World Storytelling Cafe: A Virtual Experience

I am feeling most humbled to have been asked by the organisers of the World Storytelling Cafe, to join them, along with some other marvelous Oral Storytellers from around the world. In what I believe is the first (or one of the first) virtual gathering of Storytellers from far and wide, from Columbia to Ireland, from Scotland to the USA to Chelmsford, telling tales to sooth and relax you in these troubled times. I have already contributed a 45 minute set of 3 tales, for you to listen to whenever you wish. Suitable for all the family from 3 to 103 years of age.

Just visit the site www.worldstorytellingcafe.com or Facebook page; World Storytelling Cafe Community for further details.

Storytelling Workshops During Childrens Mental Health Awareness Week

During National Storytelling Week, I spent a full week in a school in Suffolk, working with  four seperate classes. I was commissioned by the wonderful Children’s Mental Health Charity, ‘FineNotFine’, to put together a week of Storytelling Workshops, incorporating the theme of ‘Find Your Brave’. As it was also National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.  Here is some of the genuine feedback from several of the children. Its heartening to know that we truly made a meaningful connection with these children.

“I enjoyed Shane he was really funny. My favourite part was the Viking story”.

“My favourite part was wen Thor wor that dress”

“Everybody has brave in them and you find it at certain parts in your life. Some people don’t”.

“I enjoyed that wen Shane told the story and we could picture it in your head”.

“My favourite part was the donkey pewking out Pinoncita”

“I enjoyed the exciting art lessons we’ve had. My favourite part was where Shane came in and told us lots of stories”.

“I enjoyed Shane telling us the stories and the art. My favourite part was when we drawed the pictures and when we heard the stories”.

“I enjoyed doing the different activities. My favourite part was being there and listening to Shane who is very funny”.

 

National Storytelling Week

As National Storytelling Week, begins on 1st February, I have some news to share.

I was asked by The Society for Storytelling to contribute an audio recording of me telling one of my favourite stories for children, ‘Clay Pot Boy’. It has been put into a ‘free’ National School’s Pack. (300 packs have already been requested, contact SfS.org.uk)   The packs are to aid teachers in introducing Oral Storytelling to children, along with explaining many of its proven benefits to children. I was also asked to contribute to a section in the pack on, “inclusive storytelling”. With tips and comments from my various experience’s of working with children in multiple settings over 24 years. With additional comments, from my experience of working with people with Learning Disabilities.

During National Storytelling Week itself, I will be Storytelling in a Suffolk school, all week. Working with a Children’s Mental Health Charity, ‘FineNotFine’. We will be using and working with a particular story all week, primarily to look at helping children access their inner strengths. To help build upon their inner resilience and confidence. Along with having a lot of fun.

In addition, later on in February on the 15th and 16th, during half term, I will be Storytelling at RHS Wisley again, telling stories all about the weather.

I will also be appearing for a second time on the 18th at ‘The Widgeon  Theatre Boat’ a unique theatre on a canal boat, moored in London. I will be telling stories in the daytime for children and than performing stories in the evening, for adults only.

I will also be at the Thenga Café, in London again  for the third time, on 27th, telling a story along with others,  to help raise money for the Children’s Refugee Charity DonateforRefugee’s.

I will also be in London again on Sunday 1st March, telling a story in Hackney, at an open event, where the stories are all about Witches and Witchcraft. (address 186 Hackney Road, E2 7QL).

Perhaps I might see you at one of these events.

Storytelling News; Quiet but Busy

A quiet month for performing/telling stories, however I have had time to work on some new stories.

I have also been working away in the background on several projects for this year.

I have been working with The Society for Storytelling, on their free schools pack. I contributed a recorded Oral Story for the pack, along with some advice for storytelling to children.  It is all part of a  free pack with lots of advice, recordings of other storytellers telling their favourite stories and various other resources for schools. It is designed to enhance the understanding of how Oral Storytelling develops children’s, verbal storytelling skills and narrative structures.  As well as their creative, imaginative brains and written storytelling skills. It  is designed to run alongside National Storytelling Week in February.

