Tel: 01332 840007
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Chatsworth House, Dec 09
"Ooh - aargh - Talk Like a Pirate Day" Matlock LIve! Sept 09
"It roared like a hurricane and spat like a storm, then lunged forward... "
Ecofest, Sept 09
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: email@example.com or Tel 01332 840007.
The snow from the "Big Freeze" has only just melted, leaving my eldest son's 8 foot snow totem pole a mere puddle of white in the centre of our lawn. It was such a delight to see the crowds of children sledging and snowboarding and even ski-ing
down the big hill in the park out the back of our house - tiny figures in hats and scarves like one of those matchstick paintings by LS Lowry... with gleeful shouts and laughter drifting down the slopes till the grey skies finally turned an orange midnight blue.
But yes we did have a summer and I enjoyed storytelling at various late summer festivals
- the Y Not Festival near Matlock (great music, loads of mud and beer!), Garner & Firmin's beachside tent at Skegness's Seas Festival, a return visit to the Children's Festival at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, Folk on the Farm in Leicestershire, and then later as autumn approached, Ecofest in Derby's Markeaton Park and a day of pirate tales and sea shanties for Matlock Live's "Talk Like a Pirate! Day". And, uniquely, a tale told in a wonderful stone age hut as part of the Bardic Chair of the Avalon Marshes Samhain celebration. I even found myself the guest of Plymouth's Twisted Tales - meeting the amazing Stone Soup - the storytelling world's equivalent of the two hairy bikers... (sorry guys! - check them out at www.stonesoupstorytelling.org.uk).
Ecofest, Sept 09
With the kids back at school I worked in various schools in Derbyshire and Derby City, Chesterfield, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire - and in Sherwood Forest one Rotherham based Gifted & Talented group found themselves listening to stories amongst the trees and learning to tell themselves.
I've enjoyed teaching and performing with scouts, Cubs, Brownies and the younger Beavers
and even did a mini-tour of preschool settings in Oxfordshire just before Christmas.
The autumn / winter has seen more performaces of Seven Deadly Sins - this time at Burton Brewhouse Arts Centre, Matlock Storytelling Cafe and a second performance back at Derby's Flying Donkeys (where it had premiered for their Fifth Wednesday Project back in April last year). And Oxfam's West Bridgeford branch had kindly invited me to storytell for children, followed by a first telling for a new performance set called "Elements" together with fellow Flying Donkey Mel Blount - Mel has a deceptively delicate, image-laden style of telling conjuring hauntingly beautiful wonder tales, and we hope to find more venues to perform this piece in 2010.
The weekend of Halloween was particularly busy with stories for Scouts, a day telling spooky tales at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and then two Halloween storywalks in Allestree Park, Derby in the evening - one for the little ones and a later very scary walk for the older ones!
Chatsworth House Oct 09
There was a very poignant evening early in December when I was invited to tell a tale and read a poem at Derby's QUAD as part of the memorial celebration for World Aid's Day. After lighting candles for loved ones the audience were entertained with stories, a poem, a film and gospel choir singing in a rather beautiful and sensitively put together evening of memories, celebration and hope.
Then I found myself back at Chatsworth House in December telling winter tales. After the grandeur of Flora's Temple at Halloween kitted out as Chatsworth's Resident Witch, storytelling and helping the children write poems, it was lovely to be invited back to spend a similar day in the Farmyard - biggest climbing frame I ever saw is there - like a giant spider's web strung between the arms of some huge tree house structure...
In the run up to Christmas, Nottingham storyteller, Pete Davis and I performed our Fireside Ghost Tales to a full house at the Abbey Pub, Darley Abbey, and I joined the Nottingham Storytellers' team at the Bonnington Theatre, Arnold, Nottingham for "Twas the Night Before Christmas".
