Tag Archives: storytelling

… the excellent performers each enlist the audience on their side…

The Irish Times review 7th June 2022 by Sara Keating

A grumpy old man is digging a hole for his cello in the forest floor. He’s terrible at digging, it’s not his forte. A young boy is blasted into his path, interrupting his impossible task. The boy is on a journey that he didn’t choose, to a place he has never been.

From this skittish fracas an unlikely duet takes shape; one person supporting the other to perform their triumphant finale.
Swansong is a heartfelt and comic exploration of a once in a lifetime encounter between two strangers. This new play for young audiences by Shane O’Reilly playfully and sensitively engages with the mythical notion of the swansong; a final gesture or performance.


Theatre Workshops

For County Kilkenny schools, classes attending a performance can book two workshops in their school, a session on visual literacy in advance of the performance and a second workshop on critical analysis in the days following their visit to the theatre – there is limited availability and will be provided on a ‘first-come’ basis.

Teachers’ Resources

A digital resource pack is available to participating teachers. Linked to the SPHE syllabus, the pack provides a focus for exploration and discussion of themes raised through the play.

Download Teachers resource pack here

The Author

Shane O’Reilly is an actor and a writer. Swansong is his first time to write for Barnstorm Theatre Company.
Shane’s recent theatre writing work includes: windowpane (The Abbey Theatre; Dear Ireland); Gold in the Water (Coming in 2023); The Water Boys (Equinox Theatre); Näher…closer, nearer, sooner (Liz Roche Company); FOLLOW, FARM and CARE (co-created with WillFredd Theatre); The Matador (Show in a Bag) The Genealogy Project (development showing at The Abbey Theatre, 2017)


Paulstown Community Hall

Venue Location: R95 NY93


Tickets School Group Rate €10 (Teachers free)

At Kilkenny Arts Festival 2019


Kilkenny Arts Festival, Barnstorm presents the annual StormFest, a season of Family Theatre and Storytelling.

In 2019 we have two internationally acclaimed theatre companies bringing the best in Theatre for Young Audiences and the renowned storyteller Niall de Burca to Kilkenny.


Fly by Teater Patrasket

FLY by Teater Patrasket of Denmark is a puppet theatre show for the 5 to 10 year olds and adults – a poetic journey into a circus world of strange characters, big emotions and captivating puppet imagery. ”Teater Patrasket lives out every circus romance in this aesthetic and touching puppet performance”


Little Gift by M6 Theatre Company

Little Gift is from acclaimed UK M6 Theatre Company is a beautiful
and optimistic story about a friendship waiting to grow.

One day, a surprise visitor plants a little seed of hope and turns this lonely life upside down. Performed by Andy Gift, with a playful mix of puppetry, original music and song.



Pop-up Storytelling


A magical session for all the family to enjoy


An Irish premiere of a new development from the scealaí especially created for an audience of teenagers.


For adults only this is an experience of sublime storytelling presented in the Tudor Kitchen at Rothe House.

Storytelling Workshop (Adults)

“Unleash your storytelling ninja! Niall will pass on nuts and bolts and performance tips; and you will explore different storytelling traditions. Limited places


Book Storytelling here …