The National Celtic Festival

The National Celtic Festival

The National Celtic Festival

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Theatre Program

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Not just a great music festival, but a great festival of theatre!

The festival is committed to developing a rich and broad arts festival, where the performing and literary arts feel right at home within our festival program.

“The inclusion of a theatre strand within a festival program over the last few years, I guess was a bit of risk, as it goes against the expectation of music concerts and the like. But I can confidently say now that the National Celtic Festival is not just a great festival of music, but also a great festival of theatre! We have been true to our commitment of deeply engaging with Celtic culture through an exploration of language, literature, poetry and theatre. What has emerged is a real thirst for such a program, attracting interest from a broad spectrum of audiences, and artists of such high caliber from Australia and overseas.”

—Jim Lawson, Vessel Theatre Company.


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An exciting and multi-disciplinary project will be presented at this year’s festival in the historic Portarlington Rotunda! In partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and Made in Natimuk, the show will bring to life a giant glowing lantern from which images will dance and play to create a world of colour, shadow and light to tell the story of the Celtic Sea God Mannanon!

Lantunda is a community arts project featuring shadow puppets, story and music that will center on retelling, renewing and creating stories of place and belonging from the community. The project will explore local stories, old and new, and their connections to the history of the land and cultures of peoples of this place. This will include highlighting the story of the Celts and their cultural traditions in Australia. 

Lantunda will melt into The Gathering, a genre-bending procession and performance which will begin with the ritualistic lighting of the hearth-fire. Join us in this enchanting and exciting procession, and release your hopes into the night air with us!

Niki na Meadhra

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Much loved, Melbourne-based storyteller, Niki na Meadhra, transports her audiences to Ireland, past and present. Breathing into the voices of her ancestors, she weaves words into vivid imaginings for listeners of all ages. She works passionately as an oral storyteller and engages adults and children alike with this rich tradition.