For almost 18 years, the award winning Cahoots NI has been Northern Ireland’s leading Children’s Theatre Company. Their distinctive style combines magic and illusion, digital technology, physical theatre and original music, creating memorable experiences for children and families.

Cahoots NI have built up a distinguished international reputation, showcasing Northern Ireland as a region with a thriving theatre industry and a skilled creative workforce. The company has appeared at prestigious arts festivals in South Korea, Malta, Japan, Germany, and across America.

Now in February 2019, Cahoots NI have just returned to Belfast from performing at the acclaimed International Performing Arts for Youth Conference (IPAY) in Philadelphia. The annual conference showcases a rigorously selected roster of professional performances from around the world. The competitive, juried showcase highlights only 14 performances by outstanding international performing artists in front of presenters who book shows in festivals and venues across the world, specifically for young people.  The incredible opportunity to showcase work at IPAY to industry professionals and venues enables international booking agents to schedule Cahoots NI’s next tour of America.

With decreasing availability of funding for the arts in Northern Ireland, Cahoots NI changed their business model in order to adapt to the new climate.  Three years ago they began international touring in order to generate income from their repertoire of original programming. This income now allows Cahoots NI to create new work for home audiences in Northern Ireland and is an innovative way of remaining sustainable.

Being selected to showcase at the prestigious conference in Philadelphia demonstrates that their work is of world-class standing, of extraordinary quality and they are putting Northern Ireland on the world map for all the right reasons.  It follows in the steps of Cahoots NI’s previous successful USA tours which have enabled them to reach audiences of over 100,000.

Paul Bosco McEneaney, Artistic Director of Cahoots NI, said “The IPAY Showcase is a world class platform, which selects a small number of productions to perform to an audience of industry professionals. We have been fortunate enough to be selected for this on a third occasion, this time for ‘Penguins’.  Following the success of our time at IPAY, a full USA tour is on the horizon for 2020. I am thrilled that this show, which was enjoyed by so many families within the UK and Ireland, can now be shared with young audiences across America.”

Now back in Belfast, Cahoots NI are gearing up to launch their brand new production Milo’s Hat Trick which will be performed at this year’s Belfast Children’s Festival and tour nine venues across Ireland.  Young audiences from aged three and upwards can expect magic, music, puppetry and mischief in this delightful adventure, based on the book by Jon Agee and adapted for the stage by Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney.

Cahoots NI have put together an incredible creative team for the production – music is from Peter J. McCauley, lyrics from Hugh W. Brown, set and costume design by Sabine Dargent (Under the Hawthorn Tree, Pinocchio) and it features a larger than life bear puppet from Jimmy Grimes (former Puppet Director of Warhorse on the West End).  The cast of three includes Jude Quinn (Egg, Shh! We have a Plan), Emer McDaid (The Elves and the Shoemaker) and Crystal Zilwood.

Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts & Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “Milo’s Hat Trick is yet another imaginative, exhilarating and exciting production from leading children’s theatre company, Cahoots NI.  The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this internationally acclaimed theatre company through National

Lottery and public funding and would encourage everyone, young or old, to go along and enjoy!”

The CahootsNI trip to Philadelphia for IPAY was supported by Arts Council of Northern IrelandBritish Council Northern Ireland and Culture Ireland. Thanks to the Northern Ireland Bureau of North America who sponsored a reception following our performance of Penguins.

Penguins is a co-production to be accredited to Cahoots NI, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Prime Theatre. Penguins photographs : Copyright Robert Day

Their new production is based on the book MILO’S HAT TRICK © 2001, 2017 by Jon Agee  Originally published by Hyperion Books for Children Reedition published by Dial Books for Young Readers. Used with the permission of Pippin Properties, Inc.




Wed 6th March | Market Place Theatre, Armagh

visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre | 028 3752 1821


Fri 8th – Wednesday 13th March | Lyric Theatre, Belfast

lyrictheatre.co.uk | 028 9038 1081

youngatart.co.uk/whats-on/milos-hat-trick | 028 9024 3042


Tues 19th March | Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady

roevalleyarts.com | 028 7776 0650


Thurs 21st March | Solstice Arts Centre, Navan

solsticeartscentre.ie | 046 909 2300


Sat 23rd March | The Ardhowen, Enniskillen

ardhowen.com | 028 6632 5440


Sun 24th March | Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire 

paviliontheatre.ie | 01 231 2929


Wed 27th March | An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk

antain.ie | 042 933 2332


Fri 29th March | Íontas, Castleblayney

iontascastleblayney.ie | 042 975 3401


Sat 30th March | ISLAND Arts Centre, Lisburn

ISLANDartscentre.com | 028 9244 7744

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