Winter Online Storytelling

What a wonderful time I had as a ‘headliner’ at a invitation only, online storytelling group called ‘Headliners’. It was a truely international audience of storytellers, poets and singers. What a rich mix of stories, poems and songs were heard and such a friendly group of people. I saw some old friends and met new ones. There were listeners and tellers from Greece, Australia, Africa, Ireland, Scotland, England, America and France. A lovely winters night listening and telling stories, just as it should be.

Photo from a winters storytelling in a wood 2 years ago.

Storytelling in relation to Mental Health & Wellbeing

As part of National Storytelling Week,  I have been invited back once again, to a secure mental health setting, for teenagers with enduring mental health problems. In addition to being a professional storyteller, I also have professional qualifications in, Counselling, Social Work and Family/Work place Systems Theory Work. As such I have used ‘applied storytelling’ for over 30 years in various professional capacities. The ‘right story at the right time’, can have tremendous benefit’s, for emotional and mental health welfare. Storytelling can open up an opportunity for people to see their life differently. It can point to other pathways, other understanding, it can validate feelings and relationships. Stories can also be purely entertainment, taking you ‘out’ of your current thought patterns, giving fun, relief, validation, hope, alternative ideas and such like.

Update

18th January; I am a guest teller at ‘Headliners’ an invitation only Online storytelling group.
4th-11th February; I am at a bushcamp in Arctic Sweden, where I will be casually telling stories.

12th-16th February; During schools half term, I will be back at Big Hat Bushcamp in the UK telling stories each day, to a diverse group of children, in collaboration with Runnymead Council in Surrey.
29th February; I will be storytelling in collaboration with London based ‘Integrity Coaching’ at a Headteachers enrichment day, in central London.

Outdoor telling around a fire circle

I was asked specifically to tell some ‘darker’ stories for several of the older students at a Special Educational Needs School. I need’nt have worried, they loved it. The comments that I received from staff included.

“Never seen them sit so still, so engrossed”

“We have never seen him so animated and expressing himself verbally so much before”.

The young person in the second statement kept saying, “more, more stories”.

Leigh Folk Festival

 

 

 

Catch me telling funny folk tales for families, this Saturday in St Clements Church, at the 30th Anniversery of the Leigh Folk Festival. A weekend full of Folk Acts and so much more. Alongside the Thames estuary in Essex.

Free Entry

Marrakech to Summer Festivals

What a wonderful year 2022 is turning into for me.

In February I was in Marrakech telling stories at the Inaugaral Marrakech International Storytelling Festival, since then I have been busy. Last weekend I was storytelling at Barking Folk Festival for two days and then at Harwich Festival.

Coming up this summer you can find me storytelling at;

11th June; Chelmsford Folk Festival, Essex in collaboration with Black Frog Music Events. (Daytime)

11th June; Somerton Church Suffolk, fund raiser.  (Evening)

25th June; Leigh-on-Sea, Folk Festival, Essex.

8th-10th July; Get A Word in Edgeways, Shropshire, as a Master of Ceremonies.

15th-17th July; Strumpshaw Tree Fair Norfolk.

19th-21st August; Folk East, Suffolk.

26th-28th August; Oxford Storytelling Festival, Oxford.

29th August; Into The Wild Festival, Kent.

July and August; several weeks as resident Storyteller, at Big Hat Bushcamp, Surrey.

17th September; Ufford Art and Culture Festival, Suffolk.

20th-23rd October; The Glens Storytelling Festival, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

PHOTO

Not praying but grateful for this storytelling life.

 

Mens Storytelling & Wellbeing Project commissioned by Norfolk Libraries.

What an awesome three days of storytelling outdoors at Norwich Puppet Theatre, based in a disused church. Storytelling specifically with men who attend mens groups in Norwich. The storytelling performances called ‘Fire in The East’, were run specifically to get men outdoors more, post covid and to inprove their emotional, physical and mental health and welfare through the medium of storytelling outdoors. Working collaboratively with fellow storyteller and friend Jonathan Lambert.  We told a range of folk and fairie stories, from the funny, to the serious, to the bizarre and much inbetween. The stories led to some wonderful conversations and sharings of experience and emotions, during the intervals and afterwards.   

The 800 year old Folk Tale of The Green Children

The Green Children

I grew up, some 11 miles up the road from the Suffolk village of Woolpit, where the story of the Green Children comes from. I know the people, the land and the villages well, in this part of Suffolk. The tale fascinates me and I have been telling it for years. There are so many interpretations, so many layers to it. Everytime I revisit and research the story, I see more. It is part folk tale, part fairy/wonder tale and part legend. I am currently revisiting and researching the story again, as I have done many times. I will be telling it again next week, at Get A Word in Edgeways, an online storytelling space.

 Get A Word in Edgeways will also be having an actual Storytelling and Spoken Word Festival, on the 8th-10th July in Shropshire. See you there. 

www.getawordinedgeways.co.uk

www.shane@storytellershane.co.uk

My Biggest Ever Gig

My biggest gig yet is coming up this weekend, Storytelling to 500 Scouts.

2022 has been an exciting, interesting and busy year for me on the storytelling front so far.  Some of the highlights include, going to Morocco, to tell stories and work with Moroccan students, the two week trip was amazing;  Norfolk Libraries invited me to work on an innovative project, Nature Storytelling Outdoors, for mens health & mental welfare. Then there was an Essex Heritage project, celebrating Marconi, where I was involved with a school from the village, where the first ever official radio broadcast was made, by Marconi.  Then there was a Ukranian fund rasing gig in Suffolk, where a group of us raised over £1,200, I was so proud to be a part of this.  I have also been involved in some other very enjoyable storytelling work inbetween, including telling a story at a fashion show. And now I am about to do my largest storytelling gig ever. It is for the Essex Scouting Association. I will be at the Essex County Cricket ground this coming Saturday the 23rd  April, where I will be telling a story to approximately 500 Scouts.

There is a lot more in the pipeline, this year, which I will share at a future date.  ‘Doing the job I love’.

 

 

Marrakesh International Storytelling Festival Morocco 2022

A dream come true for me I was invited to attend the First Marrakesh International Storytelling Festival, in Morocco. This was the first week of Morocco opening up its borders post Covid, so a very special time, in so many ways.

I was lucky enough to be able to work with Moroccon students, learning English with four x 2 hour sessions. The format of folk and fairy tales was used, with an open question forum for the students including enabling them to dive deeper into story and into English language and cultural differences. Depending on the groups ability, some of the stories that I told were translated, into Arabic, small sections at a time. While for other more proficiant groups the stories I told were only spoken in English.  Such a deep, rich, rewarding encounter for me, stretching and enhancing my ability in running storytelling workshops. I have also made a friend in one of the tutors, Chayan.