One of the most celebrated traditional music and theatre ensembles on the island of Ireland is returning to perform at the Scariff Harbour Festival over the August Bank Holiday week-end.
The Armagh Rhymers, through interactive music, storytelling and drama provide an experience that is entertaining, educational and cultural.
‘They captivated audiences at the second Harbour Festival in 2004 and fourteen years on we are delighted to welcome them back,’ said Harry O’Meara of the Scariff Harbour Festival Committee. ‘It keeps the link between the Festival and Northern Ireland very much alive and this is something really important to us. They are also outstanding performers in a unique tradition,’ he said.
Their colourful costumes evoke a sense of history and encapsulate the spirit of the Wren Boys and the ancient house visiting traditions of Ireland, where the kitchen floor became the stage. The rhyming tradition is a celebration of the ‘theatre of the people’ and has inspired many poets like Seamus Heaney, Brendan Kennelly, John Montague and Patrick Kavanagh.
They draw on a wealth and history of traditional Irish culture and base their philosophy on the fact that every person has a right to experience live music and storytelling. A major focus of their work is to promote tolerance, inclusivity and understanding through the arts: ‘Over us all is the self-same sky.’
In 2011 their arts and science project OASES received a UNAWE global project award endorsed by UNESCO and organised in over 40 countries. Their projects on the Irish Famine and the Viking period in Ireland also received critical recognition.
In addition to their afternoon performance on the Fair Green in Scariff on both Saturday and Sunday of the August Bank Holiday week-end, they will play music at the Outdoor Mass at the Mass Rock in Cappabane on Sunday 5th August 12 noon (weather permitting).
Former Armagh GAA footballer and Crossmaglen clubman, Oisín McConville will perform the official opening at the Waterways Marina on Friday 3rd August 2018 at 6pm. The Festival runs from Thursday night 2nd August to Sunday 5th August.