My last booking of the year was an adult workshop and peformance for the staff of a children's outdoor adventure residential centre. The manager had kept my visit quiet, and when I turned up (after a long walk through ancient woodlands to their weekend retreat), I found them intensely curious, sat by a roaring fire under the cliffs of a natural outdoor ampitheatre. As I started my first tale, huge snow flakes floated down, daylight faded and the fire smoke drifted over our faces and it was just one of those magical storytelling experiences where the world drifts out of focus as you sink into the mystery of very old sories... That one will stay with me for a very long time.
So what's to come in 2010?
Well further dates for Seven Deadly Sins have been booked in 2010:
Friday 5th March, 7.30pm at Stapleford Library as part of the Nottingham Libraries' StoryFest 2010 (for tickets contact Jill on Tel 0115 939 9178).
Tuesday 16th March, 8pm at Sheffield StoryForge (Sheffield's vibrant storytelling club - see the StoryForge Facebook page for more info or Tel Tim Ralphs on 0771 909 2513 for tickets)
Apart from schools closer to home in Derbyshire, I'll be storytelling for World Book Day in Hertfordshire (4th March), I've been asked back to Oxfordshire in February for National Storytelling Week, been booked for a range of events from a private children's party in the Peak District to a Spring museum evening event (more on this later), and have already done another Cub Scouts workshop.
You can hear me telling a tale as MC for the evening at Flying Donkeys on 10th March - when we welcome the wonderful Mike O'Connor and Barbara Griggs from Cornwall performing "Tristan and Iseult". I am really looking forward to that! And on March 24th I will be telling (along with other "Flying Donkeys") at the Cambridge Storytelling Club in Cambridge.
Oh and our village Live and Local events continue with The Old Dance School at Quarndon Church Hall (just outside Derby) on 26th February and a much looked forward to return of HowdenJones on 22nd May. If you would like tickets for either of these shows, do please give me a ring.
I have a few more plans afoot, but more about that when arrangements are a bit more settled. Check out the bottom of my home page for latest news and dates!
One final note of welcome - we have an adorable new kitten - Merlin - a beautiful bundle of fun who has very quickly taken to his new home and our three boys - whether being carried around in Jamie's cardboard camper van creations, ambushing our bare feet, running off with odd socks from the laundry rack or just nosing his way between my arms as I type on the keyboard, he's great company!
Merlin - our new kitten at 9 weeks old
For previous month's news, click HERE
"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. (www.folkonthefarm.co.uk)
Latest News 2010
5th March - Seven Deadly Sins at Stapleford Libary (as part of Nottinghamshire Libraries StoryFest 2010) 7.30pm, Tickets from Jill at the libary tel 0115 939 9178.
13th March - Nottingham Crown Court Open Day, 11am - 4pm - family storytelling with the Nottingham Storytellers.
16th March - Seven Deadly Sins at Sheffield StoryForge, 8pm. See the StoryForge Facebook page for more info or Tel Tim Ralphs on 0771 909 2513 for tickets.
20th March - Greening Event, 11am - 2pm, Beckett School, West Bridgford - family stories with an eco theme.
24th March - "Fabulous Beasts" at Cambridge Storytelling Club, 8pm with the Flying Donkeys.
25th March - "Traditional Tales from around the World", Trip to Jerusalem Pub, Nottingham, 8pm, with the Nottingham Storytellers.
2nd / 3rd April - Good Friday and Easter Saturday - Easter / Spring Tales at Kedleston Hall (National Trust), Derbyshire, 1 - 3.30pm each day.
1st May - Gamston May Day Celebrations, 2.30pm, village green, family storytelling.
7th May, Heanor Festival, Heanor Antique Centre, 7pm, adult storytelling evening.
8th May, Heanor Festival, Heanor Library, morning (times tbc), family stories.
14th May - Nottinghamshire Archives - "Night at the Museum" 8pm.
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".
17th July - Nottinghamshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge Launch: family storytelling with Sophie at 10am "Out of this World" at West Bridgeford Library and 12noon "Out of this World" at Eastwood Library.