Baboro-ians land on Galway shore


COME OCTOBER, children and young people aged between three and 16 years can enjoy their very own international arts festival in Galway. The Baboro International Children's Festival, which is an off-shoot of the Galway Arts Festival, promises an exciting line-up of theatre, music, exhibitions and literary events from Ireland, North America and Europe.

An extensive range of participative workshops and events is also included in the programme.

The emphasis of the festival, which is designed to encourage access and participation in the arts by children and young people, is on fun and enjoyment. However, Baboro's organisers regard children and young people as a distinct and serious audience and promise that the programmes will be child-centred.

Performances will be held daily in Galway's new Town Hall Theatre from Tuesday, October 14th, to Saturday, October 18th. The good news for schools is that groups can avail of reduced price tickets, free tickets for teachers, resource packs and an allowance of up to £1 per child towards transport costs.

Baboro was established in 1993 to organise the children's festival - the "festival within a festival" - which has become an important part of the Galway Arts Festival. Baboro now attracts audiences of 2,500 children aged between three and 12 years. That children's festival has grown to include out-of-season tours of schools and performances and workshops by overseas theatre groups.

Baboro also runs the Siobhan McKenna Memorial Trophy, which encourages children to write, produce and present their own plays. Children are invited to submit plays in either English or Irish for the competition, held every spring. Judges are looking for "the very recognisable quality of child-like spontaneity".