In human cultures the world over, stories have been used for centuries as a way of educating, informing and making people think. They bring people together in a sociable and entertaining cultural experience. Within stories we find heroism and hardship, side by side with humour and happiness. We can experience countries and cultures we could never visit, face dangers with little risk and, perhaps most important, understand things from someone else’s perspective.
Traditional stories deal with trust, truth, resilience, power and its use and misuse and many other fundamental issues. Stories can help establish a new culture or help to strengthen an existing one and personal or company stories add a contemporary element to the mix. Collecting stories on a particular theme for performance and or discussion can provide a powerful way of changing thinking and addressing issues.
Born and brought up in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, in an English speaking home, I was educated through the medium of Welsh and absorbed the best of the oral culture of Wales from both languages. The tales I heard as a child are the foundation of my storytelling repertoire. Winner of the Storytelling competition at the International Festival of Folk Arts, Sidmouth in 1996 I have been a performance storyteller for many years.
Throughout my working life I have been involved with education and personal development and used storytelling as a living tool with which to inspire, instruct, motivate and move. I provide storytelling performances, workshops built around performances and short thematic programmes of activity based around story.
I also works with fellow musician and storyteller Phil Thomas to perform shows such as ‘From the other Side’, the stories of a family in a small village in the Vale of Glamorgan in the nineteenth century, ‘One Last Dance’ a particularly Welsh view of the sinking of the Titanic and a dramatic and personal interpretation of The Tale of Branwen from the Mabinogi. We have taken these shows to America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and also with folk performers Calennig performed ‘A Tale of two Rivers’ for the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
If you are interested is trying a new approach to old ways of learning contact Eirwen for further discussion.
Slow Motion Selfies – a pilot project hosted by Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. e will be looking at coming to terms with a changing self through the lens of story and creativity.
Recently published Sharing Stories: Sharing Understanding about using traditional stories to support English for Speakers of Other Languages and improve intercultural understanding.
I am a Trustee of Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival