Produced by Cahoots NI

From Belfast, Northern Ireland

About the Company

Nivelli’s War is an enchanting production featuring music, magic & illusion. Ernst, a six year old boy, is evacuated to the countryside from Frankfurt in World War II. When the war ends, Ernst finds himself alone with no idea how to get home again, until mysterious stranger comes to his aid: Mr. H., a man with a trick or two up his sleeve. Together they set off through a war-torn world fraught with danger, hunger and uncertainty to find Ernst's family.


Delicate piano music and dreamlike stage effects help tell this story of two survivors who become each other’s ally, protector, and confidant. Inspired by a true story, Nivelli’s War is a vivid and moving theatrical account of an incredible journey and an unlikely friendship.


Nivelli’s War  had its North American premiere in spring 2017 at The New Victory Theater on Broadway.

Cahoots NI is also touring in 2018-2019 with Shh! We Have a Plan ​and Danny Carmo's Mathematical Mysteries.

Past productions:  Shh! We Have a PlanEgg and Lights! Camera! Math!

Best for Grades: 4th + up

Audience Size: Medium to Large Venues

Please contact us to watch a full length archival recording.



Company Background

Past Tours: Shh! We Have a PlanEgg and Lights! Camera! Math!

Cahoots NI is at the forefront of Northern Irish theatre and is the leading professional theatre company producing work for children. 


Since beginning operations in November 2001, Cahoots NI has produced original, boldly innovative work for children, some staged in conventional theatre venues and some in purpose-designed sites or specific locations, including schools and healthcare settings. Its work concentrates on combining the visual potential of theatre with the age-old popularity of magic and illusion. 


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


Artistic Team

Associate Producers: Lyric Theare, Belfast
Director: Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney

Write: Charles Way

Composer: Garth McConaghie
Choreographer: Muirne Bloomer
Set & Costume: Sabine Dargent
Lighting Designer: Sinead McKenna

Voice Coach: Peter Balance
Costume Maker: Lisa Dunne

Critical Acclaim


Superb visuals and spellbinding performances

- NI4Kids

Nivelli’s War is an essential tale, Cahoots NI tell it beautifully.

- No More Workhorse

Makes us feel we are entering a different world

- The Irish News

Timely, sharply etched revival making a deep impression on adults and children alike.

- The Stage

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Gallery of Past Productions


Curriculum Connections

  • Fine Arts: Performance, Magic & Illusion, Soundscapes & Sound design

  • Language Arts: Storytelling, Character, Historical Fiction

  • History & Social Studies: WWII, World Geography

  • Emotional/Social Development: Problem Solving, Courage, Empathy, Tolerance, Religion, Friendship


Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Load In Time: 8 Hours 

  • Crew Needs: A crew of at least 4 for load in/out (stage, sound, and lights); During the run, 4 people will be needed as deck crew and wardrobe personnel. 

  • Min. Stage Size: 33ft deep x 33ft wide x 26.5ft ht (can be adapted to suit tighter spaces). 

  • Sound Needs: All sound is on Mac Q Lab with 2 speakers front (DSR /DSL) and 2 placed behind audience for a surround sound effect. Stage Management operates from Sound / LX box and will hook up to house system. 

  • Load Out Time: 4 Hours 


Outreach and Workshops

A Post-Show Talkback is Available

Nivelli’s War Pre-Show Workshop

Two performers present the story of Nivelli’s War, encouraging audience participation by asking the students to make decisions about how certain elements of the story progress. Throughout the entire presentation, there has been an old oak chest on suspended in the air - on display with a prediction inside. At the end of the story the performers open the chest to reveal a letter from The Great Nivelli which states all of their choices on a giant scroll - The Great Nivelli was able to predict the pupils' answers before the show even started!

Pupils will be left with the letter and can get The Great Nivelli to sign it after they watch the performance - a chance to meet the great man himself!

     Duration: 15-20 mins  Location: At the theatre
Size: 35 participants

“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.

ph: 512-477-1859 | email: | P.O. Box 49036 | Austin, TX 78765