Sophie Snell storyteller
Sophie Snell, professional storyteller for adults and children
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Sophie Snell - Joe Wileman Performers Photography Project

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Tel: 01332 840007

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Jan 10

Aug 09



Kedleston Hall Easter 2010

Kedleston Hall Easter 2010

Kedleston Hall Easter 2010 Jasper

... and with Jasper...

Kedleston Hall Easter 2010 Rainy

... and in the rain!

Some recent quotes on Seven Deadly Sins:

"To posess that charisma, that energy, that memory! Spellbinding and better than any film or TV... a beautiful piece... Fantastic evening - wonderful!"

Amanda Bowman, BBC Radio Nottingham, SDS Notts Libraries StoryFest, March 2010.

"Wow! That was wonderful - it just gets better and better as it goes on!"

"Satisfyingly twisty."

"Truly brilliant!"

Other Audience Comments on SDS
Mar 2010

Merlin March 2010

The tiger sleeps... but still alert!


This is my page of news and titbits to keep you in touch with what I am up to. It is really helpful to have any comments and suggestions on the work that I do and of course I welcome any enquiries or commissions. So please email me at: or Tel 01332 840007.

April 2010

The last few months have been really interesting and pretty full on. Schools wise I have been all over the place - Derby City, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire (for World Book Day, 4th March) and back to Oxfordshire - a mixture of state and private schools, primary and secondary schools, workshops and performances.

In Derby I have been appointed "creative partner" for a lovely school under the auspices of The Mighty Creatives. I have just started the project with an introductory day of storytelling to get to know the groups and will be working in particular with the the Year 1's. The aim is to employ the Talk for Writing concept to develop language and writing skills, particularly with the boys. Sadly statistics suggest that boys often lag behind on language development during the early school years, with academic consequences beyond - and storytelling is an excellent way to tackle this through engagement and fun. As the project develops we will be guiding the children through a series of creative quests, using storytelling to inspire and stimulate writing, design, art work, role play and performance. The project concludes end of June with a celebratory exhibition and performance just in time for the year group's trip to the seaside. Our theme is to be Welsh folk tales and dragons - just the thing!

For younger ones I have also been working in Pre-schools and private nurseries. This week included a workshop for parents and their children introducing "Every Child A Talker" (a government policy to develop language and achievement in pre-school children) and the use of storytelling techniques for the 0 - 5's. Though birthday parties are an unsual booking I did a lovely session up in the Peak District for a family celebrating their daughter's 5th birthday and another booking consisted of a workshop for cub scouts - who entertained us with the funniest, loudest version of Hairy Toe, I have seen yet!

Over the Easter weekend I was at the National Trust's Kedleston Hall (Derbyshire) just up the road from home, sharing Easter tales with families taking part in the Easter Egg trails and craft activities. Wet and windy it may have been, but the sun broke out on day 2 and it was lovely recognising families and friends I knew locally and trying out a few new stories.

In March I found myself adult storytelling in a range of unusual venues - from Rampton Hospital (a mental health secure unit) to Nottingham Crown Court (for an open day!) and a hidden basement theatre of a cafe in Cambridge. The latter was part of a club swap between Derby's Flying Donkeys and the Cambridge Storytellers. Rampton was a booking courtesy of the Nottinghamshire Library Service - a really lovely warm welcome, that has lead to another booking coming up for Rushcliffe Mental Health Services. But the Crown Court booking was the most memorable - telling tales alongside Pete Davis (Nottingham Storytellers) in one of the courts. The open day was a huge success with people queuing out of the door to get in and there was a surreal experience when one of the judges, giving a talk in the neighbouring court, popped her head round our door (in full regalia) to see where all the noise was coming from - our audience joining in with one of my favourite stories. Thankfully we were not sent down on this occasion...

Seven Deadly Sins has continued to appear in various venues over the last couple of months, including Sheffield's StoryForge, and Stapleford Libary, as part of the Nottinghamshire Libraries StoryFest 2010. Both evenings were particularly welcoming - and at Stapleford we found a generous but cosy corner of the libary and set up with backdrop, candles, rows of armchairs and a table heaving with wine and snacks and settled down to perhaps one of my most enjoyable evenings of storytelling to date - a really responsive audience and a lovely atmosphere.

More performances of Seven Deadly Sins are forthcoming - at the Stamford Riverside Festival on Sat 3rd July, 8pm and at the Buxton Festival Fringe 2010, a series of 3 performances on July 9th, 14th and 15th, in the Pauper's Pit Theatre, courtesy of Underground Venues. It's a really atmospheric venue, so I shall be looking forward to this. And Sept 19th at Wirksworth Festival. Do come along if you are visiting any of these festivals!

