Buí Bolg on parade across the country on St. Patrick's Day

By mARIA PEPPER

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SNAKES ALIVE! Chris McGuire at Buí Bolg getting ready for the Wexford parade.

Leading street Theatre company Buí Bolg will be exercising the magical power of performing in several places at one time on St. Patrick's Day when they present fantastic spectacles in hometown Wexford, Dublin and Kilkenny as well as floats in Athlone and Dundalk and sculptures in Edenderry and County Waterford with commissions in Six-Mile-Bridge in County Clare and Mullingar yet to be confirmed. Phew!

The energetic and imaginative crew are delighted to be staging a fully-fledged display in Wexford for the first time in several years, to mark the 100th St. Patrick's Day Parade in the town.

Their eager street audience can expect to see no less than 100 St. Patrick's chasing a 100 ft long by 25 ft high inflatable snake being towed on four trailers in a singing, dancing and fire-blowing street drama involving members of Wexford Arts Centre, Carmel Corish-Wallace School of Speech and Drama, the Martina Lacey School of Dance from Enniscorthy and the drumming group Maracatu.

Buí Bolg Artistic Director Colm Lowney said the Wexford show is an important gig for the company in Wexford's centenary year.

They have also been hired to enter a float in the St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin on the theme of 'Ireland You Are...' and have come up with a 100 ft long tapestry depicting a landscape of fields being carried along by 30 people with a giant puppet tailor sewing the material.

In addition, there is a flock of multi-coloured sheep and circus performers working with wool. They will be sending 80 people to the Dublin parade.

Buí Bolg will also be involved in the Kilkenny Patrick's Weekend Festival which is on the theme of Jonathan Swift and will be dispatching four floats with a giant puppet of Gulliver, a massive pop-up book of the City of Lilliput and a 120ft dragon and a carousel of butterflies.

The award-winning creators will also be supplying walkabout performers to roam the streets of Kilkenny during the weekend as well as installing static sculptures such as giant benches and flowers.

In Athlone, the Buí Bolg spectacle will feature two rivers, a river Goddess, a leaping salmon and Queen Maeve; in Dundalk Buí Bolg will present a giant snake wrapped around a dolmen; and in Edenderry, a swimming pool has commissioned a giant inflatable duck for the day.

Imaginations have been operating overtime and employees and volunteers working flat out at the company's workshop in Whitemill for the past few months in preparation for the national celebration.

As the green day approaches, Colm Lowney is keeping cool about the challenges and logistics involved in so many diverse projects in different locations in twenty-four hours.

'We've been doing it for over 20 years now so we're well used to it,' he said.

Wexford People

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