Cahoots get Comic

Children's theatre company flex their muscles with schools project

Cahoots NI children’s theatre company have launched a new book of modern-day superheroes entitled Comic Book Heroes! with the help of children from the Irish speaking Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain school in north Belfast.

With an amazing array of characters devised by pupils, such as ‘Lightning Shock’ and ‘Dragon Fire’, using super powers like radar vision, control of the elements and creating time portals, the book will now be delivered to schools throughout the country that took part in Cahoots' Create Your Own Superhero workshops.

The pupils of Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain - a primary school in the north of Belfast where all pupils are fluent Irish speakers - were just some of the school children who took part in the workshops across the country. Their headmaster, Seamus O'Donnghaile, was full of praise for Cahoots and the work of artist Ricard Getis.

'I think the workshops were very positive experiences for our pupils in helping to develop their communication skills. Richard Getis handled them very well, and we all had great fun. Cahoots have done a great job with the resulting book of superheroes. Hopefully all the schools involved enjoyed it as much as we did.'

Actress Victoria Vitesse worked with pupils on imagining the different traits and characteristics that each superhero would possess while graphic artist and illustrator Getis helped the children to design the characters for the book.

Create your own Super Hero workshops toured 27 schools across the region and held family workshops at Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick and the new Alley Theatre in Strabane before heading off to the EDGEfest children’s festival in Washington DC as part of the Rediscover NI programme of events supporting Cahoot's original production of Cuchulain: Hound of Ulster

Comic Book Heroes! was inspired by the Cuchulain production, and the final three superheroes included in the book were devised by American school children.

The children of Bunscoil Mhirc Reachtain created ‘Stinger – The Mosquito Dude’ with the powers of flying and stinging whilst Washington DC’s answer to our own home-grown heroes included ‘Aqua Boy‘ with the ability to control water and ‘Super White Snake’ with the powers to freeze.

Paul McEneaney, Artistic Director of Cahoots NI, said: 'Cuchulain is such a fantastic character, a real super hero, and his adventures are the stuff of comic books.

'It was great to be able to bring such a well-known character to life for children today and in particular to introduce Ireland’s first super hero to children in the USA. The culmination of this project is a fantastic comic book of modern day heroes and we certainly hope that every school involved in the project enjoys the book as much as we enjoyed making it.'

Cahoots NI and ‘Create A Super Hero’ workshops and tour were kindly supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, DCAL, the National Lottery, The John Thaw Foundation and Ulster Garden Villages Limited.