SING ME TO THE SEA – at home!

**Update 10th August: Riverbank and Anna Newell Theatre Adventure very much hope we can proceed with these performances of Sing Me To The Sea from 24th August, and all safety precautions are in place. However, if the current Kildare/Laois/Offaly restrictions are extended, unfortunately the company (Wicklow-based) would not be permitted to enter the county and we will be required to suspend these plans**

SING ME TO THE SEA is a magical watery adventure for children with Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and their families. Riverbank Arts Centre is presenting these very special at HOME performances for individual Kildare-based families in their own gardens/driveways as part of a tour in August. 

Created by Anna Newell, a leading theatre maker of innovative plays for diverse audiences,  SING ME TO THE SEA was originally performed in hydropools.  There have been over 100 performances of this beautiful show throughout  Ireland, including locally at Enable Ireland Naas, where it was presented by Riverbank Arts Centre  and the magical show was much loved by Kildare families.  

Because of the current situation,  the company is now touring a brand new ‘dry-land’ version in August in collaboration with Riverbank Arts Centre.  This re-imagined ‘at home’ version will be performed in the gardens/drives/outside the windows of homes of families of children with PMLD.  

Sing Me to the Sea is a sensory-friendly theatre show, performed by three actors and containing live harmony singing by award-winning composer David Goodall and gorgeous costumes by renowned designer Susan Scott. During the performance, the performers play with reflective silver balls and rainbow fish and water flows through colanders like waterfalls – and all this will happen at an appropriate distance from audience members. 

Anna Newell is a Bray-based theatre maker who has been making theatre adventures for many different audiences since 1989.  She was the first Irish-based theatre maker to create theatre designed especially for children and young people with PMLD and her work for Early Years audiences has been seen on six continents and off-Broadway. 

“SING ME TO THE SEA was such a success last year – we did over 100 shows across the country in partnership with theatre venues, with schools and with disability organisations.  When everything shut down due to Covid-19, our 2020 tour looked impossible.  I feel so passionately about the right of every child to live arts experiences and, as lockdown continued, it became clear that the families who this show is for were some of the hardest hit by the restrictions.” Anna Newell states.

Luckily this very special show can now go ahead in an innovative way, with funding from the Arts Council and close collaboration by venue partners Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge,  Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray and Civic Theatre in Tallaght.

Having presented many different shows by Anna Newell at Riverbank Arts Centre over the last few years, Director Linda Geraghty notes that the company’s work is of very high quality, innovative, specialist and proven to be impactful. “With a commitment to presenting work for young audiences at Riverbank Arts Centre, inclusivity and access is also a key ethos of our venue and programme.” Linda Geraghty states.  “In these exceptional times, we are delighted to be able to work creatively with Anna to reach an audience who are, due to the current public health crisis, more marginalised than ever. This will be a very special theatrical adventure for families to share and remember.”

“I just couldn’t let it go.” Anna says. “The very heart of my work for these audiences is that it’s responsive, that it’s bespoke for every child and that it’s utterly flexible in order to create a situation where every child makes their own way through this particular theatre adventure.  I realised that what I needed to do was to take this flexibility, this responsiveness and this insistence on the live experience to a whole new level.  And so SING ME TO THE SEA (the at-home dry-land version) was born.  I’m so excited to connect with my audience again and to go on this brand new adventure with them.”

For practical reasons, this performance can only take place within 25km of Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge and during the dates 24th-28th August. A virtual pre-visit will take place to ensure that each different private ‘at-home’ adventure is magical, calm and, of course, safe.

To start the booking process, please fill in this short form and we will follow up with a phone call.

Please note, in order to ensure that the experience is both as safe and as relaxed as possible for our audiences, we are undertaking a booking process that has several stages.  Your booking isn’t confirmed until we get to the final stage.

For geographic reasons this booking information is for families who live in the vicinity of Riverbank Arts Centre.  If you live closer to a partner venue –
Civic Theatre (Tallaght) or Mermaid Arts Centre (Bray) –  please contact them directly to book a performance of Sing Me To The Sea.  

Sing Me to The Sea tour is supported by The Arts Council, with additional support for Kildare performances by Kildare Arts Service.