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Mermaid Arts Centre Presents

10 - 18 November 2018

Tel: 01 272 4030

10 - 18 November 2018 November is here and with it come the stories! Mermaid Arts Centre is delighted to bring YARN Storytelling Festival Bray for the ninth year. YARN is a community based nonprofit making festival that strives to bring the art-form of storytelling to as many people of all ages in the community as possible. This year’s programme is brimming with some of Ireland’s top storytellers and performers.We are also thrilled to welcome international guests Connie Regan Blake (USA),Tom Muir (Scotland) and Abbi Patrix (France). This brochure details the public events. Behind the scenes storytelling sessions are taking place in schools, community groups and nursing homes.This would not be possible without the continued support of local businesses and groups, listed at the back of this programme.Thanks to all who support the festival. Join us in Mermaid’s Gallery during YARN to learn the amazing story of local woman Josephine Heffernan, whose bracelet was lost in France 100 Years ago during World War 1 and recently returned to her family in Bray. So take a look at the line up and join us during YARN for some storytelling magic.


The People of the Sea

SATURDAY 17 November | 8pm | See page 16

Masterclass with Abbi Patrix The Musical Skills of the Storyteller SUNDAY 18 November | 2pm − 5pm | See pg 17 Photo Credit: Quentin Bertoux

Booking: Mermaid Arts Centre invests in this community based festival, along with the support of our partners.This allows us to hold a lot of events free of charge. Some venues have a limited capacity and so first come, first served applies.We do not take bookings for free events.

Tel: 01 272 4030

Josephine Heffernan -

100 years ago a bracelet was lost during WW1 Opening THURSDAY 8 November | 6pm Free | Exhibition runs FRIDAY 9 Nov − SUNDAY 18 Nov

In 2002 a schoolboy found a bracelet marked Josephine G Heffernan in a garden in a French village. A worldwide 15 year search began. American records found that Josephine died in 1962 and was buried in St Peter’s graveyard. The Bray Cualann Historical Society were asked to help and this exhibition traces their findings telling the story of this amazing Bray woman who obtained the rank of chief nurse in the American army. She left the army with the rank of second lieutenant, the highest rank that a woman could possibly obtain. As part of the exhibition, the Western Front Association Dublin branch will honour North Wicklow and Bray’s lost with the focus on the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, which was the go-to regiment for people from the area in World War 1. Kindly supported by Wicklow County Council & Creative Ireland Programme 2017 - 2022. Don’t miss Christ Church Bray’s Remembrance Exhibition (6-11 Nov) & “Come and Sing” performance of “The Armed Man” on Sunday 11 Nov. More info: 4

Photographs from Josephine Heffernan’s personal albums. Many more on display as part of the exhibition. Admission free. GALLERY OPENING HOURS: Thursday 8 Nov: 6pm - 8pm Friday 9 & Saturday10 Nov: 10am - 8pm Monday 12 - Saturday 17 Nov: 10am - 6pm (8pm on performance nights) Sunday 18 Nov: 12pm - 7pm


Siúlach agus Scéalach

SATURDAY 10 November | 12pm Free | Venue: Town Hall (Upstairs) | Age Suitability: 5+ Fadó, fadó bhíodh scéalta, seanchas agus saíocht ar fáil ón seanchaí. Ní saoi ná seanchaí é Cillian Ó Braonáin agus pleidhcíocht seachas saíocht a chuireann sé ar fáil, ach is cinnte go bfhuil sé siúlach agus scéalach. I gcomhluadar síoga, draoithe, laochra agus tuilleadh a bheidh tú agus tú ag éisteacht lena scéalta.

The Cúchulainn Saga Frances Quinn

SATURDAY 10 November | 8pm €12/10 | Venue: Town Hall (Upstairs) | Age Suitability: Adults (10+ if with adult) Frances Quinn grew up in Armagh with a keen sense of the history of the city and county. As an adult she felt the need to bring the landscape alive around the Navan Fort (just outside the city) with the great figures who featured in Cúchulainn’s life.

Digging for Gold

SATURDAY 10 November | 2pm Free | Venue: Killruddery Farm Market, The Shoot Room | Age Suitability: 5+ Cillian Brennan tells the stories he’s heard and the ones he’s made up to anyone who’ll sit still long enough to listen to them. His favourite stories are ones that contain seeds of truth sheathed in beautiful lies. He has performed at the Listowel Writers’ Festival, at the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival, and at other storytelling events up and down the country. His particular interest in the Irish language spurred him on to found ReRá – a monthly Irishlanguage storytelling night in Cork City where he continues to live happily ever after. 6

As an actor and storyteller she peoples that landscape through the rite of passage stories of Cúchulainn introducing the audience to King Conor Mac Nessa, Feargus Mac Roech, his wife Eimear and the warrior Aoife among many others. This is a great introduction to The Táin. Frances will be joined by fiddler Ultan O’Brien from Co.Clare. He performs and records regularly as a soloist and with groups including Skipper’s Alley and Non Teanga: Un Çhengey. Ultan stays active in the worlds of performance, composition and music education.


