SOCIETY FOR STORYTELLING Monthly Storytelling Newsletter MARCH 2017 Wales

MARCH in Wales
Repeats every week every Monday until Tue Feb 28 2017.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017 - 2:50pm to Friday, 31 March 2017 - 2:50pm

From Martin Manasse

Storytelling News from Wales / Newyddion Chwedleua o Gymru

Storytelling News from Wales / Newyddion Chwedleua o Gymru

Each month we are publishing news about the wonderful storytelling events and story clubs around Wales. 

Pob mis, rydym yn cyhoeddi newyddion am y digwyddiadau adrodd straeon ardderchog a chlybiau stori ledled Cymru.

We will also be highlighting different storytellers who are performing across the country this month. 

Byddwm hefyd yn tynnu sylw at chwedleuwyr  gwahanol sydd yn perfformio ar hyd y wlad pob mis.

So, whether you are interested to know where people gather informally to tell stories, or you are keen to start telling and would like to join a story club, this is a good place to start. 

Felly, os oes gennych chi naill ai ddiddordeb i wybod lle mae bobl yn dod at ei gilydd yn anffurfiol i adrodd straeon, neu’n awyddus i ddechrau adrodd straeon ac felly yn hoffi ymuno â chlwb stori, dyma le da i ddechrau.

It may be that you are interested in seeing some stunning storytelling performances in Wales.

Efallai yr hoffech fwynhau gweld rhai perfformiadau adrodd straeon trawiadol yng Nghymru.

Whatever your needs, this publication will help you to find what you are looking for. 

Beth bynnag ydy eich anghenion, bydd y cyhoedddiad hwn yn eich helpu i ddod o hyd i’r hyn  rydych chi’n chwilio amdano.

You can also try our website: for more information on storytellers and story clubs in Wales and how to join the SfS.

Croeso i chi hefyd brofi’n gwefan: am fwy o wybodaeth am chwedleuwyr a chlybiau stori yng Nghymru ac am sut i ymuno â’r SfS 



From Martin Manasse

Welcome to your monthly storytelling newsletter. 

I send one e-mail per month and the news coverage serves five broad regions: North East and Cumbria, North West and Yorkshire, Midlands, South and South West and Wales. If you have interests in more than one of these regions do please contact me and I will add your name to that list too. For the South East and London see the link list at the end of this newsletter.  If you want to know more about the Society for Storytelling or wish to join, do contact The website at is now running but still being improved.

N.B. When you see the number of public events listed, please do not be fooled into thinking that this is all the storytelling that goes on. There is a lot of non-public activity in schools etc. and I suspect that there may be promoters who have not yet got into the habit of sending in their details to reach me for the newsletters. 

News and general information

The SfS Website is live once more after heroic labours by Paul Jackson to get it back under our control and in a fit state.
If you are a member and haven’t already been notified of a password change, you may need to request a new password regardless of whether you still remember your old one (this is part of the getting back under control). Use the link on the page.
Did you know that if you go on line to the History Press and search the section on Local History Books you will find many books of regional folk tales from all around the country compiled by many of our storytellers.
Festival this month
March 9-12 
Gŵyl Chwedleua Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival Pumed Gainc The Fifth Branch Tales from the lost book of Wales
Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival returns in 2017 with a weekend of tales, films, exhibitions, talks, and music inspired by Y Mabinogi Project, as we search for the mythical Fifth Branch; featuring a full performance of Dreaming the Night Field, Adverse Camber's new production of The Fourth Branch, with Michael Harvey, Lynne Denman and Stacey Blythe; Cath Little tells The Lady of the Orchard, the story of Geraint and Enid; Guto Dafis entertains with the tale of Manawydan from the Third Branch; Jez Danks and Dafydd Davies Hughes speak with two tongues to present Dau Dafod; Phil Okwedy and Mikey Price present the Dance of the Stick-Fighting Warriors and other West African Tales of Life, Death and the Unborn; Gwilym Morus weaves new cloth from old thread in search of the Fifth Branch; Fiona Collins and Sian Parry will follow the Dream of Macsen Wledig; Tamar Williams tells The Girl Who Came In From The Sea, and Bethan Mascarenhas delves into dark tales from Wales; there will be a special gathering of the Young Storytellers of Wales who will tell tales to remember tomorrow; Maria Hayes will be drawing live and projecting images throughout the weekend; there will be an exhibition of illustrators' art inspired by contemporary themes in the old tales, in Oriel 2 and around the Arts Centre; linguistic art and wordplay with Naomi Heath; storytelling in the exhibition spaces; a free showing of 'Eldra,' an evocative film about the North Welsh Gypsies, made by Valley Stream using the ideas and art of oral storytelling; a day-long symposium of talks and films blending academia and creativity, with Paula Crutchlow, Mary-Ann Constantine, Michael Freeman, Erin Kavanagh, Sarah Byfield and more; two new History Press book launches in the Arts Centre Bookshop; a book and vinyl art exhibition; if the sun shines, there will be story walks; and in the unlikely event that it rains old women with sticks, there will be conversation, cake and coffee in the cafe. 
Courses this month
March courses and events at the International School of Storytelling
10th - 12th March Begin it Now with Stella Kassimati  Emerson College, East Sussex.  Introduction to Storytelling: a weekend course
17th - 18th March Two's Company with Bronia Evers Emerson College, East Sussex
A playful and fun introduction to puppetry and puppet making as tools for creative storytelling.
17th - 19th March Teller, Tales and Tradition with Shonaleigh  Emerson College, East Sussex
Join Teller and Tradition bearer Shonaleigh for a unique, immersive weekend of storytelling to experience a living, unbroken oral tradition and gain an insight into how a culture thrived before the written word became common practice.
Saturday 25th March  7.30pm (end 9.30pm with interval) Birth, Death, and the Stuff in between with Carol Thompson, Judy Cassels, Teri West of Heroes Anonymous  The Storytelling Hut at Emerson College, Forest Row
Clown and Storytelling meet in three unique, personal stories offering the Fool's perspective on the universal light and dark aspects of the Human Condition.  Suitable for ages 7+


Regular Events

Please note: Not all regular events send notifications so if in doubt please check that the session is on.



