Inspired by a real life event

Produced by Cahoots NI

From Belfast, Northern Ireland





About the Company



Just like the other bonded animals at New York’s Central Park Zoo, these two male penguins walk, play, swim, and dance together. When the duo try to hatch a rock, the zookeeper gives them an egg instead, and they find themselves on an adventure, raising a chick for real!


PENGUINS is a unique and engaging show about love and the ever-evolving meaning of family. Inspired by the true story reported by the New York Times that touched hearts world-wide, this new non-verbal theatre and dance production comes to life with delightful music and incredible movement and choreography.

Past productions:  Shh! We Have a PlanEgg , Danny Carmo's Mathematical Mysteries, Nivelli's War, and Lights, Camera, Math!

Best for Grades: PreK-3rd

Audience Size: Medium to Large Venues

Please contact us to watch a full length archival recording.

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Company Background

Past Tours: Shh! We Have a PlanEgg , Danny Carmo's Mathematical Mysteries, Nivelli's War, 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.

PENGUINS is a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Britain's longest-established building-based theater company, renowned for its consistently innovative work; and Prime Theatre, which has created dynamic theater for and with children and young adults for over 30 years.


Artistic Team

Co-production between Cahoots NI, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Prime Theatre

Created and Directed by Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney

Assistant Director: Hannah Jones 
Choreographer: Carlos Pons Guerra

Composer and Sound Designer: Garth McConaghie

Set and Costume Designer: Sabine Dargent

Costume Maker: Caroline Mirfin

Lighting Designer: Simon Bond

Production Manager: Ross McDade

Casting Consultant: Kay Magson CDG

Critical Acclaim

“Penguins brought out a sweet spot for all the ages – particularly by the way in which the trio embodied the comical mannerisms of these birds, as well as their grace. This is a really creative and relevant production for children to go and see – simply delightful.”

—Claire Dukes, The Ocelot

“The piece is cool, very cool, from the jumble of ice boxes that form Sabine Dargent’s deceptively simple set to Garth McConaghie’s syncopated jazz-inspired score and Carlos Pons Guerra’s brilliantly expressive choreography, which draws from [the] performers an amazingly lifelike combination of dance, facial agility and gymnastics.”

—Jane Coyle, The Even Hand

"...a beautifully boundless, ceaselessly charming concoction for children and adults alike." 

—Simon Fallaha, The Big List

“I did love this show, but more than that, I loved watching the little man next to me, he was maybe two years old and had eyes like saucers throughout and a huge smile as he watched the two grown men playing the part of two penguins. With not a word spoken and some beautiful dance moves, this incredible show is the perfect production to introduce your tiny tots to dance and drama.”

—Brumhour review

“Based on a real pair of penguins, the show explores themes of friendship, family, nurture and acceptance in a very gentle manner.”

—Alan in Belfast

“Penguins is a production that engages children in the ever-changing meaning of family through an endearing narrative bursting with animated expression. **** ”

—Sincerely, Amy review

“The tale is beautifully told and danced, and managed to keep children in the audience not just quiet, a feat in itself, but enthralled.”

—Roger Clarke, A View From Behind the Arras

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Gallery of Past Productions

SHH! We Have a Plan
SHH! We Have a Plan

SHH! We Have a Plan
SHH! We Have a Plan

Duck, Death & the Tulip
Duck, Death & the Tulip

SHH! We Have a Plan
SHH! We Have a Plan


2018/2019 Dates

January 15-19, 2019 - International Performing Arts For Youth (IPAY) Showcase in Philadelphia, PA.
Jury-Selected For a Full Showcase Performance... Details on date/time to come soon!

Or see the company on the road with SHH! WE HAVE A PLAN in spring 2019.


Curriculum Connections

  • Science: Penguins, Animals & the Natural Environment, Life-cycles

  • Fine Arts: Performance, Physical Theatre, Dance & Movement, Magic & Illusion, Sound Design, Music & Composition, Devising a play from a true story.

  • Emotional/Social Development: Empathy, Tolerance, Identity, Family Roles and Relationships


Minimum Technical Requirements

  • Load In Time: 5 hours

  • Venue Crew Needs: 2 crew members for load in/load out. 1 crew member for performance run.

  • Min. Stage Size: Ideally a black box with 27’ x 27’ flat floor space with overhead clearance of 23'. 

  • Sound Needs: A PA system with left and right. 3 x powered monitors are touring with Company for which a connection to the operating position will be required.

  • Load Out Time: 2 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.