"Without stories we would go mad. Life would lose it's moorings or orientation... Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger." Ben Okri
  • About Us

    We are Milk and Cookie Stories, a non-profit arts collective based in Dublin, Ireland. We’re looking to find out what stories our city has to tell.

    We believe that storytelling and storyreading are arts that deserve to placed in the spotlight. Dublin needs a place… (more)

  • After Dark 1

    In the summer of 2010, we had a thought… what better way to encourage people to explore less familiar art forms than by throwing them together in one massive eclectic night-long celebration! So we thought a little more, and out of all that thinking, and… (more)


Welcome to Milk and Cookie Stories

On the second Tuesday of the each month, Exchange Dublin is transformed into a giant living room.  Duvets are unfurled, cushions are strewn, the walls are hung with fairy lights... and then the magic happens. We are Milk and Cookie Stories, a volunteer-run arts, storytelling and home-baking collective based in Dublin. Our group is founded on the belief that everyone has a story to tell. We aim to provide a place where people can do just that... a place with tea, cookies, cushions and friends. Stop by our event on the second Tuesday of any month! Whether you have a story to tell, or you just want to listen, we promise you an unforgettable night of tales and a full belly! And best of all, it’s all free!

The Secret Garden 2013

The Secret Garden 2013 – get your tickets here


Oh here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again – oh here it goes again!

On August 16th, 17th + 18th this summer Milk & Cookies invites you Back to the Secret Garden for our Third FESTIVAL!

Think sing-a-longs by the campfire, storytelling under the stars, clowning around in the daytime with our fun activites and workshops, and of course Cookies!



First leaves at 10, the other at 12 on Saturday@ CASTLE STREET, BESIDE CITY HALL, across the road from Queen of Tarts

From Kilcullen take the R418 towards Athy, go over the motorway & after approx 1.1km( 2 mins) TURN RIGHT towards Cutbush L6078. Continue for approx 2 km & take 1st TURN LEFT (just past the small church on right) Continue on for 1.7 km. The entrance to Martinstown House is on the LEFT side of a sharp right hand bend, there is a long low wall & lots of trees on the left hand side just before the entrance.


We still have tickets left, and you can pick them up on the gate. And don’t let the clouds put you off, the forecast looks good for the afternoon, evening, and tomorrow! Woohoo!

We won’t toast the marshmallows until you get there. See you there!


In the summer of 2011, Milk & Cookies created a magic bubble of awesome inside the walled gardens of Martinstown House. We filled that bubble with so much joy that by 2012, it had spilled over the walls and onto the grounds – evolving into a low-key, but high-energy garden festival that was simultaneously a jiving bluegrass dance party and relaxing fireside story night. It’s just what we do.

This year, because we ♥ you all so much, we’re adding an EXTRA DAY! Now those of you with motorcars can drive down on the Friday and enjoy a night of classic Milk & Cookies open mic storytelling, by Campfire!




Spoken Word:


BORIS BELONYwww.borisbelony.tumblr.com

A micromaniac with a sharp tongue, this will be Boris’ second appearance at The Secret Garden Festival, and with good cause! You’d be hard pushed to find a suitable comparison for his, frankly, bonkers storytelling – but if I had to equate it to something I would say it’s like the innocent lies you sometimes have to tell a small child in order to get out of a difficult situation, only to have them grow up with some terrible, grotesque vision of the world based on those lies and end up working at H&M or something.


CATHERINE BROPHYwww.catherinebrophy.ie

A stalwart veteran of the storytelling scene, Catherine has an uncanny knack to bring about that kind of ciúnas that’s reserved for only the most adept storytellers. Her special brand of storytelling magic allows her to conduct rooms full of faces alternately agape and deep in concentration and she has never failed to leave an impression. Whether it be to raucous laughter or profound silence, Catherine’s storytelling leaves a tangible mark on every audience that hears it.


