The Galway Arts Festival 2013 runs from 15-28 July 2013 with a feast of music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Jill took her 8 & 11 year old to see "The Adventures of Shay Mouse: The Mouse from Longford" by Patrick McCabe. Find out what she thought.
What is it?
Described as a "Stage Musical for Adults and Children", The Adventures of Shay the Mouse: The Mouse from Longford is penned by author Patrick McCabe, well known for works such as "Butcher Boy" and "Breakfast on Pluto".
This production is by Galway Community Theatre and Galway Youth Theatre and runs at Nun's Island Theatre in Galway until Sunday 28th July.
Here's the play description
"Shay Mouse lives peacefully in Bornacoola Wood in Longford, smoking his pipe and inventing boastful stories for young Tom Pat Badger and Mickey Slug. When an evil band of rats are burnt out of a barn in Mullingar, they take over the wood, making the small animals their slaves.
A disgraced Shay Mouse is forced to flee his home and embark on a wonderful adventure across the Irish midlands. The Adventures of Shay Mouse is a classic story for children by one of Ireland's finest novelists, Patrick McCabe."
What did Jill and the kids think of it
I enjoyed this musical. The production, with an ensemble of about 30 actors, is enthusiastic and exuberant. The story is a classic one: boastful storyteller turns out not to have been the hero the townsfolk thought but comes good in the end. The "orchestra" consisting of three very good musicians keep the music going nicely and the songs were fun and well interspersed between the dialogue.
With 30 actors on a small stage, space and movement have to be tightly managed and I thought they did a great job of using the space and their bodies and movement to act out different mini scenes. The scenes at the start, in particular, are a great example of group theatre and good choreography. Animals masks and good makeup are a neat way of avoiding complicated costumes.
The acting was of a good standard and Patrick McCabe's sly dialogue is full of fun and wit.
I would like to point out that the play is almost 2 hours long (there is a 15 minute intermission) which could be a tad long for younger kids (recommended age is 5+) and in this delightfully summery weather, the Nuns Island Theatre gets very warm so bring some extra water with you. There is a little bar outside selling some drinks as well. You can also buy signed copies of the book which would be a nice souvenir to take home.
Tell us in 5 words why we should go
Enjoyable musical fun with animals 🙂
Did you go to see Shay the Mouse? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below.