An awesome week of Storytelling

Last weekend I was at Barking Folk Festival, this weekend I was at the East Anglian Storytelling Festival, in-between I also did some other storytelling. Barking is one of my favourite festivals, it is so multi cultural and dynamic, with very happy audiences. The East Anglian Festival is another favourite, where I catch up with all the local tellers that I love and meet old and new friends. In-between on Tuesday I was at Tipi Woods, were I work part time, the children were organising themselves to be imagined hunters, so with their agreement, I told them the story of The Freedom Bird and the Hunter, which they really loved. That evening I went up to London to, Global Generation, based in The ‘Skip Garden’ behind St Pancras, in their ecology centre, to tell an ancient African tale, (that I told to my children 25 years ago), that relates to the relentless building expansion in the area. back to this past weekend. On late Friday afternoon, I travelled to Elmswell in deepest Suffolk, as an invited participant to the East Anglian Storytelling Festival, to both listen to stories from an amazing line up of storytellers, to attend wonderful workshops and to tell tales myself through the weekend. Elmswell is a village just a few miles up the road, from where I spent my first 35 years of my life. One of the stories that I told, was the 800 year old tale of The Green Children, of Woolpit, a story from a landscape that is imbedded in my soul.

June Storytelling.

After a weeks holiday here is June’s Storytelling.

June 8-9th; Barking Folk Festival, all weekend, for the 3rd year running.
June 9th; Evening at ‘The Gathering’, of The Society for Storytelling, London.
June 11th; Telling an ecological folk tale for the charity, ‘Global Generation’, London.
June 14-16th; Performing stories at ‘The East Anglian Storytelling Festival’, in Elmswell, Suffolk.
June 21st; The Society for Storytelling, are promoting a Storython Day, all over the UK. I will be getting involved in Southend, as part of ‘The Spinning Yarns Collective’, at Anke’s Café, Southend, Essex.
June 29th; I will be performing and helping at a Storytelling Workshop for children, as part of ‘The Spinning Yarns Collective’, in Southend.

Merry Month of May, Storytelling.

Merry Month of May

3-5th Beltane Fire Festival, Kent. I will be co-hosting the storytelling and poetry areas, as well as telling some stories myself. In addition on the Sunday, I will be performing a set of stories for families.

6th Thameside Nature Park, Stanford-le-Hope. Family Storytelling for Essex Wildlife Trust.

8th Storytelling for the Support4Sight group for people who are visually impaired, Braintree.

9th Storytelling at The Fisherman’s Chapel, Leigh-on-Sea, for the Spinning Yarns Storytelling Collective.

12th I will be running my regular storytelling evening, at The Two Brewers pub, Chelmsford. I am always joined by a marvellous bunch of storytellers and a very receptive audience. Please note it is at a New Venue.

14th Global Generation Camp Regents Place, London. Telling Environmental Stories.

17-19th Roots Gathering a wonderful family micro festival in Kent.

24-27th Hare Moon Storytelling Camp, in a hidden location in a wood in the Cambridgeshire countryside. Where I will have an opportunity to tell a few stories and to listen to some amazing Guest Storytellers.

A wonderful busy month of stories, I hope my throat survives 🙂

March Storytelling News.

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As we spring into March, the storytelling news.

3rd; Pirate and Sea Stories, on-board an ex-Pirate Radio Ship docked at Harwich, part of Essex Book Festival.

7th; World Book Day, at John Ray Infants School, Braintree. Telling Oral stories.

8th-10th; ‘Leeds Storytelling Takeover’, attending workshops, storytelling performances, I might even get a chance to tell a tale.

14th; Chelmsford ‘Ignite’, attending a Storytelling Symposium.

21st; Guest storyteller at, ‘Othersyde’, a regular spoken word event, Museum of Technology, Cambridge.

22nd-23rd; ‘Woodlife Trails Bushcraft’, in Hatfield Forest. Invited to tell tales around the fire each evening. Including camping in the forest under the stairs.

24th; Tall Tales & Short Stories, my own storytelling event that I run in The UB pub, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford. Starts at 7.30pm. The theme this time is Dark & Twisted Tales. Guest storyteller is Jonathan Lambert. Plus guest acoustic musician/singer Isabel Oliver, with a beautiful voice, that reaches inside you.

28th; Thenga Café, London, a storytelling collective to raise money for child refugee’s.

30th; ‘Tipi Woods’, Open Day, as part of the day, I will be telling a few stories around the fire, at this Self Directed Learning Community, where I facilitate.

February Storytelling News.

February is a month when I find that I can rest a little and search out new stories. There is exciting stuff on the horizon, next month and beyond. I will share it with you in due course. In the mean time, I am finding in the woods, that the buds are beginning to sprout, and the wild flowers are poking their heads out, spring is around the corner.

