Moth and Butterfly is a storytelling/arts night that incorporates true stories & fictional and improvised tales. Contributions come from the ‘M&B Crew’, Guest Artists, and audience tellers. We also host an annual International Storytelling & Improv Festival in Galway. Our next festival will happen in February 2023.




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




Our regular Galway events are generally monthly on third Wednesdays. We plan to return to our live events soon, so make sure you’re on the mailing list (sign up at the bottom of the page) and we’ll let you know when and where! In February 2022 Moth and Butterfly hosted our second festival of storytelling and improvisation, with participants from all over the world, held in a hybrid (live/online) way, and we’re already making plans for our third festival in 2023 (stay tuned!) 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 missed 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 we have a 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."

Céad Míle Fáilte!



Sorcha Keane,  Barbara Gual Coll,  Catherine Brophy,  Órla Mc Govern



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