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Based on the book by Oliver Jeffers, HarperCollins Publishers

Produced by Branar Téatar do Pháistí 

From Galway, Ireland



Once there was a boy who was always looking up.

He dreamt of having a star as a friend.

This is the story of his adventure.


But catching a star is not as easy as it sounds. Waiting for a star to grow tired from being up in the sky all night doesn’t work. Neither does climbing to the top of the tallest tree… Finally, just when the boy is ready to give up, he learns that sometimes things aren’t where, or what, we expect them to be.


Based on the beloved book by award-winning Irish author Oliver Jeffers, Branar Teatar do Pháistí is proud to present this beautiful story of reaching for the stars and emerging with a friend.


This non-verbal adaptation combines puppetry by Grace Kiely and Neasa Ní Chuanaigh with stunning puppet design by Suse Reibish. With a magical original score by Colm Mac Con Iomaire and directed by Marc Mac Lochlainn, Branar’s signature storytelling creates a gentle show which reminds us all to follow our dreams.

About the Company

Best for: Grades PreK-2nd (Ages 4-7 years)

Audience Size: Small Venues 
(Best for up to approximately 200 people or with a maximum distance of 50ft from the front of the stage to the back row of the audience. Some flexibility depending on venue.)


HOW TO CATCH A STAR audience reaction

Please contact us to watch a full length archival recording of HOW TO CATCH A STAR.



Company Background

Past Tours include: The Way Back Home (with Theatre Refleksion)


Creating Big Stories for Little Citizens

Branar Téatar do Pháistí is one of the leading theatre companies making work for children in Ireland.

We create beautiful, innovative, high quality productions that inspire children and their families. We tour our work to venues and festivals locally, nationally and internationally. We support artists to make work for young audiences through our tailored programmes of resource sharing and Tiny Show creation. We create opportunities for children to explore their own arts practice in school settings.

The company tours extensively nationally and internationally every year. Our work has been presented throughout Ireland, Europe, USA, China and Japan.


Past performances of HOW TO CATCH A STAR include:
Galway International Arts Festival, Young at Art Belfast, Southbank Centre London, 10 Venue Irish National Tour, The Ark Residency Dublin, The Egg Children’s Theatre Bath, UK


For more information, please visit the company's website.

Artistic Team

Artistic Team

The touring company will consist of two puppeteers and two technicians


Puppeteer: Neasa Ní Chuanaigh
Puppeteer: Grace Kiely
Stage Manager: Sorcha Ní Chroinín
Technician: Michael Foley


Director: Marc Mac Lochlainn   

Composer: Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Set Design: Maeve Clancy
Puppet Design: Suse Reisbich
Costume Design: Elaine Mears
Production Photography: Anita Murphy
Executive Producer: Joanne Beirne
Line Producer: Kate Murphy
Lighting Design and Set Build: Ciaran Kelly

Critical Acclaim

“What a handsome display of design. What a sparkling flash of light. What heart-rending determination. It's hard to deny Branar's elegant How to Catch a Star, based on Oliver Jeffers's picture book, some extravagant praise...The final scenes find touching gestures of friendship, kindness and care. On several levels, then, it's a moving celebration of a child's triumph”

—The Irish Independent

 “This visually stunning stage adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’s picturebook How to Catch a Star is a tonic after the chaos of the pantomime. Under the direction of Marc MacLochlainn, Branar Téatar do Pháistí eschew the easy option of reproducing the short text and embrace wordless storytelling instead, setting the inspiring, imaginative story against a magical twinkling score from Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Boy is brought to life by Suse Reibish’s exquisite puppetry, which Grace Kiely and Neasa Ní Chuanaigh animate with graceful gestures of their own. Visible throughout the performance, they create an extra layer of theatricality that older children will love unpacking...older kids with an appreciation for beauty (and their grown-up plus-ones) will easily get lost in it. If you have had enough of the flashing lights, popcorn and pandemonium of the panto, this is the show for you. ”

—The Irish Times

“It is a beautiful production, the set designed to perfection by Maeve Clancy. From the moment the play started, and the stars appeared on the back wall, the children were mesmerized... This is an incredibly moving piece of theatre...This show is the perfect antidote to the sensory overload of the traditional Panto. … For very small children it is an excellent introduction to going to the theatre. Branar pride themselves in their work for children and creating a piece of art that will amaze these little first- time theatre goers. The story will also resonate with the big kids in the audience as it is a tale of never giving up on your dreams. “

—No More Work

“This is a gentle, detailed and captivating show that avoids being sentimental. There are laugh out loud moments as well as the visual magic that Branar is well known for…It is a sweet study of childhood isolation, imagination and invention…. Marc Mac Lochlainn’s superb direction keeps the narrative moving but leaves plenty of room for reflection, breath and thought. The show is rhythmically perfect: there are no lulls. The puppetry by Neasa Ní Chuanaigh and Grace Kiely is seamless: the boy puppet is expressive and versatile and they have a lovely rapport with the audience… Every moment is stunningly crafted from a collaborative process that is clearly full of care and delicacy. Maeve Clancy’s set design is one of the stars of the show: she has created an exquisite miniature world that somehow leaves plenty of space for the imagination. The colours, shapes and objects are so pleasing. Like previous Branar shows I’m sure that ‘How to Catch a Star’ will be loved by many children the world over in the years to come. Even my cynical sixyear old son declared that he cried with joy at the end.”

—Catherine Alexander, Puppet Centre

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Critical Acclaim
Past Productions

Gallery of Past Productions


2019/2020 Dates

See Performances of HOW TO CATCH A STAR:

Stay tuned!

Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

  • Fine Arts: Drama, Puppetry, Physical Theater, Design & Technology

  • Language Arts: Literacy, Reading, and Adaptations

  • Science: Space, Stars,

  • Emotional/Social Development: Friendship, Curiosity, Imagination

Study Guides
Minimum Tech

Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Load In Time: 6 hours (with pre-rig)

  • Crew Needs: 1-2 Crew members, depending on venue regulations

  • Min. Stage Size: 26 ft width x 13 ft depth x 13ft height. 6.5 ft of wing space on each side.

  • Load Out Time: 3 hours


Outreach and Workshops

“Relaxed” or “Sensory Friendly” Performances

This performance is also available as a “sensory friendly” or “relaxed” performance if arranged with the company in advance and with specific direction as to what adjustments are necessary for your venue.  

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