Julie Sharkey presents ‘An Ant Called Amy’

Criunniú na nÓg, promoting creativity outdoors and online in County Roscommon, takes place this Saturday and Sunday (12th and 13th) and the opening event is a children’s theatre performance called ‘An Ant Called Amy’, written and performed by Ballaghaderreen actor, writer and drama facilitator, Julie Sharkey.

Julie says the play, which has been filmed for an online audience by Roscommon native Emma Brennan, is a poignant story with an important message for children aged 5 to 8 as well as older audience members.

“‘An Ant Called Amy’ came about in 2017 and 2018 when I was Artist in Residence at Roscommon Arts Centre. I had the opportunity to do a bit of writing and so wrote about a very busy little ant who must learn to slow down.

“This is a 30-miinute story about a hard-working ant called Amy who deals with grief by keeping herself busy. She doesn’t stop to deal with things that are happening in her life and when she wins ‘Employee of the Month’ she works even harder until it all comes falling down. There are some lovely characters in the story including Amy’s brother Andy and a brown spider too,” Julie says.

The play is directed by Raymond Keane and produced by Natalie Wolde with a cinematic score by Cork composer Irene Buckley and support from Mikel Murfi and Martin Drury.

Julie says it was a very different experience to perfoming live but she was “blessed” to be given the opportunity.

“It has been different and we are all hoping we can get back out on the road and performing in the flesh again.

But this has been a special journey through Covid-19 lockdowns and the story itself will be very relevant to many children who have been unable to see their grandparents or who have lost loved ones,” she said.

Julie paid a glowing tribute to the staff at Roscommon Arts Centre for their “incredible” support and said the production would not have been possible without it.

‘An Ant Called Amy’ is supported by Creative Ireland. It is suitable for children aged 5 to 8 years and will be available from 9 am on Saturday and Sunday (June 12th and 13th).