Thursday, 13 August 2020

Heritage Week 2020


Join Scéalta Beo and Creative Ardagh online for three days during National Heritage Week when we will show you all you need to explore your townland; delve into its history; take a walk; and look at your local heritage close up.

Using this as inspiration we will then guide you to create your own art and writing in two short workshops suitable for all ages - children and adults.

Share your creations with us and we will feature it in our online gallery

Monday, 13 January 2020

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Book Scéalta Beo to come to you

Scéalta Beo means living stories. Our mythology storytelling workshops bring the ancient myths and legends of Ireland to life for our audiences. These retellings are suitable for children and adults. Come to see us in Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre or book us to travel to your school, group event or festival. This visit can include a drama workshop or add our Life in Early Ireland workshop for a small extra cost.

We currently offer four ancient stories with County Longford connections:
  • Midir and Etain
  • An Táin
  • Diarmuid and Gráinne 
  • How the Shannon got it's name.

Monday, 13 August 2018

A fantastic weekend was had by all

Scéalta Beo - the first storytelling festival in the Midlands
Saturday started at 12pm with John Wilmott and Claire Roche of Bards in the Woods. John told stories of the Dagda, the forming of the landscape and the background to other mythology as well as sharing some of his poems beautifully accompanied by Claire on harp. Gerry Donlon and Kate Corkery had gotten together in London to prepare for the weekend and shared a turn and turn about version of the complete legend of Midir and Etain which kept the crowd enthralled for nearly to hours. After lunch Kate gave a workshop on Bringing Stories to Life and Chris Thompson finished the day session with a very enjoyable presentation on Midir's tasks in the Wooing of Etain, especially the construction of the bog road in Corlea. Unfortunately Isolde Carmody, the other half of Story Archaeology, was unable to attend as she is in hospital, but we got to hear her speak through audio recordings which was great.

The three hour evening concert was fantastic with a mix of music, poetry and stories including a surprise musical performance by Brian Dooley of the Kavanagh Festival in Monaghan who had travelled down especially for the event. Ann Gerety Smyth also delighted the audience with a story. Kate Corkery, Gerry Donlon, John Wilmott and Chris Thompson took turns to excite and delight with tales of Moytura, Brig, the Dagda, and many more while we could have listened to Claire Roche on the harp for hours.

 Sunday's family day started with an Open Mic session and Ann and Annette of Creative Ardagh performed a comical, child-friendly version of the Midir and Etain legend, Gerry Donlon shared stories of leprechauns, shoemakers, and tricksters. John Wilmott helped everyone find their own story in workshops throughout the day. Chris Thompson got all of the audience involved in her Warriors and Wizards family show and audience participation was also a feature of the magical inspiring stories of Kate Corkery who brought the day to a close. The audience left reluctantly after a day which also included butterfly making, art, construction, face-painting and dressing up.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Have you heard of Midir and Etain?

Watch us having some fun with the story of Midir and Etain in advance of the Scéalta Beo Storytelling and Mythology festival next weekend. If you would like to hear the full story in much more depth and from several different perspectives come along to Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre next Saturday 11th (Adult Day €10) and Sunday 12th (Family Day €10) from 12pm to 5pm. The professional wordsmiths Kate Corkery, Bards Aloud, Bards in the Woods and Story Archaeology are sure to enthrall and entertain both days and at the special adult only concert on Saturday night at 7.30pm (€15). Full details, tickets and some discounts available on

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Join the wordsmiths for a unique Midlands festival

The first storytelling festival of its kind in the Midlands, Scéalta Beo will have a diverse programme for adults, teens and families, including workshops and performances. Some of our panel of international storytellers and mythology experts have been working on new pieces on the local legend of Midir and Etain especially for their appearances.

The wordsmiths have been hammering out the story with their unique skills and from their different perspectives of poetry, story performance and archaeology for months. After the planning and polishing, we can finally announce that tickets are on sale for this amazing event. Thanks to the support of Creative Ireland's Longford Committee we are able to offer this event at the low cost of €10 per adult for one day or €15 for both days (children are free on Sunday, but must be accompanied by an adult). Tickets for the adults only concert on Saturday night cost €15 or you can get a combination day/evening ticket for €20. Come to all events for €30.

Saturday will be an adult-focused day, as the explorations of some of the themes of the legend are not suitable for younger ears. John Wilmott of Bards in the Woods (Co. Sligo) will set the scene for the festival at 12pm on Saturday with a prequel of the folklore, landscape and mystery that fed into the Etain and Midir story. This will be followed by the story of the Three Etains by Gerry Donlon of Bards Aloud (Ipswich) and Kate Corkery (London). A fascinating examination of morals, impulse control and consequences, performed by a celebrated storytellers, it promises to enchant and entertain.

Kate Corkery is a professional storyteller with a background in language teaching and theatre. Storyteller in Residence at the Irish Cultural Centre, she has toured internationally telling stories in China, Russia and South America as well as appearing in many European festivals. She won a Fringe First Award for “her outstanding work in regenerating the art of storytelling in today's society”. We are honoured to have her attend the inaugural Scéalta Beo festival. Scéalta Beo means living stories and we are looking forward to Kate's workshop, Bringing Stories to Life, which will examine storytelling techniques and allow participants to use their own voice and tell their own tale.

The day programme for Saturday will conclude with a presentation on the tasks of Midir by Story Archaeology duo Chris Thompson and Isolde Carmody (Co Leitrim). We are incredibly happy to be able to welcome them both to Ardagh as they offer a unparalleled insight into the depth of the original text and its local connections.With their usual mix of performance and banter, based on close analysis of the text they will focus on the wide variety of feats and challenges undertaken in the long and complicated Wooing of Etain and explore the mystery of the causeway over Móin Lámraige built in secret by Midir and its counterpart, the remains of the Iron Age causeway uncovered at Corlea Bog near Kenagh, Co. Longford.

A special adult only concert will be held on Saturday 11th, at 7.30pm, featuring all of our guests. This promises to be the highlight of the festival with a mix of story, song, poem, magic and mystery. Gerry Donlon and Kate Corkery have been planning a joint performance, Chris Thompson will present an engaging, detective style look at the Mystery of Midir, while Bards in the Woods team, John Wilmott and Claire Roche, will dazzle with their unique blend of harp music, storytelling, poetry and more. There are limited tickets available for this online at

Our special family day on Sunday will have something for all ages. Sign up for our Open Mic session at 12pm Sunday on the website and perform your own story, song or poem to the audience (children and adults welcome). Chris Thompson will enthral with her Warriors and Wizards Family Show at 2pm. There will also be family storytelling sessions featuring Kate Corkery and Bards Aloud throughout the day while John Wilmott will teach the craft or storytelling at adult and children's Find Your Story workshops all building to a special finale. Come along with all the family for a spectacular day of magic, myth, dressing up, drama and more. The weekend promises to be an extremely memorable occasion.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Tickets now on sale for Longford's first storytelling festival

We can't wait for this festival of storytelling and mythology. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring world-renowned storytellers to the home of Midir and Etain. Tickets are available through the tab above. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

A new storytelling and mythology event in the Midlands

We are very, very excited to be able to announce that Creative Ardagh will be hosting a unique storytelling and mythology event this August 11th and 12th. Scéalta Beo will have a diverse programme for adults, teens and families including workshops and performances over the two days. Some of our panel of international storytellers and mythology experts have been working on new pieces on Midir and Etain especially for their appearances. The weekend promises to be an extremely memorable occasion. Watch this space for full details coming soon.