The Storytelling Bus: A Thatched Cottage on Wheels
Mattie Lennon reveals the latest way visitors can connect with Irish storytelling….
The traditional setting for Irish storytelling was the thatched cottage, and Dublin is now unique in having a Rambling House on wheels. That’s right a “cottage bus.” A double-decker bus was transformed, over an 8 month period, into a virtual thatched cottage and now has its own bar, fireplace, piano, and specialist custom built fittings throughout, mostly hand carved from wood.
It is a joint venture between Hidden Dublin Walks Ltd (Aidan Murphy’s company) which specialises in Evening tours – www.hiddendublinwalks.com) and Extreme Ireland (www.irishdaytours.ie – which does day tours such as Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s causeway etc) The official site for the tour is www.traditionalirishstorytelling.com
Lord Chesterfield wrote , “Let them show me a cottage where there are not the same vices of which they accuse courts.”
I think I have found a vice free cottage (bus). The Storytelling Bus will take you on a magical journey through Ireland’s past; a rich history that is so inextricably linked with its mythology. As you travel through the areas of historic and myth-laden Dublin you can listen as storytellers Aidan Crowe and Shane Whisker transport you back to a time gone by when Pookas, fairies and giants roamed this land. Hear tales of how the Vikings were outsmarted by three Leprechauns, of epic battles and dangerous quests, of magic spells and true love. Visit the spot where Irish mermen are said to appear and who knows what you might see! Travel to the site of Ireland’s greatest battle and hear, first hand, how one of our greatest kings was killed in these beautiful surroundings.
Don’t miss this evening of stories, poems and songs. (The rendition of She Moved Through the Fair would make the author, Padraic Colum proud and The Fairies by Ballyshannon man William Allingham captures the atmosphere of the evening.)
The “mobile cottage” departs from College Green Tourist Office at 7.15pm and sets off in the direction of Beann Eadair peninsula. Two hours later after an evening of history, myth and music you will arrive back in city centre at The Church Bar on Mary St. and in the words of Aidan Murphy “the only thing you need to bring is a spirit of adventure.”
The bus tour finishes at The Church Bar, on Mary Street – the site where Arthur Guinness was married, and where the composer Handel practiced his famous ‘Messiah’ before its first performance in Fishamble Street, which is just across the river!
Barry Houlihan is chief blogger at writing.ie's Centre Stage blog - he is a professional archivist and specialises in theatre and literary archives. He has catalogued the Project Arts Centre archive (1967-2003) at the National Library of Ireland, established an archive for the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and produced a research guide on the history of Smock Alley Theatre. Barry has worked as a researcher for ‘Cultureshock’ program on Newstalk FM radio and also recently acted as researcher for the RTE Radio 1 documentary series ‘From Stage to Street’. Barry is currently working for NUI Galway Archives where he is cataloguing the archives of Druid Theatre Company and the Galway Arts Festival.