Storytelling & Character Presentations
Costumed Storytelling & Character Presentations for periods from late Medieval to WWII
As well as straightforward period focussed storytelling in historic dress and an increasing range of character based presentations that are specific to time and place I also offer Storytelling Workshops as detailed at the foot of this page:
In the earlier periods I depict I concentrate on stories from Britain and Europe ; these may be either from a vernacular tradition (where the fantastical saints’ stories of my childhood also tend to resurface) or adaptations that come from popular contemporary writers such as Petrarch, Chaucer and Shakespeare .
As time moves on I also incorporate stories from a broader spectrum to include glimpses of the New World, the fruits of exotic explorations – or the effects of ‘progress’.
My Georgian and Victorian storytelling focuses on ordinary (and extraordinary…) people’s real lives referencing newspaper articles, advertisements and reports of the time.
Twentieth century presentations also draw on real events and veer toward first person interpretation.
I have offered some topics on the following pages as examples and, as usual, roughly in a chronological order (Use the navigation bars at right to go to each):
- Chaucer for Children
- A Medieval Cycle of Life
- Clothes Maketh The Woman
- Dragon Tailes
- Short Sharp Shakespeare (& Witch-pricking)
- An Age of Excess
- The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
- Votes for Women! – Deeds Not Words
- Home Front Trials & Two Women Whinging
However, stories featuring romance or jealousy; the seasons or cycle of life, death and renewal; animals and nature could be specifically tailored to events for most historical periods (I also feel, in particular, that dragons work just about anywhere and anywhen)
The themes of good stories really are universal: ambition, bravery and curiosity; illusions and miracles; journeys and discoveries; worldliness or simplicity; frivolity and disobedience; loyalty or deceit; radiant youth and crabbed age.
I’ve been happy to tailor presentations for all sorts of non-historical events and occasions including naming ceremonies, saint’s days, weddings – and even, once, a divorce…
I tell my stories in modern voice and suitably pitched for each attending audience: I especially ensure that (grand)parents are kept amused and duly impressed by the moral tenor of my material.
I am also happy to lead discussions or to plan more formal storytelling or reminiscence workshops.
A Storytelling Workshop Outline:
Why not take an opportunity to explore just what makes a good story (or a bad one!) through the telling and sharing of tales that have survived and adapted through centuries – contrasted with those that now just die a death…
Do context and the mindset of their time dictate the successful story – or is the human condition universal? Does humour travel across time and cultures? Do we have to recognise ourselves or our circumstances to be engaged?
There will also be a chance to look at the use of language, drawing on personal resources, storytelling techniques, and the introduction of props or aides memoir.
As well as being supported in telling their own short story individually, toward the end of the day participants may like to construct and tell a story as a group by using this or another collective experience and incorporating skills taken from the day.