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YARN Storytelling Festival Bray returns

November is here and with it come the stories! Mermaid Arts Centre is delighted to bring YARN Storytelling Festival Bray for the twelfth year from 13 – 22 November 2021. YARN is a community-based non-profit making festival that strives to bring the art-form of storytelling to as many people of all ages in the community as possible.

Despite the challenges the pandemic has brought, this year we are bringing YARN to live audiences in Mermaid Arts Centre with some events in schools and community groups. We are welcoming back some firm YARN favourites. It has been tough couple of years for us all and we are very much looking forward to storytelling magic to add a little joy and hope to our autumn.

  • The festival kicks off on Saturday 13 November with a storytelling workshop for children ages 9 to 11 years in Mermaid with artist Shive R. Joyce. This workshop has very limited capacity so early booking is advised. The theme in Yule and Shiva will guide the children to make their very our PaperZine story booklet.
  • Niall de Búrca brings us Wild Atlantic Tales at 2pm on 13th November for ages 5+, followed by an evening storytelling performance for adults at 8pm.
  • On Sunday 14th November author Carmen Cullen presents My Aunt and I – The Story of Four Generations.
  • On Monday evening, 15th November, Friends of BLB present a screening of Every Kinda People – Bray Local Broadcasting. The unique story of the birth of broadcasting in Bray was directed by Mark Quinn.
  • Brian White from Bray Cualann Historical Society brings us a talk on Victorian Bray – both live in Mermaid and live-streamed into your sitting rooms on Tuesday 16th November.
  • On Wednesday 17th Turkish storyteller Senem Donaten Mohan presents Tales From The Orient: The Fertile Crescent in Mermaid and Little John Nee brings us his brand new show “All the Small Ocean” on Thursday 18th (this will also be live-streamed).
  • On Friday 19th November Mermaid Arts Centre is thrilled to welcome Oein DeBhairduin, author of Why the moon travels, for an evening in conversation with storyteller and actor Nuala Hayes. Why the moon travels is a haunting collection of twenty tales rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community.
  • Galway-based teller Órla Mc Govern takes to the stage at 3pm on Saturday 20th with Tales of Mischief and Magic, followed that evening by folk singer and storyteller Colum Sands at 8pm.
  • On Sunday 21st we are joined by The Speks for their foot-stamping traditional music and nursery rhymes family show. Órla Mc Govern will also be in Mermaid facilitating Casting The Net – A Storytelling and Improvisation Workshop.
  • YARN Storytelling Festival Bray will conclude on Monday 22nd November with a screening of the highly-acclaimed film Arracht. This film will be preceded by Broken Sleep – a short film by Bray-based filmmaker David Stephenson.
  • As part of YARN Storytelling Festival 2021, artist Paul Timoney is our Storyteller in Residence at St. Kieran’s School in Bray. Paul has facilitated a series of workshops over a six week period with 5th and 6th class pupils, the results of which is a stunning publication available to view shortly on Mermaid’s website!
  • Artist Brigid O’Brien is bringing her striking exhibition HOME to Mermaid’s Gallery and the opening also takes place during YARN…. Join us in Mermaid’s gallery on Thursday 18th November at 6pm for this opening event.  In her exhibition, Brigid introduces a new series of monumental drawings of people performing the most commonplace tasks – hardly worth a mention but for the fact that people with a sense of security in their own homes build better futures. These immersive works aim to initiate a conversation on our feelings around the word ‘Home’. Admission to the gallery is free.

Please note for all events at Mermaid proof of full vaccination or else a recovery from COVID-19 certificate in the past 6 months is mandatory. A valid form of ID is required to check certificates.

Full information can be found on Mermaid’s website at or by calling box office on 01-2724030.

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