Poetry in the Park

SUNDAY 11 November | 12pm Free | Venue: The Bandstand, People’s Park, Bray | Age Suitability: All Ages Poetry in the Park is a local community event where people come together to read poems - either their own or a poem written by someone else that they would like to share.The event takes place on the bandstand in the People’s Park at 12pm on the 1st Sunday each month, whatever the weather and everyone is welcome, including children.There is no pressure to read as listeners are most welcome. In addition to the regular monthly meet-up on Sunday 4 November, a second gathering will take place on Sunday 11 November as part of YARN Storytelling Festival Bray. Join us for some poems and perhaps a story or two from special YARN guest storyteller Frances Quinn.

Aengus & Caer

SUNDAY 11 November | 7pm €12/10 | Venue: Town Hall (Upstairs) | Age Suitability: Adults (12+ if with adult) Tar agus tarraing cuimhní ó cúl do chinn… Samhain is a time when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. Enter into a world of myth and magic with Rónán ó Snodaigh (Musician and Poet), Olwen Pendred (Priestess of Celtic Mystery Tradition) and The Zoryanna Tribal dancers as they weave the dream of Aengus and Caer through song, story, music and dance.

Come & Sing - The Armed Man SUNDAY 11 November | See Times Below Venue: Christ Church, Church Road, Bray


Join Christ Church Armistice Centenary Remembrance events. In addition to the exhibition “Come & Remember”, there will be a Come & Sing event with chorus-master and conductor Frank Kelly, musical director of Bray & Wicklow Choral Societies, of The Armed Man (Mass for Peace), by Welsh musician and composer, Karl Jenkins. For further details see Registration: 1pm, Rehearsals: 1:30pm - 6pm, Performance: 7 - 8:15pm, Audience free from 2pm Grant aided by Wicklow County Council & Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022.

“I will find out where she has gone, and kiss her lips and take her hands…”(Yeats) Image credit: Aengus and Caer original artwork by Caoimhe Pendred.


Storytelling at Duff’s with Connie Regan Blake

WEDNESDAY 14 November | 8pm Free | Venue: Frank Duff’s Lounge, Main Street | Age Suitability: Adults One of the world’s most celebrated and multi award-winning storytellers, Connie Regan Blake joins us at YARN hot from Sneem Storytelling Festival in Kerry. Connie has captivated the hearts and imaginations of people around the globe with her powerful performances and workshops. Connie brings the wisdom, humour and drama of stories to main stage concert halls, libraries, the corporate world and now to Frank Duff ’s Lounge. A gem not to be missed!


Candlelit Tales The Book of Invasions

THURSDAY 15 November | 7pm €5 on door in aid of RNLI | Venue: The Harbour Bar (Upstairs) | Age Suitability: Adults A woman sets foot on an undisturbed, wild land, and claims it as her home... The story of our earliest mythology; the succession of invasions by the first tribes to come to Ireland. From Cesair and her fifty handmaidens (and her husband who wasn’t quite up to the task of populating the land), to the magical Tuatha de Danann, to the Celts who sent them underground. Irish identity explored in the unique storytelling style of Candlelit Tales, to a live musical score. Kindly supported by The Harbour Bar. “..the quintessential Irish experience” - Lonely Planet



THURSDAY 15 November | 8pm €12/10 | Venue: Mermaid Arts Centre | Age Suitability: 16+ Follow the lives and family histories of three young men as they grow up in Coolock on Dublin’s northside. What shapes them and entices them to a life of crime? Examining issues of class, religion and identity, this new play is an unflinching exploration of the Irish psyche, bringing our collective guilts, secrets and flaws to the surface. John Connors’ performance will be followed by a post-show discussion. Developed as part of Show in A Bag, an artist development initiative by Dublin Fringe Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors. ‘A stark anthem to life on the margins’ - The Irish Times


Tea Dance by Little John Nee & The Tea Dance Triode

FRIDAY 16 November | 8pm €12/10 | Venue: Mermaid Arts Centre | Age Suitability: Adults Under Milk Wood meets Twin Peaks with a soundtrack by Cab Calloway and the Velvet Underground, that’s not where it’s at, but go down that road half a mile and swing a left at Bukowski’s Grave past Son House and Debussy, keep going till you meet Flann O’Brien – He’ll tell you where it is…Tullyglen. For a long time now world weary beatniks, old hippies, anarchopunks, outsider artists and fugitives have retreated to rural locations to start afresh. Tullyglen is one such place; A remote Donegal village where everyone has a story and no one wants to tell it; everyone has a hidden dread that someday their chickens are going to come home to roost. Is Tullyglen based on a real village? It might be. Who wants to know?


An Evening Commemorating Neopolitian Singer, Roberto Murolo

Heritage Orchard Tales

Murolo had a very distinct delivery of the Neapolitan Songbook, which he sang in dialect with impassioned delicacy, often with his own very tasteful and skillful guitar accompaniment. Music by Ammazzacaffe. Booking preferable (Caffe Letterario GattaNera - 01-2116861)

Storytelling in orchards has been a worldwide tradition for centuries from the Persians, to the Syrians to the Greeks and Romans. Join storyteller Philip Byrne for some wonderful stories taking inspiration from the Heritage Orchard at Little Bray Community Centre. All wecome. Let a story weave it’s magic on you.

