Siamsa Tire is Ireland’s National Folk Threatre. It is a group that preserves and develops Ireland’s rich folk lore through the art forms of dance, music, and song. Out of a series of sketches created by Father Pat Ahern and performed by Siamsoiri na Riochta in 1963, a professional theater company grew. It is now staging its 40th summer season.
How to get there
From Limerick, take N21 south to Tralee.
From Killarney, take N22 north to Tralee.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
Shows begin at 8:30PM. Arrive early for a drink at the bar and a view of the current art exhibition.
Adult 25 euro
National Folk Theatre of Ireland
Tralee, Co. Kerry
Tel: 353 (0)66 712 3055 (box office)
We saw the performance of the Celtic myth Clann Lir. It is a story of the children of Lir, four siblings who were turned into swans by their wicked stepmother. To the dismay of their loving father, they remained in feathered form for nine hundred years, retaining only their beautiful - and recognizable - singing voices.
We arrived early and wandered through the accompanying art exhibition by Tralee Community College. Soon, buses of middle-aged tourists unloaded into the lobby. There is an excited, pre-show buzz of conversation in the air. Tonight’s performance would be before a packed house.
We were lucky to wrangle a pair of usher seats to the evenings’ show. Not unlike flight attendants’ seats, they folded down from the side of the row, making way for a new neighbor to drop in on an unsuspecting seat holder. I sat next to a Austrian couple on a seven day tour of Ireland.
The first act was entrancing. A live orchestra of accordion, flute, and violin accompanied a story sung in the hushed sounds of the Irish language. I hadn’t a clue what was sung, but I understood the story based on the lucid choreography. Much love was communicated between the father and child through intricate dancing that resembled horse prancing. There was an intermission with enough time to have a couple Irish coffees, then a shorter second act. It was enlightening to see all the classic cultural art forms bringing another art form – the story - to life.
Written by Liz O' Malley - Summer of Travel 2007