Kerry’s Amateur Dramatic Heritage

An Oral History

Currently, interviews with well-known and respected individuals from the world of  amateur drama and theatre in Kerry are being complied.

To date, interviews with Danny Hannon, Owen MacMahon, Fr. Pat Ahern and David Costello have been recorded.

Danny speaks about how his love for drama grew when he was working and living in London and his eventual involvement in Listowel, firstly as an actor in a production of Tarry Flynn in 1964.

David Costello, Castlegregory speaks about his father Robert’s company, the Bohemian Players; one of the fit-ups that travelled the length and breadth of Ireland. Michael has lovingly preserved much of his father’s material including photos, cashbooks, posters, copies of which are currently being accessioned  and catalogued, to  be added to the KWM Amateur Drama Archive

Owen MacMahon speaks about his father Bryan’s hugely influential position in the national amateur drama movement, as well as the founding of the Listowel Drama Group in 1944.

Fr. Pat Ahern – synonymous with the founding of Siamsa Tire in Tralee, Fr. Pat was long involved with drama in Kerry prior to the Siamsa project. He was responsible for directing incredible pageants in Tralee from the mid 1950s, with hundreds of people involved in Christmas and Easter pageants.

Further information is to follow!

Interviews with members of groups from Abbeydorney, Brosna and Killarney are planned shortly.

An interview with Michael Lynch of Cork is also planned. Michael was involved in the Everyman theatre in Cork for many years and rescued hundreds of incredible photographs that are vital to the history of amateur drama in Cork City.


What people are saying about us
  • Popped in here to escape the rain and get a cup of tea and cake. Very reasonable prices and great service. Then noticed the little hare jumping around on the wall when I used the toilets! Looked very intriguing and prompted us all to buy tickets to the museum. Wow! So worth it as the exhibits and the way it was presented was lovely, really unusual. So informative and so different to other museums. Really good value for money and a real highlight to the town.

    Great Service (Trip Advisor Review)

    – March, 2023

  • Most impressive is how ingrained in both The Creative & local communities The Seanchaí is, from the workshops, coffee mornings & plain old drop ins, To Book launches, poetry recitals, projects & engagements with the local schools. The Seanchaí is a much loved and universally treasured cultural icon. By the inhabitants of Listowel, most of Co. Kerry and West Limerick.

    Mark Ollerhead (Google Review)

    – March, 2023

  • We had requested the 30-minute tour, but happily lingered for an hour longer than we had planned. As we exited, we looked at each other and laughed out loud at our good fortune. We could have so easily missed this experience that left us feeling moved, intrigued and a bit more educated about the Kerry writers. In our delight, we failed to tip our guide but I will be going to your donations page to make a modest pledge in gratitude for our host whose name we did not record to memory.

    Jane Braswell (Google Review)

    – March, 2023

  • Our visit to the Kerry Writers Museum was a very memorable experience from beginning to end. Cara, who was working at the centre that day, was very welcoming and most helpful. The exhibition of the Kerry writers was imaginative and most engaging. The seanchai relating the background stories each writer was magic! A wonderful experience all round.

    Cara (Google Review)

    – May, 2021

  • This museum has been developed with great care and meticulous attention to detail. The audio elements are matched perfectly to the installations which are beautifully presented. The option to activate the audio guides in each room without resorting to the use of handheld devices worked very well. This is a must see/hear for anyone with an interest in Irish writing. There is also a little coffee shop and gifts on sale.

    Beautifully Curated (Trip Advisor Review)

    – July, 2019


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