Monsters, Fairies & Silly Jack

The Speks

Orkney storyteller Tom Muir takes you on a journey to islands created from the body of a terrible monster, where a woman’s kindness wins her the blessing of the fairies and where Silly Jack makes his fortune by doing exactly what he is told. These stories were told by Tom’s Pictish and Viking ancestors long ago as they sat by their fireside during the long winter nights.

The Speks present a lively show of nursery rhymes and singalong songs set to acoustic Irish music which will have adults and kids jumping in their seats! Their hand-clapping, toe-tapping, hearty-laughing show is all about life on Glasses Island – a magical island off the coast of Co. Clare where everybody wears glasses! Winners of a Parents’ Choice music award in the US where their music has been described as “Riverdance for kids”, they encourage everyone to sing, scream, clap and dance along during their performances. “The Speks...they’re really great!” - Derek Mooney, RTE Radio 1

Caffé Letterario GattaNera presents:

FRIDAY 16 November | 8.30pm Free | Venue: Caffe Letterario, 6 Albert Walk, Bray | Age Suitabilty: Adults

SATURDAY 17 November | 2pm Free | Venue: Killruddery Farm Market, The Shoot Room | Age Suitability: 5+


SATURDAY 17 November | 4pm Free | Venue: Little Bray Community Centre, Fassaroe | Age Suitability: 5+

SUNDAY 18 November | 2pm €8 | Venue: Mermaid Arts Centre | Age Suitability: 2 - 92 years


Masterclass with Abbi Patrix The Musical Skills of the Storyteller

SUNDAY 18 November | 2pm - 5pm €30 | Venue: Upstairs in the Town Hall | Age Suitability: Adults A unique opportunity to join one of Europe’s finest storytelling masters to explore the power music can bring to a performer. Join Abbi Patrix as he explores how, with or without an instrument, the storyteller can search for and find a new perspective for the art of storytelling, through rhythm and tones. Your ticket price not only covers the three hour masterclass, but also entrance to The People of the Sea performance in Mermaid Arts Centre on Saturday 17th November at 8pm – an opportunity to see Abbi Patrix in action. Kindly supported by FEST, the Federation for European Storytelling & Creative Europe. Masterclass capacity is limited, early booking advised.

The People of The Sea

SATURDAY 17 November | 8pm €12/10 | Venue: Mermaid Arts Centre | Age Suitability: Adults A highlight of this year’s YARN festival, we at Mermaid are delighted to bring you international and Irish guests for a storytelling evening inspired by celtic legends of seals, selchies, mermaids and mermen and the people who live side by side with them. Our storytellers for the evening are Tom Muir (Scotland), Nuala Hayes (Ireland) and Abbi Patrix (France). A unique opportunity to tap into the wealth of storytelling tradition across Europe. Not to be missed. Kindly supported by the Federation for European Storytelling (FEST) and Creative Europe.


Music and Me

SUNDAY 18 November | 6pm Free | Venue: Mermaid Arts Centre | Age Suitability: Adults Music is there for all of us and in their delightful readings the Little Bray Writers Group shows us how. Sit back and enjoy these insights into music in their everyday lives. The readings are enhanced by the beautiful guitar playing of Gerry Anderson, using his own compositions and other pieces. A themed slideshow by Deirdre Ridgeway compliments the performances. The Writers Group are facilitated by writer Carmen Cullen. They are supported by the Bray Family Resource and Development Project, Fassaroe. This event is kindly supported by Wicklow County Council, Wicklow Arts Office and Culture Ireland.


Thank You!

A huge thanks to all of our partners and supporters. Not all events that take place in YARN are open to the public.There is lots going on behind the scenes too. Without the help and support of the following,YARN would not be possible.Thanks especially to: Bray Cualann Historical Society Bray Municipal District Caffé Letterario GattaNera Carlton Clinic Christ Church Bray Creative Europe


Culture Ireland Federation for European Storytelling Frank Duff’s Lounge Killruddery House & Gardens Kinvara House Nursing Home Little Bray Family Resource Centre Little Bray Youth Heritage Orchard Little Bray Writers Group Loreto Secondary School St. Cronan’s Boys NS Phoenix Youth Project Poetry in the Park Poetry Ireland The Harbour Bar Wicklow Arts Office Wicklow County Council If you are interested in holding a storytelling session in 2019 for a community group you are involved with, please let us know at Mermaid Arts Centre (e-mail:

Tom Muir (Scotland)

Monsters, Fairies & Silly Jack

SATURDAY 17 November | 2pm | See page 14 for further details

The People of the Sea

SATURDAY 17 November | 8pm | See page 16 for further details Photo Credit: Tom O’Brien


Tel: 01 272 4030

YARN Storytelling Festival 2018  
YARN Storytelling Festival 2018