COLM KEEGANwww.theblogsthejob.blogspot.ie

Colm Keegan has read and performed his poetry at various festivals, including the Flat Lakes Festival, Electric Picnic and the Festival of World Cultures. He was the All Ireland Slam Poetry Champion in 2010. He also writes short stories and screenplays and has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award for both poetry and fiction. In 2008 he was shortlisted for the International Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition.


GRAHAM TUGWELLwww.grahamtugwell.com

Graham Tugwell is a writer and performer. The recipient of the College Green Literary Prize 2010, he enjoys writing work of abiding strangeness, aimed at provoking that apocalyptic oscillation where the brain cannot decide what is appropriate— laughter or grief. He has lived his whole life in the village where all his stories take place. He loves it with a very special type of hate.


KALLE RYANwww.brownbreadmixtape.wordpress.com

Kalle Ryan runs the awesome Brown Bread Mixtape monthly evening at the Stag’s Head in Dublin. He is also, along with Colm Keegan ^above^ one of the “Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About” – nominated for the Absolut Fringe’s ‘Little Gem’ Award in 2011!


PAUL TIMONEYwww.paultimoney.com

Paul Timoney’s storytelling goes far beyond simple stories. He weaves so many elements of language, expression, emotion, humor, silliness, seriousness and narrative that it is dazzling. He reaches all elements of the audience and engages the listener actively. You can’t help but suspend reality for a time and join in his world of story when he spins the yarn.


SPONTANEOUS THEATREwww.spontaneoustheatre.com

Moth And Butterfly, The Sky Babies, Mrs Nellie Murphy – The Spontaneous Theatre People are a performance ensemble based in The West of Ireland. They create exciting work which includes; improvised theatre, storytelling, music, and new writing & performances for the stage.


THATLOT: The Ancient, Honorable and Most Fragrant Order of Baron Munchausen -http://bit.ly/12iYEOx

Hear wondrous tales, such as: why the Tower of Pisa is mostly gingerbread, how one insult forced a nobleman to duel an entire army, or how for two years, the Emperor of Russia was in fact, a horse. Indeed, there is no shortage of adventure for the assembled noblemen to recall and each story will illicit awe, admiration, and arousal in equal measure (arousal may vary dependent upon personal preferences).


THE PLAYBACK COMPANYwww.facebook.com/ThePlaybackCompany

An improv troupe that takes true stories from the audience’s lives and turns them into spontaneous moments of theatre before your very eyes. This will be their third year running on our stage. Need we say more?




CHAS PALMER WILLIAMSwww.chas.bandcamp.com

Chas is the former singer from the band Lightyear. Respected for their work ethic, “unorthodox” live shows and strong grass root origins . With detailed, clever, humorous and sad lyrics about Midlands pride (ahem), losing loved ones, the confusion of what happens when your life doesn’t pan out the way you planned and an undying geek love for games workshop.


EMMA O’REILLYwww.soundcloud.com/eoreilly

Emma O’Reilly is from Galway. She’s been gigging around Dublin since 2006 (no word on who let her in) and writing for a long time. She’s appeared alongside acts like Reuben Teskey (did a UK tour as part of Exit Evangeline in 2007), Heathers, Túcan, Allie and Róisín Blunnie and more.


THE FITZAFRENICwww.facebook.com/thefitzafrenic

With distinctive raspy vocals, driving saxophone melodies and an extremely energetic and funkadelic feel to their music, The FitzaFrenic’s live performances are where they can really show what they are about. With a jam packed album launch in the Grand Social followed by a stomping set at Life Festival in Mullingar they are really on a roll. Plans for a single launch gig for the end of June are under way and they have also been confirmed for this years KnockanStockan music festival.


GYPSY REBEL RABBLEwww.gypsyrebelrabble.com

Gypsy Rebel Rabble are a Dublin based Irish, bluegrass folk band with a reputation for energetic live shows. They merge a furious D.I.Y. punk song-writing and performance ethic with a smooth vocal style with a strong emphasis on harmonies.