3rd February; Ruby Riot, a day time event to raise money for Ruby an 8b yaer old with Rett’s Syndrome. A very debilitating condition. I was Storytelling in-between 3 musical acts.

3rd February; Tall Tales & Short Stories. My own regular Storytelling event that I run, This months theme was Viking, Celtic, and Saxon stories. In total we had 7 storytellers.

19th February; London Story Circle.

During February I will also be sporadically telling stories to children aged 5-10 years of age, at Tipi Woods, where I work.

I may not always be as busy as it appears, I am always looking for additional storytelling work and new places to tell. Finally for those of you who follow and support me, thank you.

An Incredible end to National Storytelling Week

On the “coat tails” of National (Oral) Storytelling Week, a wonderful day was had on Sunday. In the afternoon, I was invited to attend ‘Ruby Riot’ a Charity event to raise money and awareness for Ruby, an 8 year old girl with Retts Syndrome. There were three musical acts and I was the family storyteller. Ruby uses a computer to communicate as she has lost her ability to speak. With permission, here are the comments she made while following a story.

“Cool…Ok…cool,….cool,… love it….Fantastic,.. fantastic….terrible…cool,.. fantastic”. As you can see Ruby came on a journey with the story. (Ruby aged 8). This is the main reason why I enjoy Oral Storytelling so much, it reaches across and out to people.

In the evening I had my own Storytelling club, ‘Tall Tales & Short Stories’, to run. The theme was Viking, Celtic and Saxon, stories and myths. We had our biggest ever crowd with over 60 people turning out. It was so large that we had to move from our room to the main bar, to accommodate everyone. What a great night we had. We had English storytellers, Welsh storytellers, Irish storytellers, a ‘Trans’ storyteller and a young man with Downs Syndrome who stood up and told us about the Vikings. We also had a tin whistle and harp player. A fine bunch of people to add variety and entertainment. The audience were very appreciative indeed, with many familiar faces and lots of new faces too. A night that I will never forget, for all the best reasons.

Something is happening out there, people are becoming increasingly interested again with our oldest tradition, of sitting together and telling stories. The story telling evening at ‘Tall Tales & Short Stories’ have a ‘performance’ element to them. The tellers that I am blessed with are all either, experienced or indeed very experienced. Coming from a lineage of great storytellers. This gives the evening a great quality, of which I am so proud of.

Wassailing the Apple Orchard

I had a lovely time in Holywells Park, in Ipswich today. Wassailing the Apple Orchard, with my friend Gerry Donlon who gave a short poem in honour of the apple tree. The picture below is of me telling an Italian folk tale as to how the blackbird got its orange beak and beautiful black feathers. It was a lovely friendly community gathering, to celebrate a very old tradition.

January Storytelling & National Oral Storytelling Week

9th January, Christchurch School, Brick Lane , London. A full day of Storytelling.
12 & 13th January, Storytelling Workshop, Southend.
15th January, Bards Aloud, Ipswich.
16th January, Woodbridge Storytelling club, Tapas ‘n’ Tales.
22nd January, Scottish Folk Tales for adult service users at Mencap.
24th January, Scottish Folk Tales for adolescent service users at Mencap.
27th January, Festival of Stories, as a part of The Spinning Yarns Collective.
The Palace Theatre, Southend.
11am, Family Tales from around the world.
13.30 Mythical Beasts & Fantastic Fools.
19.30 Darkly Ever After (age 12+)
3rd February, ‘Ruby’s Charity Event’, I will be telling stories at a Musical event, to raise money for a child with Rett’s Syndrome. 1pm – 5pm, Molo Lounge, Southend.
3rd February, In the evening I will be running my club event Tall Tales & Short Stories, at The United Brethren (The UB) pub in New Writtle Street, Chelmsford. Starts at 7.30pm. Free Entry.

Chelmsford Prison

I shall be at HMP Chelmsford tomorrow, telling some winter Folk & Fairy stories to the children and families, in the family waiting room, prior to them visiting their Dads and relatives. Hopefully they will then share a story with the family member that they are visiting.

December Storytelling News

2nd December; My own storytelling club, ‘Tall Tales & Short Stories’, presents ‘Falling into Winter’, an evening of dark and wintery tales. The United Brethren pub, Chelmsford.
8th December; Private children’s birthday party, telling Russian and winter folk tales.
8th December; In the evening I will be at the Southend storytelling club again, at a charity event raising money for a mental health charity.
13th December; Chelmsford Artists Collective, a grand get together, I have been asked to provide some winter tales.
18th December; HMP Chelmsford, Family visiting centre, Winter folk and fairy tales.

Then some rest before the new year storytelling starts.