I was able to ‘birth’ a new story at the lovely Woodbridge Storytelling club, Tapas ‘n’ Tales, this month, as their special guest, I am grateful for it being well received.

I have also been working on two children’s Mental Health projects  and on an adult Mental Health storytelling  initiative. More on this later in the year.

I have also had a meeting related to the ‘Dying Matters’ initiative and how Oral Storytelling can help with the often taboo area of death and dying.

In addition I have been responding to several storytelling enquiries, some new and some from people and organisations that  I have previously worked with. So lots under wraps that I am working on. I will share things as they develop.

Perhaps I might see some of you at the Oral storytelling night that I run in Chelmsford , called ‘Tall Tales & Short Stories’. It is on this Sunday 26th January. You will find further details elsewhere on my website or on my Facebook page. Thank you Shane

 

December News

December Storytelling News.

December: Winter has officially started.

7th; Winter Tales with Soup at Anke’s Café, Southend.
8th; Daytime Storytelling at Tipi Woods, Winter Gathering.
8th; Evening, I will be making a brief appearance as Abanazar, looking for his lamp, in a Mummers play in Leigh-on-Sea, St Peters Church.
12th; Fishermans Chapel, telling Winter Tales, as part of the Spinning Yarns Collective, Leigh-on-Sea.
14th; Essex Wildlife Trust, I will be performing Winter Tales, with Hannah Brailsford, amongst the trees of Belfairs Wood. Tickets may still be available, go to the Essex Wildlife Trust, Belfairs Wood site to see.
15th; Chelmsford’s very own Storytelling Club, ‘Tall Tales & Short Stories’, presents Winter Tales. It is also our clubs 3rd year anniversary. We have a very special guest storyteller in Baden Prince. Baden will be telling Caribbean Folk Tales and other stories. In addition there will also be tales from our regular tellers.
16th-21st; FREE Pop up storytelling, at ‘The Bearded Gypseys Trade Fayre’. During the week I will popping up in their shop in Bond Street, Chelmsford, to tell some winter folk and fairy tales.

There will be some news in the new year, of some very exciting projects for 2020.

Have a lovely peaceful Winter break, one and all.

November Storytelling News

After a very busy October, running from here to there, with lots of Halloween storytelling’s, I now have a quieter November.

Nov 9th; N22 Open Studios, Wood Green, London. Storytelling for children as part of an afternoon of children’s activities.
Nov 10th; N22 Open Studios, Wood Green, a second afternoon of storytelling with children.
Nov 15th; Big Hat Bushcamp, I will be running a day’s Bushcraft camp, with storytelling included.
Nov 22nd; A meeting to discuss and plan bringing Storytelling and Mental Health together. It is a Mental Health project, for teenagers in Suffolk. We will be looking at how Storytelling and ‘story making’ can help to manage and aid recovery, for young people with Mental Health difficulties.
Nov 30th ; Lyndhurst School, Southwark, London. Storytelling at the schools Winter Fare.

An Honest and Personal Story, of How I overcame My Fear of Singing in Public.

A Real Life Story; Of Overcoming My Fear of Singing in Public.

As a child of about 8 years old, I was very shy at school. However I loved Drama and singing. I can recall one morning while our class was singing, (we did a lot of that), the teacher was looking for children who could sing to join the new play. The teacher, whom I will refer to as Miss L, stopped the class and asked, “who’s is that awful voice”, no one answered. I wondered, looking around about, who it might be. Miss L, then asked us to continue the singing, she paced up and down, then stopped, looked and pointed at, me and said “Ibbs, it’s you with the awful voice”. Needless to say this put an end to my singing, it also knocked my confidence so much that I was never in another school play.
I then went to Upper School and did some Drama, but no public Play’s and I never sang. Throughout my younger adult life, I often wondered about going to singing lessons, but could never summon up the courage. About 10 years ago I actually went along to a modern Choir taster session, however, I left because of nerves, before any singing had even started. I then took up Oral Storytelling, I was initially very nervous to perform in front of others. However with two great supportive teachers and supportive colleagues, I told my first public story. We also did a few short songs as warm ups, which I managed, as I felt very held. However I was still not able to sing solo in public.

