2024 FESTIVAL ARTISTS

NICEOL BLUE

Niceol is a storyteller in song and spoken word. A singer, songwriter, writer, improviser and storyteller, she grew up in the Pacific Northwest of the US, an environment that helped to shape her performance style. Niceol is a published musician, poet and writer, with music has been described as 'exceptional'. Now at home in Galway, Niceol is a founding member of Moth and Butterfly, and works behind the scenes and on stage. Niceol performs as a singer, songwriter, storyteller and sound artist all over the world. Most recently, she was a featured teller for themoth.org, in their holiday episode. As well as being part of the Moth & Butterfly Crew and Artist Roster, Niceol is Moth Butterfly's Technical Director and as such will be running all of the sound and lights and things behind the scenes throughout the festival.

EIMEAR BURKE

Eimear is the Chosen Cheif Druid of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). As well as being a and a storyteller specialising in Irish myth and legend, she is a celebrant and a harpist.

CATHERINE BROPHY

Catherine Brophy is a writer, story-teller and broadcaster, she also facilitates workshops. She leads a blameless life in Ireland but travels whenever she can. She’s been rescued by a circus troupe in Serbia, had breakfast with a Zambian chief, ate camel stew in the Sahara, and was kicked by a horse on the Mexican plain. Yeah, she has a couple of stories to tell. Catherine’s stories often humorous. She tells a wide variety, from Fairy stories, ghost stories, myth and legend to folk stories, travel and personal stories. She has performed and facilitated workshops at festivals, in libraries, in the Abbey Theatre and at venues in Germany, Poland, Netherlands, U.S. and Denmark.

MASAKO CAREY
Japanese-born Storyteller Masako Carey has lived in Glens of Antrim since 2001. She tells stories in schools, libraries, and community venues with people of all ages and abilities. Masako was a featured storyteller at Belfast Mela and the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival and was awarded an Ethnic Minority Mentoring and Residential Grant by National Lottery Fund through Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Most recently she performed her solo show of Japanese folktales at the Black Box in Belfast. Recently she has been featured in the Yarn Festival in Bray with performed her one person show and was involved in podcast 'Super Great Kids’ Stories'. As a child, Masako always loved reading but also watching animated Japanese folktale stories on TV. The influence of the world of animation combined with her experience as a kindergarten teacher gives Masako a unique style of telling. Her repertoire of traditional Japanese tales includes those which are both comical and serious.

SAOIRSE EXTON

Saoirse is an 18 year old climate justice activist from Limerick, Ireland. She began climate striking in 2019 when she founded her local branch of the Fridays for Future global movement. Saoirse believes that restructuring our global economies is necessary to combat colonialist ideas of extractivism and exploitation towards planet and people. In 2021, she was named one of the 100 inaugural winners of the Rise programme for her work researching and rewriting Irish mythology to bring traditionally suppressed narratives about women and queer characters to the forefront. As a Gaeilgeoir (Irish-language speaker), Saoirse believes that by reconnecting with our traditional languages and storytelling, we can reestablish the concept of Earth as sacred and create policy and practices that facilitate reciprocity with ecosystems. Saoirse is the youngest member of the UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.

ÓRLA MC GOVERN

Órla is an award-winning Storyteller, performer and writer based in Galway. As well as being the Artistic Director of Moth & Butterfly, she performs, tells stories and leads workshops at venues small and large around the world. Órla's plays have been produced globally and she has written two books of stories ‘Dublin Folk Tales For Children’ & ‘Wild Waves & Wishing Wells’ (The History Press). She is a member of Galway collective Theatre 57 and of the Connemara Arts Collective Interface Inagh. As well as theatre performance, Órla also acts for film and TV. Some credits include ‘Stay’, ‘Lily’, Sanctuary, and ‘North Circular Road’. She is a member of Ohana, the European Collective of Improvisors, and she loves to swim in the sea!

MHÁIRÍN MHIC LOCHLAINN

As Ros a’ Mhíl do Mháirín Mhic Lochlainn! She tells stories in Irish and English, in the traditional way - the way her father used to tell them sitting by the fireside on the long winter nights of her youth!Siad na scèalta fiannaíochta is fearr le Máirín - the long sagas about the King of Ireland’s son, getting the better of An Fathach Mòr in the land of the east; stories that would take 3 or4 nights to tell! Màirín also has a lot of local stories, about all sort of things, ar nòs Conàn Maol agus An Chaileach; or The Eel who lived in Loch Coraib; or the Fairies in Àill na Graoi!She had told stories as far away as New Zealand, where the Māoris tell stories not unlike the Irish Stories! Sure stories have been travelling since the beginning of time, agus ho fada mar sin an scèal!

DANIEL MORDEN

Daniel is one of the UK’s leading tellers of traditional tales. He has told stories for a living for over thirty years, in palaces to prisons, nurseries and universities, from Australia to the Arctic. His repertoire ranges from awful jokes to thrilling adventures to poignant myths of love and loss. In 2017 he was awarded the Hay Festival medal for his storytelling. He is also an award-winning author of many collections of traditional stories, including DARK TALES FROM THE WOODS.

'Gruesome, fantastical, and hypnotic, Morden’s stories show why the fairy world will never lose its power over our imaginations.
' - The Times
'An exceptional storyteller. His performances were full of suspense and drama'
- National Theatre

JACKIE ROANTREE

Jackie Roantree is a dubliner living in the west of Ireland for 30 years. Her performance path started as a teen in the Dublin youth theatre and onwards to New York and London before joining Macnas in 1990. She then ran away with a sailor and lived on Inis Mór with her 2 children painting the landscape and working with community arts. She lives between there and galway where she has been involved in performance and improv and holds a degree in contemporary art. Jackie has been involved with Moth & Butterfly for almost a decade telling her stories and improvising.

SARA SOUKAL

Sara Šoukal is a well seasoned theatre artist with years of experience, hailing from Slovenia. As an actress and a pedagogue she is most active in the field of theatrical improvisation, which is her first love. She fell in love with impro when she was 9 years old and they have been together ever since. Her impro-aesthetic is poetic, dream-like and full of detail. Nothing escapes her eye. Lately, she has been setting her foot in other performative fields with great joy and interest. She has been flirting with street theatre, devised theatre, contemporary dance, object theatre, storytelling and clowning. Sara is one of the most active and prominent improvisers in Slovenia, working also abroad, in many impro collectives, theatres and associations. In her solo shows, Sara creates an intimate atmosphere by inviting the audience into her creative process, exposing her thoughts and impulses in their rawest form and transforming them into stories in front of her's audiences' eyes.