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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
31st October; Halloween Storytelling (daytime) at Highwoods Primary School, Chelmsford.
31st October; Halloween Storytelling (evening) at Bards Aloud, Ipswich.
5th November; London Dreamtime Story Circle, London Library Club.
6th November; ‘The Ideas Hub’, Chelmsford. Storytelling at a Children’s Poetry Competition awards ceremony.
10th November; Cultural Community Tea Party, Library, Chelmsford. In partnership with ‘The Ideas Hub’.
13th November; Adolescent Service users of Mencap, Chelmsford.
15th November; Adult Service users of Mencap, Chelmsford.
21st November; Donate4Refugees Storytelling evening to raise funds for the charity. At the Thenga Café, Kings Cross, London.
25th November; Co-facilitating a Storytelling Workshop, with fellow Storyteller Hannah Brailsford. ‘Exploring The Winter Landscape’.
Exclusively aimed at spoken word and written word storytellers and poets. Also for those with an interest in stories.
I will also be telling stories regularly at Tipi Woods, Self Directed Learning Community, as part of my role as Facilitator.
In the coming week I will be telling a few tales of Witches, Ghosts, Skeletons, Ogre’s and generally horrible things !
I had a wonderful weekend on a Storytelling course at the International School of Storytelling, looking at an old Sufi story called ‘Loves Garment’ a deep look at the masculine and feminine. A unique wonder tale, both familiar and somewhat strange also. In the evening I was able to tell two tales, The Hunchback and The Mute Swan and The Boy and The Snake, at a Ceilidh. One of the telling’s was to a large group the other was later and very intimate with just 5 of us left in a room, we turned off the lights and sat around an open fire which illuminated our faces, a soft glow in the darkness, as we went into the story. Both the stories were from Duncan Williamson.
30th September saw the return of the bi-monthly Storytelling event that I run. Many said that, ‘it was the best one yet’.
2nd October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
3rd October at 10 Green Bottles Song and Spoken word night.
4th October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
6th October at The School of Storytelling, Emmerson College listening to a Norwegian Storyteller.
9th October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
9th October at Chelmsford Cub pack, telling folk and fairie tales.
11th October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
13th October at Twenty One, Spoken Word and Music night in Southend, in aid of MacMillan Nurses.
16th October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
18th October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
19-21st Oct at The School of Storytelling Emmerson College, A weekend course. ‘Loves Garment’ a Sufi Tale.
23rd October at HMP Chelmsford Family Visitor Centre, family storytelling.
26-28th Oct at Emmerson College, Storytelling at Samhain Festival.
30th October at Tipi Woods Self Directed Learning Group.
I am feeling very happy and privileged to be able to do so much storytelling.
The incredible wordsmith that is Gill West, will be our special guest this coming Sunday 30th. With a new set of spoken poems.
We also have Festival seasoned storytellers there too.
Its always a cracking night.
Venue; The United Brethren pub (The UB), 1 New Writtle Street, Chelmsford. (Back room).
FREE Parking round the back in public car park.