Tall tales galore at the Sneem Story-telling Festival 2017

Stephen Fernane

Stories, music, dance and tons of culturally creative treats are the reward for people making the trip south to Sneem for the sixth International Storytelling & Folklore Festival which takes place on November 10-12.

The festival celebrates the region's rich cultural tradition, orally and musically - something founder and seanchaí Batt Burns and fellow organisers are very conscious of. "We are keeping this oral tradition alive in Sneem and Kerry. It's our oldest tradition and it should be nurtured to bring it back to where it once was around 70 or 80 years ago," said Batt.

The 2017 festival includes multi-award winning one-man-show, 'The Man In The Woman's Shoes', written and performed by Mikel Murfi. This show follows the life of Pat Farnon as he walks to town and back again. Murfi's 'astonishing acting' has been widely praised since it was first performed in 2012.

A Storytelling Concert featuring UK, US and Irish tellers is also among the list of highlights. Acclaimed US Storyteller Len Cabral, Kate Corkery from Cork and London, Dublin's Jack Lynch, Listowel's Frances Kennedy, and Sneem's Batt Burns are all performing across the weekend at various venues.

There is also a strong youth programme this year with children's storytelling workshops and the hugely popular 'Young Tellers Concert' on Saturday evening where children will perform stories and verse in front of a live audience. Once again, the hugely popular Story Swap Sessions will take place in the local pubs, while a storytelling pub trail, a storytelling hill walk, storytelling in an 18th Century barn, adult workshops and lunchtime theatre offer a packed line-up of entertainment. Sean Lyons will present a hilarious lecture on his observations of Irish men, while the famous South Kerry Rosen Choir will perform 'Songs from Kerry' in the Church.