The Land of a Hundred Little Hills
Ceol Connected have been commissioned by the Patrick Kavanagh Centre and Monaghan County Council to create ‘The Land of a Hundred Little Hills’ a new production for young audiences inspired by Patrick Kavanagh’s A Christmas Childhood. The Land of a Hundred Little Hills is co-produced with the National Concert Hall, supported by Draíocht Arts Centre, and funded by the Arts Council.
Ceol Connected are a Monaghan-based company that creates and tours shows for young audiences that are inspired by the worlds of traditional music, folklore and nature. They also create albums, sensory shows for children with additional needs, and present Tradoodle Festival, a traditional arts festival for children that takes place every November in settings across Monaghan.
A Christmas Childhood was a natural starting point to develop a show for children that is inspired by Kavanagh’s work. The poem is packed with imagery and meaning that has the power to intrigue and delight children; from dancing stars in the morning east to water-hens screeching in the bog, to the winking glitter of a frosty dawn. In A Christmas Childhood, the memories of a young child at Christmas are intimately connected to nature, are imbued with music and mystery, and we observe how the ordinary can become extraordinary in the eyes of a young child.
The Land of a Hundred Little Hills takes these themes and threads them through a story about a young boy whose life is full of wonder, fantastical adventures, and a deep connection with the world around him. However, after growing up moving and away from home, he somehow loses his wonder along the way. It is only on returning that he begins to remember and truly understand what he has lost. Can he experience the magic and joy of childhood once again? Can his childhood book of memories help him to rediscover his sense of wonder?
Director: Aisling Byrne
Musical Director & co-creator: Thomas Johnston
Set & paper puppet design, animation & co-creator: Emma Fisher-Owen
Lighting Designer: Sebastian Pizarro
Performer & composition: Áine McGeeeny
Performer, composition & sound design: Stephen Markham
Performer: Seán O’Meara
Puppeteer & ‘little boy’ puppet-maker: Tommy Baker
Costume Designer: Olga Profutkina
Puppet mechanism designer & animator: Ivan Fisher-Owen
Carpenter: Colin Bartley