STU DALY BANDwww.studaly.bandcamp.com

Stu’s influences range from the anthemic storytelling of Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie to the soulful melodies of Otis Redding. His songs tell stories about growing up and growing old, about staying put and moving on. Since his demo he has assembled a band made up of close friends. The sound they have created exhibits an easy movement between bouncing, upbeat rhythms and measured, sombre moments, complementing a voice steeped in a Dublin upbringing, and creating music that resonates with a raw Irish soul.


TWIN HEADED WOLFwww.facebook.com/TwinHeadedWolf

Drawing their inspiration from the each other’s imaginations, bonfire singsongs, circuses and scrapyards, their twin edged harmonies juxtaposed with sinister lyrics and a raw sound lend an ethereal flavour to folk music. With songs that have been described as timeless, and weapons for instruments, they are set to make a big splash in the Irish music scene. The two are currently working on their first E.P. and hope to release it in the not so distant future.


WILDE IDAwww.facebook.com/wildeida

Wilde Ida (so named for Niceol Blue’s Granny) are an Americana band based out of the West of Ireland, playing Bluegrass, Country and Americana, mixed with tunes from the Old World and the New.





Dodgeball has many advantages over other sports, but none more than its absolute awesomeness. It is played right across the world by people of all ages, sexes and sporting abilities. It is very simple to learn, and everyone is welcome to get involved! The Irish Dodgeball Association of Ireland will be coming down to set up a regulation dodgeball court for you guys to play on!


ULTIMATE WEREWOLFhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_(party_game)#Ultimate_Werewolf

A variant of the popular strategic team role-playing game MafiaWerewolf is like complex and much more satisfying version of chasing.



Bring your supersoakers, water-pistols and squirt guns – cause we gonna have ourselves a WATERFIGHT! (If you’re planning on taking part in the waterfight we recommend you bring a change of clothes. Maybe a towel too. And a Killer Instinct.)




“Turning Anecdotes into Stories” with Catherine Brophy

Catherine will be leading a workshop on how to refine and edit your own personal anecdotes into succinct, well-constructed narratives!


“Improvisational Storytelling” with Paul Donnelly

Paul will be showing you the tricks of the trade when it comes to making it up as you go along!


“Creativity, Perception and Time: The Challenge” with Sharon Courtney

We generally settle into patterns with age. This includes things we feel we can and cannot do. Our perceptions of limitation are particularly marked with regards to our time and time management. This makes being creative while trying to maintain employment and other commitments to be a challenge.


“Songwriting 101″ with Emma O Reilly

Emma will be giving people a brief introduction into the process behind writing music!


“Some Kind of Wonderful” with Paul Timoney

Paul isn’t sure what his workshop is going to be about yet, but I’ll tell you this – it’s going to be wonderful.


Special Guests:



Bringing a side show style cabaret to our lucky audience, including a mentalist magician, cave woman, circus performer and an acrobatics troupe, the Renegade Cabaret will be offering up something a little different, a little strange and a little dangerous to our ever-growing festival showcase.


KIDDING ENSEMBLE www.kiddingensemble.ie

Kidding Ensemble is an Irish based, multicultural theatre company dedicated to making creative, engaging work for both adults and children. They explore the unlimited possibilities of theatre and its resonance with the audience, with a focus on physical expression through different techniques and styles, such as clowning and puppetry.


LUCY’S LOUNGEwww.lucyslounge-dee.blogspot.ie

A hit at last year’s festival, Lucy’s Lounge will be bringing back their one-of-a-kind sewing circle setup to sate the sewlust of our more dexterous guests!




And since we’re still a bunch of joy-crazy non-profit volunteers – we’re keeping it cheap. In fact, our prices are exactly the same! Early Birds still get entry to the festival, camping and all the cookies you can eat for just €30! Latecomers get the same for the still-low price of €38!

TELL EVERYONE. The more tickets we sell online, the more cool stuff we can afford to bring down to the festival!


Milk & Cookies ♥’s you!

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  • Storytelling Open Mic Night - July 12th - Exchange Dublin, Temple Bar
  • The Secret Garden Festival - July 31st - Martinstown House, Co. Kildare

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