‘Did you hear the one about…?’ That’s all you need to gather listeners in Ireland. Storytelling is a part of life in pubs, kitchens, and playgrounds round the country.
This Irish oral tradition is centuries old and the foundation of our literature – just look at the tall tale of patricide Christy Mahon tells a rapt tavern in Synge’s Playboy of the Western World.
Today the art of seancaithe (tradition bearers) and scéalaí (storytellers) is being revived in festivals, events, and ghost walks. Kids used to the latest 3D and CGI films can still be held spellbound by one man and his voice.
Storytelling has a lot to do with setting, which is why the stunning backdrop of Cape Clear in the South West or of the Slieve Bloom Mountains between Laois and Offaly helps make their storytelling festivals such a triumph, or why Glasnevin Cemetery is a perfect venue for ghost stories.
Find out more from Story Tellers of Ireland which also has info on workshops if you fancy acquiring storytelling techniques for yourself.