I am very excited to be starting a part time MA in Authorial illustration at Falmouth University in about a weeks time. When I first thiought about the course I was mainly thinking of writing and illustrating books, drawn from over 20 years of story gathering. But when I applied, I realised that the scope was much wider than this and that it was basically up to me to define my own interpretation of the term, illustration, and that it could very easily be performance based, and very much about oral storytelling. This has opened the door to possibilities that I hadn't imagined and, in some ways, scared the life out of me because I now have to narrow it down. the course part time means I will be able to take occasional work throughout the course, which is important as it means I won't disappear from storytelling circles and I will have some money now and then to support myself. It also means I will be able to try out ideas I have on the course in live situations. I am very much looking forward to experimenting and creative play.
This is my first attempt at taking Patrick out on his own. Bridget is still up country somewhere doing her own thing and we will be meeting up to make plans in the near future, before we go to Jura for this years festival. Here is a little taster of Patrick's video. I hope to finish the whole thing tomorrow with the song included and then post it on the website. It would be good to get round to finishing Patrick and Bridget's own website as soon as as well. I hope you enjoy this little clip, more to follow I hope.
Having lived, studied and worked in the North West and North East for nearly 30 years, I will soon be moving south. Probably about as far south that I can go and still be in the same country. This move comes about because my partner has taken a job at Exeter University and will be based at there campus in Falmouth, so, Cornwall here we come. The move will take place at the end of May 2016, which is very soon, and I am looking forward to exploring the new opportunities that this move will present. (I also look forward to exploring the new landscapes and beaches). I will still be working in the North East and have already agreed to work at a weekend festival in Blyth across the August bank holiday. I also hope to keep my work for Bag Books going as well as flying the flag for Seven Stories and developing my own storytelling career. I hope to be posting more on this blog in the future as I move into these exciting times. Thank you for following me and listening to my ramblings.
After a very busy three months at the back of last year, which included a full on storytelling binge for Halloween at Beamish Museum and Gibside, I am pleased to announce that I have a few storytelling festival slots lined up for later this year. Firstly I am taking part in a tall tales storytelling competition in Hexham in early March, unfortunately there is no link to that at the moment, but after that I have a wee spot at the Village Storytelling Festival in Glasgow over last week of March followed by an hour of stories at this years Settle Storytelling Festival in April. Later in the Year I will be telling Under African Skies at the 2016 Barnstable Fringe Festival, Devon, in June. Very excited about all of this. Hopefully keep you posted.
Today was the last of a series of African story sessions for Sunderland libraries as a part of their 'Black history month'. Finished on a great one with 60 yr 4 & 5 pupils clapping syncopated rhythms, dancing and joining in with the stories. That's that for another year.
Just back from the fabulous island of Jura where we spent an extended weekend working with children for the annual Jura Music Festival. We started by working in the Small Isle School in Craighouse. This is probably the best school I have ever worked in. A primary school with one classroom and 12 delightful children that range from nursery to year six (ish). We have been coming to the school for the last 12 years and working on various projects leading up to the festival. This year we made lanterns that adorned the village hall for the main concert on the Saturday night. This years team, apart from myself, was the very lovely Karen Scott, Roisin Pharncote Row and Omi Pharncote, a joy to work with. You can see more of Omi's work by visiting her website
If it seems that all has gone quiet on the storytelling blog, that is because I have been fortunate enough to spend 3 whole months in New Zealand. Three whole months of exploring the beautiful, and it is beautiful, countryside and meeting the friendly, and on the whole, they are friendly, people that live here. I have looked out for other storytellers but am not finding them anywhere fast. Still, it is a great experience and I am spending my time in many ways, painting, gardening, Karate and all sorts. I also do a bit of admin work from time to time as well. So, I will update this blog site now and then whilst I am here and keep you informed of any exciting happenings. For now, G'day from Down Under. G'day.
I had a great night at the Word of Mouth Storytelling Club in Manchester. Met lots of lovely new friends and my story 'Under African Skies' went really well and was well received. Big thanks to Helen & Honor for hosting me and putting me up for the night. Now, off to Allenheads to do Patrick & Bridget with Ian Douglas.
I enjoyed my first piece of work with my new friends and colleagues at 'The Walking Theatre Company'. It was hard work and there were some interesting issues beyond our control, not least the Scottish Referendum, and the results! I am very much looking forward to working with them again on my return from travels far afield.