Not just a great music festival, but a great festival of theatre!
The festival is committed to developing a rich and broad arts festival, where the performing and literary arts feel right at home within our festival program.
“The inclusion of a theatre strand within a festival program over the last few years, I guess was a bit of risk, as it goes against the expectation of music concerts and the like. But I can confidently say now that the National Celtic Festival is not just a great festival of music, but also a great festival of theatre! We have been true to our commitment of deeply engaging with Celtic culture through an exploration of language, literature, poetry and theatre. What has emerged is a real thirst for such a program, attracting interest from a broad spectrum of audiences, and artists of such high caliber from Australia and overseas.”
—Jim Lawson, Vessel Theatre Company.
Festival Director Una McAlinden will host In Conversation with Damien Leith. Damien will share some of his stories as a songwriter, producer, author, playwright and tv host and we will find out about his latest passion …. story teller and writer of children’s literature. Come along to this intimate conversation.
Sunday 12 noon Club Room
STORIES OF PLACE
Barry James Gilson
"Barry James Gilson is a Wathaurung man.
A singer, poet and storyteller.
Barry specialises in bringing back the ancient words and language of his people the “ Wathaurung “.
Barry has been a lead singer in the Tanderrum (Melbourne festival) for the last five years ongoing .
Also involved in mountain to mouth as a singer /poet 2017,2018.
Working strongly towards reinstating a lost culture that has survived genocide and colonisation .
Great odds he has overcome to work towards leaving a legacy of hope and survival for future generations to follow .
The past he believes is the greatest strength he has, because without it... there is no future ."
STORY HOUSE/NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE
The Story House
This year the opportunity has arisen to expand the storytelling program and give it a dedicated space at the Neighbourhood House. The transformed space creates the same warm welcome offered at firesides, in days gone by. Contained and tucked away, the atmosphere will be perfect for relaxed listening, so that you can be swept away in folklore, legend and myth; drawn into personal stories; or rocked with laughter by comic yarns and recitations. Be sure to make your way down to the Story House this weekend, where the craic will be very good!
A full week-end program of story.
Including Workshops, Masterclasses ...
In Honour of Wise Women
Mary O’Meara, Fionnuala Smyth and Niki na Meadhra tell stories of Irish women from long ago and not so long ago. The strength of these women lives on in all of us; echoing the tradition of the Cailleach of Irish legend. You are warmly invited to their story circle.
THE RAMBLING HOUSE
In times past, a Rambling House was organised regularly to provide residents of a province or even a small city a venue for entertainment including stories, songs, recitations and jokes, which were thus preserved and handed down the generations.
In Ireland, the tradition of the Rambling House is alive and well. People still love to gather in a circle, often by a fire or in a welcoming place and share stories and songs. The locals all know where to go, sometimes a pub or other venue, but just as likely someone’s home, as was the tradition. Much like the tradition of music sessions, tellers often have their own repertoire, but they also encourage each other to experiment and expand their material. All contributions are welcome and the inexperienced can try their hand.
The National Celtic Festival held its inaugural Festival Rambling House in 2016 and will offer two opportunities this year for you to be warmly welcomed to get amongst the stories.
HOST NIKI NA MEADHRA
STORY HOUSE/NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE