The Vanishing Elephant
Festival News

Following a hugely successful off-Broadway run, The Vanishing Elephant by Charles Way for Cahoots has been announced as the first event in the 2024 programme of the Belfast International Arts Festival.

Landing at The Grand Opera House, Belfast, from 31st October to 2nd November 2024, the family spectacle is an epic tale of friendship and adventure that features extraordinary on-stage puppetry.

The production is a collaboration between Cahoots and Belfast International Arts Festival, who have financed the choreography from leading Indian dance-maker, Jayachandran Palazhy and with the generous support of British Council NI.

Cahoots is Northern Ireland’s leading theatre company producing magical work for young audiences and their families. With its distinctive style utilising illusion, physical theatre and original music, its productions have been enjoyed across Ireland, the UK, Asia and America since 2001.

In October 2023, The Vanishing Elephant opened to the world at the New Victory Theater in New York to rave reviews, with the New York Times naming it as a ‘Critic’s Pick’ and audiences hailing it as “the best theatre seen on stage in some time.”

The show follows the journey of Janu the elephant, captured and taken from India to America, far from her family and her forever friend, Opu. Swept up in the circus, she makes magic and history as The Vanishing Elephant with Harry Houdini himself, but Janu never stops thinking of home. Now, the team at Cahoots are excited to be bringing the show back to their own home to make its Irish debut.

Cahoots’ Artistic Director, Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney, said, “It is a huge honour that The Vanishing Elephant will take to the incredible Grand Opera House stage as part of the 2024 Belfast International Arts Festival. This production has been in the works for several years, had its world premiere in New York, and now at last is making its way to the city we proudly call home”.

“There are so many elements of this show that audiences of all ages will connect with – original music, incredible puppetry and a really beautiful story. We are lucky to be working with such a talented line-up of local and international performers, crew and creatives that make this special piece a stand-out.”

Richard Wakely, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Belfast International Arts Festival, said, “Our 2023 festival opened on October 12th, with performances in Belfast whilst simultaneously, the Cahoots team took to the boards of the New Victory Theatre to unveil our collaboration, The Vanishing Elephant to deserved critical and popular acclaim. The production encapsulates so much of what we believe in: presenting global stories that have a local resonance, showcasing exceptional Northern Ireland talent and promoting cultural diversity. So, we’re delighted that the next stage of the journey of The Vanishing Elephant will begin here in Belfast in October 2024”.

Tickets are available from 10am, Monday 11th December, and the show is recommended for ages 8+.