The Tales They Used to Tell

Free Storytelling Session for Families

Chapters Book Store, Dublin, 1 April 2011

This was the first public performance for Nadia Evans, age 8, and she handled it like a veteran. In Ireland it’s assumed the storyteller wants to sit in a comfortable, overstuffed easy chair, and that’s what the book store people provided. It was all right for an adult, though none of the adults used it except Dónal Donohoe, because he was playing a guitar. Nadia asked me if she should tell sitting or standing. I said whatever she felt comfortable with. She chose to sit. Problem was that with the slick leather cushions and her short legs, she kept sliding forward into the microphone, which also decided to swivel slowly down. Nadia kept hitching herself back up into the chair and twisting the mike upward as she told, without a bother on her, as if this was the way it was always done.

Finally, after 3 stories, I suggested she stand up and hold the mike in her hand. She said she had to move around for the next story anyway. I told her to remember to keep the mike in front of her mouth when she moved her head. She did, and she moved around gracefully as if she had been doing it all her life. What a champ!

She told four stories: Silly Women, The Red Dress, The Phantom Steamroller, and The Man With No Luck.

Nadia on the slippery chair
Nadia standing

And not forgetting the other stars —

Aideen McBride - a true ghost tale from County Carlow
Aideen McBride – a true ghost tale from County Carlow
Caitriona Ni Threasaigh – The Selfish Giant
Dónal Donohoe - song: The Voyage of Bran
Dónal Donohoe – song: The Voyage of Bran
Eléonore Nicolas
Eléonore Nicolas – Mr Wiggle and Mister Waggle; The Two Lizards
Fiona Dowling
Fiona Dowling – Martina the Cockroach; Apples and Bananas
Gerry Clancy - Gadaí Dubh (The Black Thief)
Gerry Clancy – Gadaí Dubh (The Black Thief)

The youngest members of the audience were aged 3, 4, and 5, and they began to get restless toward the end of the 2-hour session (they were great to hold on that long!). Eléonore and Fiona rewarded their patience with some lively, silly kiddie tales at just the right moment. I told The Man With No Story and The Troll Wife, but forgot to ask someone to take a photo.

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