Seven Deadly Sins 1Seven Deadly Sins 2Seven Deadly Sins 3

An unusual invitation has come my way - I have been invited to take part in the Holme Street Storytelling & Bluegrass Festival, Huntsville Alabama, USA via a live video link between Derby and the US. This is taking place on the night of May 1st at 12.35pm (midnight) British time. I will be interviewed and then tell a short story and this will be transmitted live to the festival audience. It will also be recorded for transmission Monday onwards via their video link website www.ramblenetwork .com on rotation along with the other festival contributers. I am told there will be an audience of c 300 on the night and several thousand watching via the website! A rather surreal experience story-telling like that, but definitely an adventure! So really looking forward to it!

Live & Local has kept me busy too - as a voluntary promoter for our village, I do the odd show report for the Derbyshire county network support scheme, and really enjoyed visiting neighbouring events at Tideswell, Hulland Ward, Muggington and Ecclesbourne School (Duffield). But we also had an event of our own in February - The Old Dance School - an energetic 6 piece folk music band, and are looking forward to a return visit of Howdenjones (independent of the scheme) on May 22nd. If you would like tickets do ring - see our village event website for more details:

Oh - and you may remember that deceptively cute little photo of our new kitten from the last news blog...? Well he is a bit bigger now, 9 months old and though just as cuddly on a lap in front of the fire of an evening, outdoors he is turning out to be a real tiger at heart! As spring blossomed in our garden, our very own Easter bunny arrived Easter Sunday in Merlin's jaws - presented to us on the sofa, and daily thereafter a stream of baby rabbits, voles, birds, mice and even a dead rat - lovely! Now I know why he had a thing for laundry socks as a kitten! Sadly, rabbits are proving a particular favourite -so if anyone has any tips on how to discourage this extra-curricular activity, please, please let us know!

For the previous news blog, click HERE

Special thanks to Joe Wileman for his photography, Feb 2010. Joe has been putting together a portfolio of performance photography and some of his pictures are featured here on the website.

"Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much we appreciated your stories at the event last night.

"I thought you were good last year, but you were even better this time around!

"We had lots of lovely comments about your performance and it was great that we had a request for another tale! "

Sue Kendrik, organiser, Folk on the Farm, Leicestershire, August 09. (



Forthcoming Events 2010

(Note school / non public bookings not in this list)

1st May - Gamston May Day Celebrations, 2.30pm, village green, family storytelling.

1st May 12.35pm (past midnight) - Sophie is appearing and telling a story via a live video link at the Holme Street Storytelling & Bluegrass Festival, Huntsville, Alabama, USA . They will be recording the story and it will be part of the playback showing on from Mon 3rd May onwards.

7th May, Heanor Festival, Heanor Antique Centre, 7pm, adult storytelling evening with Sophie Snell and Tim Ralphs (from Sheffield's StoryForge).

8th May, Heanor Festival, Heanor Library, 10 - 12 noon, family stories.

14th May - Nottinghamshire Archives - "Strange Deaths and Ghostly Occurrences" 8pm, with Pete Davis and Sophie Snell of the Nottingham Storytellers, part of the "Museums at Night".

15th May - Beginners Storytelling Workshop, Arnold Library, 10am with Pete Davis and Sophie Snell of the Nottingham Storytellers.

15th May - Meningitus Trust Family Fun Day, Nottingham Forest Football Club, 2.30pm.

28th May - Ashby Arts Festival - "Sleet, Shoots and Leaves", 7.30pm The Lyric Rooms, Ashby de la Zouch - stories, songs and poems of the National Forest presented by the Folk on the Farm arts team and featuring Sophie telling "The Killing Trees".

1st June - Ashton under Lyne Art Gallery, 2.30 - 4.30pm - family storytelling workshop.

2nd June - Whitworth Children's Centre, 2 - 4pm stories and crafts with Sophie and visual artist Emma Parkin.

3rd July - Stamford Riverside Festival 1.00 - 6.30pm Family shows on the hour alternating Monsters Magic & Mayhem and Green Bottle Pirate & Other Tales; and for adults: 8pm Seven Deadly Sins.

9th July - Buxton Festival Fringe, 3.30pm, Seven Deadly Sins at the Pauper's Pit (Underground Venues).

14th July - Buxton Festival Fringe, 2.15pm, Seven Deadly Sins at the Pauper's Pit (Underground Venues).

15th July - Buxton Festival Fringe, 2.15pm, Seven Deadly Sins at the Pauper's Pit (Underground Venues).

17th July - Nottinghamshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge Launch: "Out of this World" - family storytelling with Sophie: 10am at West Bridgford Library and 12noon at Eastwood Library.

8th August - Burghley House, Stamford, 12 noon - 3pm - "Festival of Surprises", storyteling for age 0 - 5yrs.

15th August - Children's Festival, Wollaton Park, Nottingham, 11am - 5pm with the Nottingham Storytellers.

17th August - Bestwood Country Park, 11am - Family Storywalk.

4th / 5th Sept - Heights of Abraham, Matlock, 11am - 4pm "Tales of Caves, Dragons and More!" family storytelling.

19th Sept - Wirksworth Festival, Children's Storytelling (afternoon).

23rd Sept - Wirkworth Festival, 7.30pm Seven Deadly Sins.

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