We’re having an extremely productive year as Theatre Artists in Residence at The Riverbank Arts Centre. This residency is allowing us to grow our skills, work on new projects and meet some incredibly creative people along the way.
We first met the folks at The Riverbank when we toured our production of Tromluí Phinnochio – Pinnochio, A Nightmare there in 2012. This year, the Riverbank asked us to create a piece of theatre for children with one catch…it had to take place inside a Library Bus. Never a company to shrink from a challenge, we decided to turn the space restrictions to our advantage. For a company like Moonfish who have been so inspired by literature, nothing could be more exciting than a tiny room crammed with books…on wheels for crying out loud!
We realised that a theatre space like this would be perfect for one of the areas we’re currently learning more about during our residency here at The Riverbank – Immersive Theatre. Working in such a small space meant that we could create an interactive and immersive theatre piece, just for children. It would give us the tools to guide the audience through journey through time, a journey of which they could be in control.
Back in February we worked with Educated Machine, who taught us ways we could use coding and technology to create theatre, specifically theatre that could be controlled by an audience. Armed with this knowledge we ventured into the world of electronics and The Fantastical Time Travelling Library Bus began to take shape.
Having spent a few days plotting and devising, Moonfish dived headlong into 3 weeks of prop-making, illustration, and sensor wiring madness and got to work with some very talented Galway artists too. Voice-overs, music and intriguing sound-effects were added to the mix…then all we needed was an audience.
4 days of performances later and I’m delighted to report that The Fantastical Time Travelling Library Bus went down a storm with children of all ages! We got to watch the audience’s reactions while they travelled back to 1916 Kildare and it’s fair to say they were blown away. The kids gave us some really useful feedback too, so we’re hoping to build the show and bring it to a Library Bus near you at some point in the future. We’ll be performing The Fantastical Time Travelling Library Bus at The Riverbank again in September. If you’d like to see it, you can book via their website. If you think your local library would like to host The Fantastical Time Travelling Library Bus, drop us a message!
“I loved it, it was the best! I would give it 100/100.”
“The sound effects were so realistic It felt as if I was really there in the GPO!”
“The entire experience was amazing. I felt like I was actually in all the places that were described The fact that bits of it were in Irish made it all the more interesting.”
Photos by John Houlihan.