Dance, magic, music and mystery on the menu at Belfast Children's Festival

Inspired by a true story, Penguins is a unique and engaging show for children about friendship, fun, identity and the ever-changing meaning of family

CUTE penguins and a devious mystery are on the bill as children's Theatre Company Cahoots NI take over the MAC theatre during this years Belfast Children's Festival with two unique shows for young audiences.

Penguins, a non-verbal performance, is a family friendly fusion of ballet and contemporary dance inspired by a true story that touched hearts worldwide when reported in The New York Times – the tale of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins living in Central Park Zoo, who together hatched an abandoned egg and raised a chick.

This co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Prime Theatre is billed as an engaging story about friendship, fun, identity and the ever-changing meaning of what makes a family. It features original music, magic and dance. After it's premiere at the MAC, Penguins will tour throughout Ireland in March.

Older children, aged eight and above, are invited to solve the mystery of The Assistant's Revenge. A play filled with illusions and special effects, it tells the story of small-time Private Eye Sam Sullivan.

A phone call in the dead of night leads him to a strange travelling show at the edge of town where he meets Felix, an escapologist, and his assistants, Molly and Crystal, one of whom appears to have murder in mind.

:: The 20th Belfast Children's Festival runs from March 9-14. For programme and booking visit

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