Our Tellers in 2018 were:
Whether as a storyteller or a medieval re-enactor,
or at times both, Andy brings enthusiasm and entertainment to his
An experienced performer Andy
has toured with the Albion Shakespeare Company, been involved with Theatre-in
Education workshops and living history groups. Before moving to Suffolk, Andy
was a key part of Essex Storytellers’ performances contributing to the writing
and shaping of major projects.
bounds with the love of the well told tale and his background is that of the
professional actor. His colourful performances have enlivened many historical
re-enactments and the storytelling tent at Glastonbury.
Baden Prince (Junior) is a London-based writer,
poet, performer and storyteller. Over the past ten years, he has established a
solid reputation with performances at major venues all over the UK and abroad,
the USA and the Netherlands in particular. From 2003 - 2010 he was the curator
and host of "Speakeasy," one of London's most popular poetry and
spoken word events, enjoyed and respected by audinces and performers alike.
As a performer, Baden entrances audiences
with his warm, engaging manner, his mellifluous voice and his irreverent,
One of Barrie de Lara’s earliest memories is being
rescued, with his family and his Teddy Tail annual, from the great East Anglian
floods of 1953 on Canvey Island. From there he has gone on to become a
storyteller, singer, songwriter and writer. In 2011, his short story ‘Dinner at
Benutti’s’ won the Bridport Third Prize for fiction. His Christmas song ‘The
Blue Carol’ had its British premiere in Saint John’s Cathedral, Norwich, sung
by the UEA 120-voice choir. He is a member of the East Anglian Fabulation, one
half of Singalong Storytime (with Sarah Walker), and helps run Tales From the
Undercroft, Norfolk's storytelling gathering.
A past director of The Society for Storytelling, Carl is a
storyteller with over 25 years’ experience of sharing his stories with
audiences all over East Anglia and beyond. Whether in schools, theatres,
festivals or The Royal Academy, Carl has engaged and entertained adults and
children alike. He has contributed to courses for teachers in Essex, and
workshops for playgroup workers and families as part of reading and literacy projects. Carl's
tales cater to all audiences and ages, from educational stories, through to
myths, fables and medieval tales. Stories to excite, to comfort and intrigue
are contained in his extensive repertoire, tales that explain the world and
help us understand others and ourselves. For the past six years Carl has been
mentoring on the highly regarded Walking the Wild Woods course.
is a relative newcomer to the art of performance storytelling, but stories have
been a constant companion through his life. It all began with his father's
tales of the days of a boyhood in the Blitz and then a young man making a life
lumberjacking in the Canadian wilderness. His interest sparked, Chris has
collected and mixed snippets of myth and story from wherever he has found
himself, be they the classical tales of ancient mythologies, the eerie moors
and spirits of Devon, the rich rural traditions of East Anglia, or even the
sneaky shapeshifters of Japan.
experience in working with children with special needs has led him to develop a
quirky style, mixing story with verse, song, audience participation or
sometimes a few little surprises! This will be his first East Anglian
Storytelling Festival, but has previously performed at Holywells Apple Day and
the Chelmsford Wintertales events. He is also a regular at the Bards Aloud and
Cambridge storytelling circles.
Dave Tonge is a jobbing teller of tales, an
itinerant journeyman who performs at museums, heritage sites and schools, from
Lindisfarne Holy Island in the north to Arundel Castle in the south. He works
regularly for English Heritage and national museums like the Ashmolean and has
written two books, ‘Tudor Tales’ and ‘Norfolk Folk Tales for Children.’ He is
gleeman - storyteller in residence to the Stonemason Guild in Norwich and
specialises in costumed historical storytelling of period rich and often
irreverent tales shared by the poorer folk long ago. But of late he’s ditched
his costume in favour of normal clothes and a fine trilby hat and has performed
at storytelling festivals and clubs all over England, including Settle Stories
in Yorkshire, Taffy Thomas’s Tales in Trust at Halsway Manor in Somerset and in
2018 at the Festival at the Edge in Shropshire. That said, many of his
performances still have an historical flavour with sets like Tavern Yard Tales
and Dame Fortunes Wheel.
