29 Mar

Written by Shem on March 29, 2012

Once upon a time… long long a go… Well not so long ago… last weekend to be precise, my parents were visiting me in Dublin Ireland. We most definitely ‘got our tourist on’ and I showed them some of the city’s delights such as Phoenix Park, Temple Bar and of course the Guinness factory for a cheeky pint! However in the evening I thought we would switch it up a little and headed to Dublin’s oldest pub ‘The Brazen Head’ for a night of Irish folklore and storytelling.

Now imagine this, a small dimly lit room at the top of the pub full of people from all over the world huddled around tables listening to an Irish man’s narrative on everything from potatoes to fairies! It’s a very intimate setting but this is what makes the night. It just wouldn’t work if this was played out on a big stage in front of hundreds of people. Ireland is steeped in history, struggle and majestic heart where the main greeting is actually ‘What’s your story?’ meaning ‘how are you?’. Over the course of the evening we were entertained and enthralled by stories detailing the famine, migration and tales about the fairies including the chap we all associate Ireland with, the leprechaun and his pot of gold!

There is nothing quite like attentively listening to someone excite you with bedtime stories as you scoff your face with a 3 course meal washed down with cider! Accompanying the folklore, musicians play traditional Irish songs interacting with the audience as you try and join in and clap where applicable! The art of storytelling is something that exists within every culture and at our table alone we had people from Brazil, Canada, Australia and then my parents who are from the Caribbean. Throughout the evening the host mingles with the crowd as everyone shares their own stories which pertain to their own country. The outcome of this sharing exercise was thus… it’s the same story with the same characters but just different names.

If you are looking for an alternative evening when visiting Dublin I hugely recommend Irish Folk Tours where prices for adults are €44. The food is delicious, the company is great and you also learn a great deal more about Ireland as a country than you would from any text book. The only drawback is that not enough people know about this little gem of an entertaining evening!

Rating: 5/5

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