Moth and Butterfly started as an storytelling/arts night that incorporates  Improvisation, 
true stories & fictional tales. Contributions come from the  ‘M&B Crew’, Guest Artists, 
and audience participation from the audience on the night.


Moth & Butterfly brings together the art forms of both Storytelling & Improvisation.
In our regular monthly nights, there are three types of Storytelling:

'Moth' style stories are short, true, thematic, and feature the teller themselves as the
central character. A homage to the wonderful 'Moth' /personal stories style, tellers tell
for around 8 or 9 mins but shorter is fine. Much more interesting to us than jokes or a
yarn, we always prefer a story of something that had an impact on you, something
important to you. It can be funny of course but by no means has to be. Think of it as a
story that changed you in some way, however small, We love your truth, warts and all!
Improvised stories will be created fresh on the spot – no two are the same! 

'Butterfly' stories are improvised. We have different improvisational formats including: 
'Stories From The Hat' (where the audience picks an object for the story) and 'Found In 
Translation'  (where the teller improvise and translate bilingually).

Free-fall stories are all other stories that still fit the theme – a true story about someone
else, a piece of fiction, be it a folk tale or a tall tale.

The monthly night for oral storytelling, so no reading or notes allowed – just pure
story! The night is for both tellers and listeners, for without good listeners; there would
be no good stories! There will be an opportunity for people to tell and also to just sit
comfy and join in the journey of the imagination.

Great stories invite us in for a listen. They don’t always have to be funny by any
means (but they can be!). They draw from a wide emotional palette. We love to laugh,
but also to cry, to growl, to gasp. We invite people to tell stories from the heart.

“There’s nothing quite like this night in Ireland – thank you for putting it on, it is spectacular” ~ James, Audience Member Monthly Event

“This show was the highlight of our visit to Ireland” ~ Maura (Galway Theatre Festival Audience Member)

“A really lovely night – thank you for creating something very special, we’re already looking forward to the next one, and glad we discovered you!…” ~ Michael, Culture Night Audience member


In February 2021 Moth and Butterfly will host its first ever festival of storytelling and improvisation, 
with participants from all over the world, and to be held online. Our Galway event is generally 
monthly on the third Wednesdays of the month. Our regular live night is held in Katie’s Claddagh 
Cottage in Galway, but we have been operating this night online since March 2020. 
We also travel to festivals and events throughout the country, and throughout the year and the crew 
are open to enquiries for Arts, Public and Private Storytelling & Improvisation Events.


Moth and Butterfly was founded in 2012 by Artistic Director Órla Mc Govern

“I wanted to bring together the elements of both storytelling and improvisation in one
night. I felt the two art  forms  would complement  and support each  other, but  it was
unknown territory. When I lived in the US I’d experienced great ‘true’  story nights
(such as The Moth, showcasing true/personal stories), and I wondered how well these
would sit alongside our own rich, yet very different storytelling tradition back in Ireland. 
The same with improvisation, I wanted to introduce this, even in a small way, to new
audiences and I began to see a connection, where there was room for it all at the table.

"I came up with a structure for the night, where it would very much stick to the oral
tradition and focus on storytelling (vs music/poetry which I also love, but I wanted to
make a dedicated space for story). Within that scaffold we could explore true stories,
traditional stories, improvised stories, and all the stories in between. The name would
be a reflection of that. Moth being a homage to true tales and Butterfly being about
transformation. A few friends were approached (actors, writers, musicians as well as 
storytellers and improvisors), and we launched our first night in the wonderful 
Townhouse Bar.  

We moved a bit with a magical winter residency in Ard Bia  (great memories), 
festival adventures at The Body And Soul Festival, The Athenry  MAD Festival, 
Culture Nights including The Secret Garden and Cloonacauneen Castle,  and 
several events in conjunction with The Galway Theatre Festival. Finally we settled 
into our year round monthly residency at the delightful Katie’s  Claddagh Cottage. 

When the clouds began to gather around the world in early 2020,  we had mixed 
feelings about taking the night online. We would miss our audience  tellers, cups of 
tea and the open fire, but perhaps we could reach friends who weren’t with us, 
provide a bit of warmth, even in a small way…

We kept going online, and now it’s our festival. The idea for the latter came over many 
cups of tea after our nights, but in particular a big nudge from my friend Jonathan. I’m 
delighted we are here and want to extend the warmest Galway welcome to all the tellers, 
performers and listeners who join us from all over the world for our very first festival."

Céad Míle Fáilte!


Sorcha Keane
 Barbara Gual Coll
 Catherine Brophy
 Órla Mc Govern 


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