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Scéalta Beo Storytelling and Mythology Festival 2018

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Article by Alison Wells © 2 August 2018.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Creative Ardagh will be hosting a unique storytelling and mythology event this August 11th and 12th. Scéalta Beo will have a diverse programme for adults, teens and families including workshops and performances over the two days. Some of our panel of international storytellers and mythology experts have been working on new pieces on Midir and Etain especially for their appearances. The weekend promises to be an extremely memorable occasion.

Saturday will be an adult-focused day, as the explorations of some of the themes of the legend are not suitable for younger ears. John Wilmott of Bards in the Woods (Co. Sligo) will set the scene for the festival at 12pm on Saturday with a prequel of the folklore, landscape and mystery that fed into the Etain and Midir story. This will be followed by the story of the Three Etains by Gerry Donlon of Bards Aloud (Ipswich) and Kate Corkery (London). A fascinating examination of morals, impulse control and consequences, performed by celebrated storytellers, it promises to enchant and entertain.

Kate Corkery is a professional storyteller with a background in language teaching and theatre. Storyteller in Residence at the Irish Cultural Centre, she has toured internationally telling stories in China, Russia and South America as well as appearing in many European festivals. She won a Fringe First Award for “her outstanding work in regenerating the art of storytelling in today‘s society”. We are honoured to have her attend the inaugural Scéalta Beo festival. Scéalta Beo means living stories and we are looking forward to Kate’s workshop, Bringing Stories to Life, which will examine storytelling techniques and allow participants to use their own voice and tell their own tale.

The day programme for Saturday will conclude with a presentation on the tasks of Midir by Story Archaeology duo Chris Thompson and Isolde Carmody (Co Leitrim). We are incredibly happy to be able to welcome them both to Ardagh as they offer a unparalleled insight into the depth of the original text and its local connections With their usual mix of performance and banter, based on close analysis of the text they will focus on the wide variety of feats and challenges undertaken in the long and complicated Wooing of Etain and explore the mystery of the causeway over Móin Lámraige built in secret by Midir and its counterpart, the remains of the Iron Age causeway uncovered at Corlea Bog near Kenagh, Co. Longford.

A special adult only concert will be held on Saturday 11th, at 7.30pm, featuring all of our guests. This promises to be the highlight of the festival with a mix of story, song, poem, magic and mystery. Gerry Donlon and Kate Corkery have been planning a joint performance, Chris Thompson will present an engaging, detective style look at the Mystery of Midir, while Bards in the Woods team, John Wilmott  and Claire Roche, will dazzle with their unique blend of harp music, storytelling, poetry and more. There are limited tickets available for this online at http://scealtabeo.blogspot.ie.

Our special family day on Sunday will have something for all ages. Sign up for our Open Mic session at 12pm Sunday on the website and perform your own story, song or poem to the audience (children and adults welcome). Chris Thompson will enthral with her Warriors and Wizards Family Show at 2pm. There will also be family storytelling sessions featuring Kate Corkery and Bards Aloud throughout the day while John Wilmott will teach the craft or storytelling at adult and children’s Find Your Story workshops all building to a special finale. Come along with all the family for a spectacular day of magic, myth, dressing up, drama and more. The weekend promises to be an extremely memorable occasion.


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Alison Wells runs the Random Acts of Optimism blog and lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow with her husband and four children. Her short fiction been published in many magazines and online and print anthologies and she has been featured on Sunday Miscellany. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, Bridport and Fish Prize's she has just completed a themed short story collection Random Acts of Optimism and a literary novel The Book of Remembered Possibilities. To read Alison's full blog, visit Head Above Water. Find out in her Random Acts of Optimism how she manages to juggle writing, children and life.

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