Children's T Company in the tradition of strolling players are creating a new type of theatre experience for children in Ireland.
Formed in 1975 following the demise of the Young Abbey Theatre group which ran creative drama programmes, children's plays and story theatre based at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Jim Sheridan describes the Children’s T Company as
A group of actors, writers, musicians, theatre directors, people who've worked in education and are unhappy with it.
Jim Sheridan, along with Garret Keogh, Dave McKenna, Susan Kennedy and Neil Jordan came together to form a new theatrical group for children, which takes theatre to where the audience is, or where they would like to go.
At a housing estate in Dublin, the performance has just begun. An invitation to a party at the Hellfire Club is delivered by Fionnuala, who is suddenly and unexpectedly kidnapped by a wolf.
The children and accompanying adults follow in hot pursuit on a bus to a location in the Dublin mountains. Here clues and characters discovered along the way lead them to the evil Count Von Baronofsky, the man who cast a spell on Fionnuala and turned her into a puppet.
A game of cards between the count and the children ensues, and at this stage the children are so immersed in the play that a balance is required says Jim Sheridan,
You have to just be aware of not pushing it too far…the children take it as real.
Jim Sheridan believes the ethos of Children’s T Company differ greatly to most other established theatre companies in Ireland.
We try things that haven't been tried before, and then create a theory out of that, rather than a theory and try and apply it.
This episode of 'Last House’ was broadcast on 21 September 1976. The reporter is Áine O'Connor.
‘Last House’ was launched as a summer magazine programme featuring all the latest arts news in 1975. It was produced by John McColgan and presented by Tom McGurk and Aine O’Connor. It was so popular that it was converted into ‘First House’ for the autumn season, reverting to ‘Last House’ the following summer, when it was produced by Agnes Cogan.