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Storyteller with a world of experience

It was up and at 'em yesterday as Festival in a Day exploded into life with the maverick Irish storyteller Niall de Búrca.

A roomful of under-10s and their parents at 11am on a Sunday may sound like a tough gig, but the Galway-born performer had matters in hand.

In World Tales, de Búrca spun yarns from across the globe, each one managing to be both educational and wildly entertaining.

From his Kraków-set tale of a "kid-eating dragon" to memories of growing up with his brother, who was three-and-a-half years older than him ("and he still is!"), it was excellent fun.

Eschewing costumes or props, de Búrca held the Waterfront Studio rapt with an array of comical voices and a cartoonish physical presence.

Although he could be handy with a whale call, a chainsaw buzz or a burp when he had to, he kept the youngsters involved - and awake - by having them join in at regular intervals.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph