News and 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


The legacy of Storytelling

I had a truly wonderful experience this weekend. Sometimes we do not get to see how our work and our art affects others. However this weekend I had a chance to see just that, in one child. I was invited back to do some storytelling at the Alternative Education setting where I had previously been working. Part of my work there had been oral storytelling to the children. One child in particular, a 7 year old boy, really loved listening to the stories. Yesterday after I had finished telling a story to about 25 people from babies to Grandparents, the child in question, asked if he could tell a story, to the same audience. My immediate answer was “Yes, please do”. As I am always so keen for children to tell oral stories.

What followed was amazing. He confidently sat on the story tellers chair and told a story at length. He introduced the story and then began. He used so many of the storytellers skills in what he told. The storyline made complete sense, he added drama, character, he used contrasting images, he used movement in his body and in the narrative of place, voice change, humour, description, the rule of three’s in the narrative and he used the available space well. It was an amazing example of the passing on to someone so young, of much that I have learnt myself from actually telling the stories and also so much of what I have learnt from other story tellers.

Looking at this young boy, the ancient tradition of oral storytelling is in safe hands with him.

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 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.

Change of date

Please note that my Storytelling performance in Norwich this Saturday evening, has been moved to another date, due to unforeseen circumstances, that are beyond my control. The new date is the 12th October 2019. I will give more information, when it has been passed on to me.

Septembers Storytelling News.

Hi everyone, I have had a very busy and enjoyable summer telling stories all over the South East, to more than a 1,000 people, of all ages. And now as the heat of summer subsides, into the mellowness of autumn, with all of its riches from nature dripping in the hedgerows, ripening in the fields and on the trees. In an exquisite patchwork of bright gold’s, rich reds, deep purples, yielding yellows and ripening russets. I look forward to this wonderful season and the places that I will be telling stories at in September.

2nd; Storytelling as part of an all girls 8th Bushcraft Birthday party in Surry.
5th; Fishermans Chapel, storytelling, poetry and musical evening, in Leigh -on-Sea.
7th; Belfairs Wood, Essex Wildlife Trust, an evening of adult ‘Dark Tales’, where Hannah Brailsford and I, will be performing, in the woods.
8th; ‘Folks Fest’, storytelling in Chelmsford City centre for the charity Mencap.
8th; Chelmsford Storytelling Club, ‘Tall Tales and Short Stories’. I run this regular storytelling evening in The Two Brewers pub, along with other storytellers. The theme this month is, ‘Favourite Festival, Fireside Stories’. Free Entry, all welcome.
12th; East Kent Sudbury School; Alternative education setting visit, shared a story with some of the children.
14th; Beaulieu Park, Chelmsford, storytelling at their annual family picnic day.
15th-20th; I will be attending, Master Storyteller Ben Haggerty’s, intensive workshop, in Herefordshire.
29th; Family Storytelling at Anke’s Café, in Southend.