Come away, come away, come away to hear stories of
heroes, the fairies, ghosts, witches, death and love. Eamonn invites you to
join him as he tells tales to amuse surprise and teach through the tradition of
Eamonns way of
telling stories is engaging, gentle, dramatic, fun, emotive and filled with the
values of love, humour and wonder. He has an ability to connect ancient myths
and folk stories to the seasons, landscape, places, relationships and modern
day realities. Why not listen as he tells stories for all ages young and young
at heart to enchant and inspire.
with his love of Irish lore and mythology Eamonn has also developed a
repertoire of stories for children he learned as a playworker and youth worker.
Donlon is a Woodbridge based Irish storyteller and poet. He is founder of
Storytelling with Bards Aloud, co-founder of The East Anglian Storytelling
Festival and is also founder of Poetree Walks with Bards in the Woods, Suffolk.
He has performed at many festivals, including: The East Anglian Storytelling
Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Folk East, Harlequin Fayre, Ghosts in the
Glens Storytelling Festival, Jimmy’s Festival, The Spirit of Beowulf community
Festival, for which he wrote a new story entitled “The bravery and battles of
Beowulf” He also performs tales from a hammock at Holywells Park! He has an
array of original and “hybrid” tales, described as “stories comic and stories
Giles Abbott came to storytelling in
1999 after sudden and severe, though not total, sight loss in 1998. His
storytelling, characterised by his poetic flair for language, his commanding
stage presence and rich speaking voice has taken him all over England, Scotland
& Wales as well as to Europe, North Africa and India, working with child
and adult audiences. He loves Iron Age epic, Viking & British and
particularly loves creating new interpretations of Classical myth.
Award winning storyteller Glenys Newton has spent
the last 3 years volunteering with refugees across Europe and has travelled far
and wide to tell the stories of people who are making their journeys, seeking
sanctuary in these extraordinary times. There is a saying, ‘An enemy is simply
someone whose story you have not yet heard’ and it is through our stories that
we are able to make that human connection. Glenys is currently the Bard of
Cambridge and is making up poetry as she goes along. She is often accompanied
by Tom the storytelling dog who has resigned himself to the storytelling world
of life on the road.
is a professional storyteller who tells both traditional and modern tales to
young and old alike. Driven by a passion to engage and inspire communities with
oral storytelling, she draws on her acting background to take her audiences on
playful and poignant journeys into folk tales and myths from around the world.
Described as ' Captivating, compelling, high-energy and fun. A storyteller of
irresistible and charming tales', she runs Tiny Tales Storytellers for
children, schools and families and is the resident storyteller at The Cliffs
Pavilion. In 2016 she co-founded Spinning Yarns Theatre to bring storytelling
to adult audience's with a collective of tellers through monthly 'Pint of
and 'Told @ Twenty One' nights in
Southend on Sea.
Williams was born in the magic village of Borth in Ceredigion with its
submerged forest whose enchanted stories she used in her careers as a teacher,
storyteller , and writer. Inspired by Taffy Thomas, she founded the Essex story
tellers with Carl Merry and Andy Jennings and they worked on projects
about the Battle of Maldon, Mersea Mound and the witches of Manningtree.
Approached by History press, she researched the folk tales of Essex and this
year produced a beautifully illustrated version of Essex Folk tales for
Janina has worked with primary aged children for
over 10 years in Environmental Education, helping to pioneer the Forest School
movement across the East of England. She began by telling The Magic Porridge
Pot round the fire at a Forest School session to 15 grubby, eager 4 year olds
in 2006 They adored it and so did she! Professional training with Emerson
College and Ben Haggarty of the Crick Crack Club quickly followed and continues
still with Marion Leeper of Cambridge Storytellers and Tom Hirons of Hedgespoken.
She tells tales in primary schools, nurseries, at private parties and at
festivals across the UK including Cambridge Literary Festival, Bath Children's
Literature Festival and The Imagine Children's Festival at the Southbank
John Row, poet, storyteller and East Angrian in voluntary exile
in Swindon and Romania is a veteran of the British Festival scene, was the
first storyteller in residence in a British prison and has told in schools and
festivals on four continents. So far this year he has been featured in a
documentary on Romanian television, has told at a wedding in Marrakech,
completed a project at H.M.P. Leicester, performed at Cheltenham Poetry
Festival and Swindon Literature Festival as well as a clutch of other festivals
and schools across the UK. The East Anglian Storytelling Festival holds a
special place in his heart especially as it is just outside Ipswich which he
stills calls his home town.
