger children’
Broadway Baby at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013
 

‘The Paper Princess really stood out as it was interactive and had the young and older members of the audience not only entertained but filled with warmth.’
Delegate at the Theatre for Young Audiences Gathering 2010

 
 

This is an interactive theatre experience for children of 3 yrs and up with a Victorian toy theatre and live music. Created in 2010 by Kareen Pennefather and James Jobson. Based on the book, 'The Paper Princess’ by Elisa Kleven.
The show continues to tour.

 

The Connections Project

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The Connections Project brought together teenagers and professional artists to create a piece of multi media theatre. With One week from start to finish the artists and young people worked as a collaborative team. They wrote, designed, created projections and music. Their work was woven together to create a one mad show that was performed at the end of the week.

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We began the week with the title Inside Out and allowed then just conversation to flow. Quickly we began talking about what they do when they have free time and soon this led to the video games that they played. This became the core of our exploration; life inside and outside your house and inside and outside your head. Soon a story began to emerge.

 
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In 2009 we were given the opportunity to remount our 2006 production The Gift. We did this with gusto! Rewriting the script, redesigning the set and we were joined by two new actors who were given a lot of wrapping paper to play with!

The story follows two children; Lion and Rita who receive a mysterious gift on Christmas morning. Its a giant cardboard box with nothing inside. Their disappointment quickly leads into a game and before they know it their box is taking them on the adventure of a life time.

 
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The Team

Written by Kareen Pennefather

Designed by James Jobson

Directed by Eoin Lynch

Performed by Claire Barrett and

Music and Narration by Martin Brunsden

Commissioned by The Nomad Theatre Network

 

Meet Losha, a magical creature, who likes to collect things, small things, important things, things that have been forgotten

 

 
 
 

Have you ever wondered where things go when you forget them?  Meet Losha, a magical creature, who likes to collect things, small things, important things, things that have been forgotten. She will share the memories of half remembered stories and bring forgotten dreams to life in a delicate world of light and shadows.

 

 

‘This particular moment, shared in the quiet and the shadowy light of the Solstice Arts Centre stage, was up there with the most precious of them all.’

By Shane Breslin.  Blogger

 

Tour Dates

 

The Spark Festival

The Curve

Leicester U.K

Saturday June 27th10.30am | 1pm

Sunday June 28th 10.30am | 1pm 3pm

£5 | www.sparkfestival.co.uk | 0044 (0)116 242 3595

 

 

 
 

‘Absolutely magical in every respect!’

Parent

‘An amazing thought provoking show.
The children were engrossed from start to finish.’

Teacher

‘What a wonderful, original piece.
The children were spellbound.’

Parent

 
 

Losha was developed in 2011 as part of the Arts Councils Theatre Maker In Residence scheme with Roscommon Arts Centre and Roscommon Co Council, under the mentorship of Theatre Vélo France.

Losha is a show for family audiences  from five years and up.

 

Two Worlds

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In 2013 We created two interactive installations. In The Model we built a drift wood shack where you could visit the tailor of Lilliput to be measured for a special pair of trousers. He will also tell you his amazing stories about all the things the giant stood on before he reached the city of Liliput.

In The Hawkswell you could meet Gulliver himself and assist him as he prepared to present and defend his findings to the Royal academy of experts. Will anyone believe him? The audience help him write a convincing script for his presentation.

 
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Created For Culture Night 2013

Commissioned by The Hawkswell Theatre

And the Model Arts Centre Sligo

The Team

Directed by Kareen Pennefather

Designed by James Jobson

Performed by Paul Curley and Nicholas Kavanagh

The Selfish Giant

A man sits alone on a bench and begins to tell a story. It is the tale of the park long before it was a park. Oscar Wildes much loved tale of the friendship between an old man and a young boy is beautifully retold using simple tools; a white park bench, a small suitcase and a big pair of shoes.

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The Selfish Giant was a site specific show performed in Tallaght Library as part of the Unwrapped project with Tallaght Community Arts Centre.

UNWRAPPED is an annual winter celebration. Children, young people, and communities of all ages join professional artists to 'unwrap' the festive winter season through a combination of music, performance and visual arts. Oscar Wilde's short story 'The Selfish Giant' is the inspiration for UNWRAPPED 2012.

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The Team

Performed by Paul Curley
Created by Kareen Pennefather, James Jobson and Paul Curley. 2012

Script by Kareen Pennefather

Only one thing is certain, this will be a unique and very special experience where everyone leaves with a tale of their own

 


Join the Story Weavers  as they make preparations to weave a story. There is a basket for everyone to gather inspiration on the foraging walk and then it’s back to the Story Tent to weave a brand new story. It’s such a new story that no one knows what’s going to happen, not even the Story Weavers!

 

‘A highly engaging story-making experience for family audiences.’

Arts Access Officer. The Linenhall Arts Centre.

 

This will be a shared adventure into the creative unknown. 
Story Weavers is an intuitive storytelling experience for children and adults performed at The Vagabond.

Story Weavers was created in 2012 and continues to tour.

