Storytelling is an age-old tradition. Traditional stories passed down through the generations include folk tales, fairy tales, myths, epics and stories of how it all began. Part of the craft of good storytelling is to really get into the heart of a story, honour the community and the place it has come from, and bring it alive in ways that directly connect with the people listening in the here and now.
We all need magic and inspiration, desperately so in these difficult times, and many traditional stories lie at the roots of our beliefs and our journeys. Whether you are two years old or a hundred and two, there’s something heartening about sharing in a good tale. Stories can offer a flash of inspiration, a whole load of belly-laughs, a hero’s journey or a new way of looking at life.
Here are some of the ways I work with story. Contact me for bookings and more information.
A storytelling performance allows complete immersion in a set of stories, a whole story world, and a rollercoaster of emotions and connections.
My latest show, Tangle of the Commons, explores our complicated relationship with wild plants and the land in Britain, with family and full-length evening performance versions.
Wild Women and Witches is an hour-long storytelling about the hedge-wisdom held by women in Britain through the ages. These folk tales paint a picture of how society has used and abused wise women – from midwifery to witch-burning.
I have also developed two shows in collaboration with other tellers, Giants! Stories of the Bedrock of the British Isles with Ronnie Conboy and Hag of the Land with Sue Charman, Ronnie Conboy and Laura Salmon.
See ‘Performance’ for more details.
…Lisa captivates her audience, and makes you ponder whether the land always has a tale to be told and a voice to be heard… Beaford Arts
Storytelling at events
I tell stories for all ages at public and private events, and I can tailor storytelling sessions to meet your requirements.
I have told stories at the Oxford Storytelling Festival, WOMAD, SEED festival, the Westcountry Storytelling Festival, Devon County Show and Respect festival; stories for Three Acres and a Cow, Dartmoor National Park, RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust, Dartington, Sharpham, Dartmoor’s Daughter and Totnes Transition; work with the Red Alachigh, of which I am a founder member; and plenty more.
‘Extraordinary, a cliff hanger, you didn’t know what would happen next.’ Neve aged 9
I run one-day storytelling workshops for beginners and experienced tellers alike. They explore different aspects of story and how we connect with them, and develop storytelling skills and confidence. I’ve used my own experience in storytelling to develop activities which are useful, practical, thought-provoking and fun.
See ‘Workshops’ for more details.
“Excellent balance of listening, learning and telling.”
Storytelling with schools and family groups
I’ve developed a whole repertoire of stories and activities for schools and family groups of all ages. This includes stories in the classroom or indoor events, and also outside working with nature. My recent work has included the Hidden Histories project with Beaford Arts and Devon Wildlife Trust, working with primary schools across north Devon on community trails; story days with High Bickington Primary School, linking with curriculum topics, literacy and imagination; a creative arts and drama project using Russian fairy tale, with Courage Copse Creatives and Forches Cross Primary School; a season of marine stories at Seaton Jurassic; wild story walks and sessions on Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserves; and more.
“A wonderful afternoon – it really enhanced the children’s learning….you kept the children captivated and involved throughout. They thoroughly enjoyed it.” Hatherleigh Primary School
I run two informal story clubs in Devon: South Devon Storytellers, based in Totnes (together with Ronnie Conboy) and Dartmoor Storytellers, based in Chagford.
Both groups are an opportunity for anyone to come and try their hand at storytelling, with a combination of longer performance story and short 10-minute story sharing. We’re a friendly bunch and it’s a great place to start telling, gain confidence in storytelling, and get feedback.
Or: just come along to listen to stories!
South Devon Storytellers meets on the second Monday evening of every month, 7.30pm at Pie Street, High Street, Totnes TQ9 5RY. In addition to the usual stories, we follow one story cycle a year – we have worked through the Arabian Nights, then through the Norse myths, Grimm’s fairy tales and Irish sagas, and we are just starting on the Arthurian cycle. Watch out for Bill / Galahad behind the bar. You can find out more on the group’s Facebook page here.
Dartmoor Storytellers is taking a break from story club nights, but holds occasional performance storytelling nights in Chagford and around the moor. You can find out more on the group’s Facebook page here.
“a delicious feast of tales, and such a lovely gang of people too…”