Storytelling for adults

One of my ancestors – Connor McKenna – married a merrow queen in County Monaghan in the 17th century, and madness, hallucinations and storytelling have been in the family ever since.

Sweeney of the Birds


Based on Seamus Heaney’s killer modern translation of the epic tale of a king who turned away, and turned into a bird.

What is madness, when the sane are clambering over each other, lying and relentlessly waging war?

Sweeney of the Birds is based on a fifth-century Irish epic about King Sweeney, who in the thick of battle ‘levitated in a frantic cumbersome motion, like a bird of the air’.

A physical reinterpretation of an ancient Irish story that explores madness and difference, and what it means to step away from the throng.

The Thin Place

Irish stories of mystery and life

There was a man who came here of the O’Donnells, and he was a bad man. A saint in heaven would have been bothered finding any good in him. He came here around the time of the Hunger. By God you should o’ seen things in them days.

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The Irish have a brilliant tradition of telling tales, and Andrew McKenna, twice-winner of the Port Fairy Storytelling Award, performs Irish stories of life and mystery to warm and chill you. A simple fisherman brings dead bones back to life, a man who returns from the grave to hold his lover one more time and a weird selkie story from the time of the Great Hunger. Andrew conjures spirits from the sea and land, exploring the thin place, where our world and the other place intersect.

Andrew floored us with a magical telling of an Irish Selkie Tale. He captured the dark pain of the selkie in a way I have never heard before. This was a return appearance; he won the award in 2006. A remarkable storyteller. – Jackie Kerin, Port Fairy Folk Festival 2012

Not suitable for children under 12. Download the flyer:

Flyer - the thin place

A Sheltering Spirit
Tales of love and loss

oisin11A woman braves a crazed wolf to save her lover; a gorgeous poetic vision of The Dream of Angus, where a young man is plagued by dreams of a girl and wakes each morning with a white feather on his chest; and a father lost to the river for ever … Andrew McKenna – twice winner of the Port Fairy Folk Festival storytelling award – performs stories about great acts, noble deeds and people going to the edge for love.

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The Eternity Man

The shy mysterious poet Arthur Stace, whose work was just one single mighty word.

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The Devil in Evening Dress

Australian ghost stories

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The Wasp Treatment

Italo Calvino’s Marcovaldo tales

I really loved the Wasp Treatment – you are a great storyteller!
 Monique Harvey, Director, Swiss-Italian Festa

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Deirdre of the Sorrows
A powerful classic story for our times

Deirdre is the most famous tragic heroine from the rich world of Irish mythology. Her story, also known as the Exile of the Sons of Uisnech, is an integral part of the famed Ulster Cycle.

Deirdre’s is a tale of warriors, kings, heroes, and a love story that breaks all taboos, but it is also about our inability to embrace the unknown, the “invisible”. What fate for the feminine in the heroic age, for the woman with the power to challenge the masculine honour code? What fate for us in a world off its axis?

Deirdre of the Sorrows is freely adapted from the work of Irish dramatist and folklorist Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory, a founder of the Irish Literary Revival.

“A thing that is unpleasing to me, and that I would never give in to,” said Fergus, “is to listen to the howling of dogs and the dreams of women.”

The Deep Blue Sea and the Devil

A soul collecting devil, a soldier who doesn’t wash for fifteen years and a heart broken musician who finds love at the bottom of the sea are just a few of the characters in this collection of dreamy and bizarre tales from Russia. A hilarious, dark-edged night with lots of scope for audience fun and participation.

A Cry in the Wilderness
A gothic Australian horror story

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The Wonderful Tune

Stories from Ireland about seals, merrows and spirits from the bottom of the sea. Hilarious, sad, bitter and full of pathos, a bit like a night in an Irish pub (bring your own Guinness).

Jack My Echidna

A selection of Grimms Fairytales, with an adequate amount of gore and magic for adults. Cruel kings, errant lovers, and an oversized anteater who rides a rooster and lives in a tree.

It was brilliant having you over for this year’s festival, I really enjoyed your stories, masks and tunes … thanks again for travelling over to the festival. – Waterford Imagine Festival

Your storytelling was best thing all day. – Scotch College Melbourne, Brothers Grimm Day

Enchanted Water

An hilarious love triangle between a pink dolphin, an opera singer and a rubber clerk, set in the steamy back blocks of the Brazilian Amazon.


(Not all programs are available)

Tel: 03 5470 5766

Mob: 0423 934 192


2 thoughts on “Storytelling for adults

  1. Pingback: Newport Folk Festival | Castlemaine Independent news

  2. Pingback: The Wasp Treatment: Italo Calvino’s Marcovaldo Tales at the Swiss Italian Festa | Castlemaine Independent news

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