is Artistic Director of The East Anglian Storytelling Festival which she
instigated in 2015 in order to put her passion for making storytelling relevant
and exciting for new audiences into action. She has been a professional
performer for over 20 years – from a background in community and street theatre
she moved to storytelling ten years ago and has been loving it! Her
multi-faceted storytelling practice So… what’s the story? ranges from the
Storyplaytime and Adventure Tots sessions she creates for under 5s, to
adults-only pub story nights and the rock ‘n’ roll and storytelling duo
Darklove, to her Business Narrative consultancy work. She tells regularly at
pubs, festivals, schools, libraries and parties and runs the Tapas and Tales
Storytelling Night at the King’s Head, Woodbridge.
has spent his life travelling around the British Isles, often with horse drawn
vehicles, travellers, and entertainers. He has also spent a lot of time as a
political campaigner. His latest adventure involves exploring history through
storytelling, to which end he has produced the show Rebel Queen, the wild tale
of Boudicca, as his first exhibit.
Liz Weir is a storyteller and
writer from Northern Ireland who has told her stories to people of all
ages on five continents. She has performed in pubs and prisons and hospital
rooms. She worked on stages in the mighty Vanderbilt Hall of New York’s Grand
Central Station and in the Royal Albert Hall.
It was as Children’s Librarian for the City of Belfast that she first
learnt about the healing power of storytelling.
Liz was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award
from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work
promoting the art of storytelling”
stories wherever she can find them: from dusty corners of libraries (her
latest adult show, Women and Power) caves, pine forests, and the bottom
of biscuit jars (her early years show, Stories in the Dark) and
most recently from the toy boxes and playgrounds of local schools and nurseries
for a set of articles on superheroes. She brings her sparkly,
multi-sensory storytelling to schools, clubs, museums - even, once, a nuclear
bunker. She has toured clubs and festivals including Womad, Beyond the
Border and Festival at the Edge and also loves to spin yarns with her local
group, Cambridge Storytellers
Mark has been telling stories
for about fifteen years, in the fields of Somerset, Norfolk and Suffolk to tiny
toddlers, old codgers and all ages in
between. All his stories are funny and are made up in his head. Have you
ever thought about monsters under your bed? What if one day your shadow ran off
and was replaced by another one? If bees make honey do wasps make marmite?
These and similar questions about the pointless things in life Mark will be
exploring - seek him out!
Details to come soon!
Peter's first public
performance was when, in 1953 aged six, he was a penguin in a nativity play.
Since the early seventies Peter has had a long and varied professional career
in theatre and associated arts
Writer/Director, Storyteller, Actor, Mime artist, musician, tumbler, juggler,
Fire-Eater, Stilt and Wire-walker. Peter has performed in one guise or another
at British festivals too numerous to mention, plus a mini tour of Israel. The
more energetic performance days are now over and although an animated
storyteller he says "It's reassuring to know there is normally a chair on
which to catch my breath"
and host of the shiny new Peterborough Storytellers Guild, Rose is an Artist,
Teller and Teacher, working to engage people with stories, art and nature in
Rose began her
storyteller's journey when she was very young; often telling tall tales of
fantastical biscuit robberies and hosting princess training camps for friends,
but only in the past couple of years she has managed to fool her way into
actually calling herself a Teller and recreating some of the myths and legends,
folktales and fairy stories she loved herself, today in Schools, Festivals,
Local Woodlands Groups and many other events.
Her storytelling is lively, colourful and
honest, aiming to capture the wonder of our world around, and appealing to the
child in us all.
Sarah Brady is an award-winning storyteller who recently
moved to England. She tells stories ranging from traditional to historical,
humorous to serious (and everything in between) to adults and children in
educational, concert, and festival settings. One listener said, "Sarah
Brady brings stories to life. She chooses stories with fun words and bright
images, a delight for kids' ears and imaginations." She’s happy to share
these stories at this year’s festival.
Sarah Walker – SarahSpinsStories - has
lived in nine countries and collected tales in all nine and elsewhere. She
tells stories from around the world for adults and children as well as original
tales of her own. Sarah also tells with Barrie de Lara, and in the Big Stripey
Story Tent at festivals and celebrations. In 2014, while being successfully
treated for cancer, she completed the challenge of telling 26 tales for the
first time: this year her challenge is telling a new tale every week.
