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Pat Ryan

Adults, Children, Festivals, Special Needs


Full time and is prepared to travel nationally and internationally.


The stories I tell are mostly traditional folk and fairy tales, and ghost stories and riddles, which come via many cultural traditions, but mostly from Ireland, Britain, America, and Italy.

My repertoire has been gathered from my extended family and traditional storytellers I’ve had the privilege to know—people from all walks of life—as well as from fieldwork, and extensive research in manuscripts and story collections from earlier centuries.

As a result, I have stories for all interests and age groups, and for many kinds of events and venues.

Background experience:

I have worked as a storyteller, writer and teacher for over forty years. My practice has developed through interactions with family and friends in America where I grew up, and friends and colleagues in Ireland and Britain where I have lived, and collected stories and studied storytelling, since the late 1970s.

As a former primary school teacher and academic with an interest in folklore, cognitive development and children’s literature, much of my work has been in schools, libraries, museums, and arts centres, where I led a number of residencies (projects to raise literacy, support oracy, explore children’s literature, or develop creative writing). I’ve also initiated some unique programmes such as storytelling in 18 professional football clubs in England and Wales, and participating in all the Lion’s Part calendar festivals at the Globe and Bankside. I have often performed at storytelling, folk and book festivals in Britain, Ireland and America. So far my work has been in 28 countries around the world. Media work includes appearances on NPR, BBC and RTE radio, research consultancy for Tellytubbies, and featuring in the BBC 2 documentary Kick into Reading. Publications include several articles, reviews and reports, and books like Shakespeare’s Storybook and, with Donna Schatt, Story Listening and Experience in Early Childhood.

My approach to sharing stories has been much influenced by the contemporary storytelling studies and practices of individuals such as Gianni Rodari, Gianni Celati, Dáithí Ó hOgáin, Jack Zipes, Ellin Greene, Zena Sutherland, Grace Hallworth, Shahrukh Husain, Doc Rowe, and Liz Weir.

All this means that I have material and experience to suit any age group, occasion, or audience. While drawing on traditional stories and storytelling methods, the nature of my storytelling is conversational, informal, thoughtful, educational and, I hope, always a joy.

(+44) 0208 558 0915

(+44) 07752 899910

Pat Ryan
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