 
 
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Set Sail

For Culture Night 2014 a tiny bakery appeared in The Model Arts Centre Sligo. Children and adults were asked to put on aprons and make tiny loves of bread. Once baked in the very important Lillipution Upper crust bakery the multitudes of tiny loaves were carried off on a small ship to feed a hungry giant.

In the Hawkswell audiences were invited to become part of the ships crew. Loading in the luggage and hearing stories and songs of the strange Doctor who had a reputation for wild tales and sinking ships.

 
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Created for Culture Night 2014

Commissioned by the Hawkswell Theatre

and The Model Arts Centre Sligo

Team

Directed by Kareen Pennefather

Eoin Lynch

Jamie Carswell

Michael Cummins

Nicholas Kavanagh

James Jobson

 

Alice in the Park

Alice in the Park was a rip roaring re-telling of the famous story with lots of laughter and song. The story follows the unfortunate Alice Long as she starts her first day at work as Park Manager in a busy city park in Dublin. There has been a mix up, her story loving underlings don’t realise she is their new boss and take her for the volunteer they are. As she tries to explain herself things go from bad to worse and she finds her self caught up in a story that mirrors and twists reality.

 
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This site specific piece was created for The International Literature Festival Dublin to coincide with the centenary of Alice in Wonderland.  The show took place in our very own Vagabond theatre as part of a whole day of events inspired by Alice in Wonderland and dedicated to story telling.

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The Team

Written and Directed by Kareen Pennefather

Designed by James Jobson

Music By Kate Powell

Stage Management by James Powell

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Performed by

Nicholas Kavanagh

Eoin Lynch

Mary-Lou McCarthy

Kate Powell

 

The Tide is high, the wind is blowing and adventure is calling! 

Jack is angry and disappointed because his Dad is busy working, again. Sitting alone in a dusty corner of his fathers workshop the boy slips into magical world filled with wild stories, ferocious storms and far off lands. Voyage is an epic coming of age story playfully told with ropes, pulleys and power tools.

Inspired by the tales of Gullivers Travels, Monkeyshine create an astonishing world where nothing is quite what it seems and life becomes a miraculous journey.

 

An electrifying, big-hearted epic for everyone over eight, inspired by Jonathan Swift’s fantastic tales of Gulliver’s Travels

Process

The creation of Voyage grew from a number of years of work exploring and playing with ideas inspired by Johnathan Swifts story, Gulliver's Travels.  During this process we worked in collaboration with The Model Arts Centre and The Hawkswell Theatre, both in Sligo.  We created four short, playful performances and interactive installations for their Culture Night events in 2013 and 2014.  Each year we made two pieces that were designed to be seen either individually or in relation to each other.  The work created in these more experimental pieces, together with a period of dedicated R+D in 2015 fed into the final performance and informed the paired back design style and approach to the narrative.

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In 2013 We created two interactive installations. In The Model we built a drift wood shack where you could visit the tailor of Lilliput to be measured for a special pair of trousers. In The Hawkswell you could meet Gulliver himself and assist him as he prepared to present and defend his findings to the Royal academy of experts.

In 2014 Hawkswell audiences were invited to become part of the ships crew. Loading in the luggage and hearing stories of the strange Doctor who had a reputation for wild tales and sinking ships. While in the Model children and adults were asked to put on aprons and make tiny loves of bread. Which were then baked in The Upper crust bakery, of Lilliput, before being carried off on a small ship to feed a visiting giant.



Produced by Monkeyshine Theatre in partnership with the Strollers Touring Network.

The tour of this production was supported by the Arts Council, The Strollers touring Network and Babóro International Children’s Festival


 

After five days on earth, four intrepid explorers have discovered something amazing...

 
 
 
 

Grow was a durational theatre adventure for young audience which took place in Tallaght in 2018.  Asking the question “Where is a good place to grow?” and celebrating the wonderful planet Earth, were everything is connected and nothing is alone.

It began with the discovery of mysterious space pods in two schools. These were followed soon after by the arrival of four unusual beings with a mission to explore. Helped by the school children and the local community the space travellers spent a week interacting with the planet: gathering footage, information and stories. At the end of their trip 300 children came to bid them fare well and hear alien tales about their own home before their new friends bid fare well and beam back to the mothership.


Created In Association with The Civic Theatre

and Tallaght Community Arts.

 


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The Project

This Project began in 2017 with a year long research and development process that explored soil, seeds, connection to nature and the Greek myth of Persephone and Demeter which charts the turning of the seasons. Working with mentors from Touchstones UK as well as John Fox MBE and Sue Gill of The Dead Good Guides and previously Welfare State International we explored ideas, themes and the possibilities of participatory theatre. We worked with a soil scientist form the University of Queens Belfast and read and researched widely into soil and our relationship to it, children’s increasing disconnection with the environment and the misconception that nature is something apart from humans.  

 



The GROW team

Kareen Pennefather

James Jobson
Nicholas Kavanagh
Michael McNulty
Kate Powell

Hannah Mullan

Lighting Design by:
Michael Cummins

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