Her book of original tales is Ghosts
International: Troll and Other Stories, published by Oxford University Press
Bookworms Library. She runs Norfolk’s storytelling gathering Tales from the
Undercroft in Norwich and Singalong Storytime for under 6s and their
Shane is quite new to the Oral
Storytelling scene. Although he is not new to oral stories, as a child he was
told stories and nursery rhymes by his father and at Infant school. He has been
a collector of folk stories, nursery rhymes and short stories for several years
and told these to his children for many years. Shane first became interested in
‘performing’ stories in the mid 1990’s, when he saw John Row telling stories,
in a wood. Shane also an occasional poet, has in recent years attended, The
International School of Storytelling, to learn about performing Oral Stories,
he took to it very quickly, realising that in is full time job he has been
working therapeutically with stories for over 20 years. Shane has also had
additional training with Hugh Lupton, Ben Haggerty and some coaching from Paul
Jackson. In the last 2 year’s Shane has significantly increased his exposure to
live audiences, telling stories every week and has performed at places such as;
The Estuary Fringe Festival, ArtsSeaMusic Festival, Barking Folk Festival, Winterfest,
Harlequin Fayre, Folk East, Into The Wild Festival, Beltane Festival and The
East Anglian Storytelling Festival. Shane has worked with children for many
years and has designed and led therapeutic Storytelling workshop programmes for
schools and an Adolescent Mental Health Unit in Essex. As well as telling
stories on several Outdoor Education programs for Teenagers, in Essex and
Surrey. Shane tells regularly to MENCAP users and has recently started telling
stories to visually impaired groups, in Braintree and Chelmsford. He often
practices his stories with his 87 year old visually impaired father-in-law.
Shane also tells weekly to an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ childminding group. In late
2016 Shane started the first regular bi-monthly Oral Storytelling event in
Chelmsford. It has become very successful and attracts some wonderful
Su spent her early storytelling years in the West Country
where she also worked as a community theatre facilitator, street performer,
solo theatre performer and member of a children's theatre company. Now
based in East Anglia Su performs regularly at festivals and events across the
region and beyond as both a solo performer and in collaboration with other
artists. A mistress of multiple personas, Su also performs as Suki SilverTongue
(lusciously lyrical and sublimely subversive story-poetry) for grown ups and
Tilly the Talespinner (complete with magical story catcher) for children and
Suzanne has a rich and varied past as
community artist, street theatre performer and puppeteer with over 30 years of
story-making. Storytelling was a natural progression when in 2009, Suzanne the
Storyweaver came into being. A co-founder of the East Anglian Storytelling
Festival, Suzanne has a warm, wise and inclusive style of telling and has
told at festivals across the region and beyond. She is happy telling to any age
audience but specialises in stories with strong female protagonists. She is currently
booking a tour of her show and workshop, “The Crone, the Wolf and the Girl who
strayed from the path”, to women’s groups across the UK and France.
for storytelling Taffy Thomas MBE, our patron, is proud to be back at the East
Anglian Storytelling Festival. This time he is accompanied by the
multi-talented Geordie Paul Knox who weaves tasty tunes around Taffy’s tales,
on either fiddle or Northumbrian small pipes. Paul is a polymath having hand
crafted both instruments over a number of years. Until Taffy wrote this copy,
Paul thought that a polymath was a parrot that could do sums! – so expect fun
and magical words.
On Friday and
Saturday, Taffy and Paul will draw on their programme ‘Fairy Gold’ – stories of
the little people from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. On Sunday, expect
stories from ‘Two for Joy’ – folk tales of our feathered friends, possibly the
first ever ‘tweets’!
Taffy and Paul’s
appearance at this festival, is part-sponsored by Babs and Mike Surridge, a
pair of East Anglian enthusiasts of the traditional arts. At this time of
austerity, Taffy, Paul and the Fabulation Committee are grateful for this help,
from a couple who we hope will themselves enjoy the weekend."
all the way from the wilds of Wicklow in Ireland, Ipswich based storyteller
Veronica Chambers, has an array of stories told with her animated style from traditional Irish to Anatolian and some she has even written herself. She is co-host of Storytelling with Bards Aloud, Ipswich’s storytelling group
and is this year’s chair of the East Anglian Fabulation.
Please note, if due to circumstances beyond our control named tellers are not available, we will provide alternatives, but unfortunately there can be no refunds. Thank you for understanding.