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The Rhyming Room

In late August, puppeteer Helene Hugel and musician Sean Callagy staged The Rhyming Room at The Model, Sligo, a work-in-progress interactive performance for children under 3 years and their parents. Helene and Sean used music, play, and puppets to bring songs and nursery rhymes to life.

Photographs by Niamh O’Connor

The inspiration for The Rhyming Room came from the play sessions that Helene and Sean undertook as part of the Infant Imaginings project with the HSE Early Intervention Team’s parent and toddler group in Sligo this year. Infant Imaginings is an early years arts and health project produced by Helium. The project aims to promote relaxation, communication and learning between babies, toddlers and their parents through music, performance, puppetry and the visual arts. The emphasis in the current phase of the project is on providing creative play experiences for toddlers with developmental delays or toddlers at risk of developmental delay and also on building on-going relationships between the artists, the families, and staff involved. At present, Infant Imaginings is taking place in Leitrim, with the HSE Early Intervention Team’s parent and toddler group there.

Infant Imaginings is produced by Helium in partnership with the HSE Early Intervention Teams in Sligo and Leitrim and was made possible with help from the Arts Council, the Community Foundation for Ireland, the National Lottery through the HSE and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

Helium wishes to extend its thanks to The Model for providing the development space for The Rhyming Room. Helene would like to thank her colllaborators Sean Callagy, Kate Wilson ( and Kareen Pennefather (

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