Storymap app is here

A new storytelling  app for Dublin has been launched by Storymap.
The app is a web-based multimedia project that revives Dublin’s tradition of storytelling and tries to capture the personality of Dublin city through its stories and storytellers. 
People will receive an alert if they are nearby a place that has a story associated with it.
It will enable tourists and citizens alike  to explore the city in every direction while being entertained at every turn with a new story about Dublin life.
These stories are filmed being told where they happened and integrated into a live map to create a charming and layered collective vision of Dublin city made by the people of the city.
Storymap includes the telling by Brendan Nolan of the Dollacher story from Dublin Folk Tales.


Arresting Storytelling

I blame Con Houlihan on confusing editors.
I did my best to follow his writing advice and found myself explaining the use of English to more than a few harassed editors and sub-editors.
Con’s voice was stilled on August 4, 2012; but his words carry on through his writing. There can be no finer memorial to a writer than that.
Many years ago I used to buy the Evening Press to read Con’s reports on sport and theatre. They were published under these headings; but a report on a football game often wandered off to discuss the Red Badge of Courage as a relative concept to the matter in hand.
Con was a theatre critic and a long-limbed man. He did not budge when a cast member leaped over his shins one opening night in the Project Arts Centre when the Sheridans, Peter and Jim, were guiding a revival in Irish theatre, and mayhem had been loosed.
The production was in the round, for there was no stage, and when the review appeared it merely suggested that the front row of audience chairs be moved back to allow the actors more space.
The performers.
A long time ago, Con came along to chat to some aspiring writers in the People’s College. He sat on a hard chair before the group. He closed his eyes and did not open them until he was done, a half hour later.
We would have followed him back into Hamelin, there and then.
He revealed secrets and enchantments of the art of writing; not the least of which was not to be a lazy writer. To take time to find the apposite word for what you wanted to say.
It is all about removing the commonplace, the expected form of words, and substituting it with a telling word picture that arrests the speeding eye, he said.
Arresting the speeding eye was not what hurrying editors prefer to contemplate on a busy day with deadline drawing nigh, where speed, accuracy and flow are the order of the room.
Con was of our times and of another time and of endless time. A contemporary of his said he asked in the local butcher’s shop for some sheets of that large unlined paper they used to wrap around fresh meat.
He handwrote his articles on the sheets, a paragraph a page in a unique calligraphy of his own and handed them in where others were arrested in their work as they re-packaged Con’s words for the waiting reader.
He was never less than arresting, and for that, as a follower, I give thanks.
Brendan Nolan

Brewery of eggshells

The Brewerry of EggshellsKate Corkery and Nuala Hayes are touring Brewery of Eggshells their collection of Irish folk stories.
Both are very accomplished storytellers; but their melding of style and presence brings something more to the telling.
The addition of a pair of displayed batiks for suggested landscape, an iron kettle, and two dozen fresh eggs transforms the telling space into a universe of story. 


Remembering Sheila Conroy

Sheila Conroy

A glass was raised to Sheila Conroy on Saturday night May 12, 2012, at the Larkin Hedge School, on her passing, rather than a minute’s silence she would not have approved of, said school organiser Seamus Dooley.
I first met Sheila many years ago on Grand Parade when the People’s College was housed there and I fetched up on an unlikely day at an equally unlikely hour to enroll in a class that had been recommended to me by a nationally known newspaper features editor I was trying to begin writing for at the time.
Technically, the school was closed for the summer; but I was too impatient to wait for the autumn to arrive.
Sheila gave me the grand tour and made a ceremony of my signing up for the course that seemed to my naive and innocent mind to be quite approropriate for my by-then undiscovered talent.
A lovely person.
I raised my glass to her with pride.
And to Sean, the editor who saw something, and said yes.

Visiting Yarnspinners

Dublin YarnspinnersStories were told last night at the May Dublin Yarnspinners session by tellers from Germany, California, Michigan, Canada, Carlow and Wexford for a great storytelling night once more.
I told the Honeymoons story from Dublin Folk Tales for the first time in a long time and laughed myself at the recall of daft wedding customs in Dublin, long ago, and sold out all the copies I brought with me afterwards.
A lighter step on the way home through Dublin.


Telling in Dublin

All hail the listeners and tellers at last night’s Milk & Cookies session in the Exchange.
I told the Pigwoman of Dublin from Dublin Folk Tales to a good reception.
The film, whose name escaped me in the excitement of the telling, based on the same 300-year-old European story was Penelope, a modern day parable starring Christina Ricci as a cursed pig-faced girl.
But, the “true” Dublin story is better.
Venue video here