I made a big decision to go to a private singing teacher in Chelmsford, to face my fear. I was very nervous and scared, I didn’t need to be, my teacher Joanne Lee (Jo), listened to my story with great empathy. We began my first lesson. Jo made it a lot of fun, so between my nerves I found myself laughing a lot. There were also tears, from some of the songs that I chose to sing. Jo helped me all the way, acknowledging my emotions and personal story. Within weeks I was developing my singing, Jo complimented me on my tone and getting the notes correct, while also being honest that my range was in the lower part, whereas most of the songs I love, are in the higher range. A year or so with Jo, developed my confidence so much, both in my ability to sing in front of a crowd and also with my storytelling. I now have two stories where I sing. I have sung to a roomful of children and families and children and teachers, as part of a story, several times now.
Due to a close bereavement nearly two years ago, I had to stop the lessons. More recently I have needed something to nourish me inside a little more. I realised that I needed to go back to singing, as it can be so uplifting. It had previously reinforced, that I can overcome great difficulties. So this morning I went back to Jo and nearly two years later, my singing memory and muscle memory came back, Jo was amazed and congratulatory about how much I had remembered, as singing really is an art. I felt compelled to write this blog this morning, on the benefits of singing, on personal perseverance, and what happens when I have a teacher who totally accepts me, is honest with feedback, and is also great fun to be with. My next ambition is to sing a ballad in front of an adult crowd. Watch this space.

RHS Wisley Halloween Tales

I am delighted to have been approached by RHS Wisley in Surry, to be their Storyteller, providing an evening of Halloween Tales at their RHS Gardens. I will be sitting in a darkened summer house, at the end of a trail, to tell Ghostly tales to passers-by. Really excited !!

London Canal Boat Storytelling

I am delighted to have been asked to provide some Storytelling on Saturday 26th October, for the Widgeon Theatreboat, a unique mini theatre on board a narrow canal boat in the heart of London, (see above) near Shoreditch. I will be telling family stories in the afternoon and then some more stories in the early evening, and as it is close to Halloween, I will be telling a few ghost stories in-between the other folk and fairy tales.

Don’t miss this unique location to hear Traditional Oral Stories and to eat and drink and generally have a thoroughly good time.

Check out www.widgeontheatreboat.com for details and location.

October Halloween News.

Halloween is just around the corner and now the stories turn more towards Ghosts, Ghouls and things that creep in the night.

October; Back at Tipi Woods 3 days a week telling stories for the children, as part of my job there.

Oct 12th; I will be at, Norwich Storytelling Club, ‘Tales from the Undercroft’, as their special guest, I will be telling stories all evening, of a somewhat dark and/or twisted nature. Please note, the venue will be at Christ Church Centre, Magdalen Road, NR3 4LA.

Oct 26th; Widgeon Theatreboat, along the canal near Shoreditch. I will be performing Folk & Fairy Tales & Halloween Stories, on the canal boat that has been converted into a mini Theatre.

Oct 27th; ‘Tall Tales & Short Stories’; The Chelmsford storytelling event that I run, telling Halloween Stories, at The Two Brewers, Springfield Road. (see my Facebook page for more details).

Oct 29th; The ‘Moustacio Club’, Chelmsford, where I will be telling Ghostly tales and such like.

Oct 30th; Beaulieu Park, residents event for families, Halloween storytelling in the community centre all day.

Oct 31st; RHS Wisley, Surry. I will be telling an evening of Halloween Stories at the end of their Halloween trail, in Wisley Gardens.