National Folk Theatre of Ireland to perform What the Folk! at Fringe 2012

The company merge dance with storytelling in intimate locations


This article is from 2012.

National Folk Theatre of Ireland to perform What the Folk! at Fringe 2012

Based in Tralee in County Kerry, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland is keeping traditions alive, by looking to the future. Training performers in music, dance, theatre and song from a young age, it ensures there’s always a new crop of talent rising through the ranks.

Having been part of the company since childhood, the dancers bringing What The Folk! to this year’s Fringe have invested a huge amount of themselves in the production.

‘Our work lives and personal lives often become intertwined,’ says dancer Joanne Barry, ‘which makes the piece all the more interesting. We all know each other very well, and I think that helps the intimate nature of the show.’

The word ‘intimate’ couldn’t be more accurate, as What The Folk! takes place not in a theatre space, but the performers’ own (Edinburgh) home.

‘During rehearsals, the director asked us to talk about ourselves and the things we really care about,’ explains Barry. ‘So the show took on a very personal nature and lent itself to the idea of people coming to see us in our home and have a chat!’

Despite being billed as ‘part storytelling, part impromptu knees-up’, there are no fictional stories to be told here. What you see in this unique show, is what you get.

‘There is no acting in the piece,’ says Barry, ‘every single story you hear is real. It was a challenge, but it has also been a very special and rewarding experience to have strangers come in to your home. We also relish the chance to talk about our company, our style of dance and singing, and the way we work because we’re very proud of it.’

Dance Base, 225 5525, 3–19 Aug (not 6 & 13), 3pm & 6pm, £12 (£10).

What The Folk - National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Siamsa Tire

This article is from 2012.

What the Folk!

What the Folk is it all about? Uncover what lies fermenting between the jigs and the reels at the heart of Ireland’s National Folk Theatre. This is an intimate and revealing session for the culturally curious - part storytelling, part impromptu knees-up. What the Folk! looks beyond the clichés of Irish dance to the…


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