STORIES BY GASLIGHT  At the Gas Gallery/Oriel Nwy, Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, every first Wednesday of the month at 7pm. Suggested donation £5   Wednesday 1 March.  Details from



First Thursday of the month.  Next sessions Thursday 2 March: storytelling in Brecon, Powys, for children and adults with Marion Oughton, at 4pm in The Hours Cafe and Bookshop, Ship Street, Brecon, LD3 9AD (contact details: 01874 622800 ). In case you don't know The Hours,  I'll just mention the delicious homemade cakes, the scrumptious savouries and the wide range of teas and coffee, all of which you can enjoy while you listen to the storytelling.  Or join in with the storytelling if you want to.  People of all ages are welcome - children, young people and adults - as the storytelling session will develop according to the people  who are there. You might choose to join in, watch from a distance over a cuppa,  tell a story of your own, request a story from someone else...Marion Oughton 01874 638165
Cardiff Storytelling Circle, Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton, Cardiff. Monthly first Sunday 8 p.m. Next sessions Sunday 5 March. Info
Storytelling Suppers at Kemi's with fine food and wonderful tales from around the world. 
Thursday evenings, once a month, at Kemi's in Pontcanna, Cardiff 
Next event Thursday March 2 -  Michael Harvey and Pauline Down – Songs and Stories for Dewi Sant
To book tickets contact Kemi’s in Pontcanna by email: or phone 02920372055
Kemis Storytelling Suppers on facebook:

Milgi Lounge, 213 City Road, Cardiff CF24 3JD  029 2047 3150

Tuesday 21 March 8 pm  Free entry, contributions in the hat

Guest storyteller: Bethan Mascarenhas  Guest musician: Mike Gulston

Introduced by Guto Dafis and Francis Maxey

Plus contributions from the floor – please let us know if you would like to do a 10 min floor spot



Storytelling Club in Conwy​ 

Meeting on the third Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm 

The Blue Bell Inn, 19, Castle Street, Conwy, LL32 8AT.  

Hosted by Suzi & Simon Moore ​

Wednesday 15 March @ 7.30pm:  

All welcome.  No charge!

For more details phone Suzi & Simon on 

01490 460563 or 07984 637068


Fishguard Storytelling/Straeon Gwaun Monthly Story Night
Wednesday March 8th 7.30pm  Peppers, 16 West St, Fishguard SA65 9AE 
Floor spots available for the first half, contact: Deb Winter 01348-891 348  Email
"Meanwhile" storytelling circle meets monthly on on first Monday of each month, 6:30-8pm, Artisan cafe, Lampeter. For more details contact or join our Facebook group;
Halo Quin  Next session Monday 6 March.


Ffwrnes, Llanelli,   3 p.m. Second Saturday of the month. Next session 11 March.
Spoken Word Saturday. Expect to be mesmerised by artists creatively exploring the spoken word. Each month we will have a guest professional artists as well as our open floor spots.  If you are a storyteller, poet, rap artist, spoken word singer, film maker or first timer please e-mail to book a floor spot or to find out more information.  0845 226 3510

Caffi Stori Llangollen Storytelling Cafe 

Meets for stories, songs, coffee and cake

Fri​day 17th March ​@ 7.30

​ ​- as always, the third Friday of the month -

in The Courtyard Coffee Shop, Castle St, Llangollen, LL20 8NY. Only £2.


Mae Caffi Stori Llangollen Storytelling Cafe yn cwrdd

 am 7.30gh Nos Wener  17 o Fawrth 

​ ​ar gyfer chwedlau, caneuon, coffi a chacennau - fel bob tro, ar drydedd Nos Wener y mis - yn Siop Coffi Cwrt-y-Castell, Stryd y Castell, Llangollen, LL20 8NY.  Dim ond £2.


This month, Storytelling Cafe welcomes special guest Beth Mascerenhas.

Y mis'ma, mae Caffi Stori yn croesawu'n storiwraig wadd Beth Mascerenhas 

'Of Light and Dark: Two Cultures Collide' 

This show marries Beth's two ethnic backgrounds together, looking at The Mabinogion, while forging connections with Indian traditional tales, myths and legends. Using female characters from both cultures' stories, Beth will look at themes of cruelty and survival  in both.


There will also be time for stories from the floor, so come with a tale or song of your own, or just to listen.  

Bydd amser hefyd ar gyfer straeon gan y gynudlleidfa, felly dewch gyda'ch stori neu gan eich hunain, neu ddim ond i wrando.


Mae'na croeso cynnes i bawb.  There is a warm welcome to all.

 I hope to see you there / Gobeithio'ch gweld chi yno

Swansea Storytelling
Swansea Storytelling - hosted by Carl Gough and David Pitt.
We are currently trying out different venues. For forthcoming dates and further details visit the website
People can also sign up to receive our newsletter through the following link Swansea Storytelling Club
Tenby Storytelling Cafe - First Friday of every month - 8pm  
Venue: Caffe Vista, 3 Crackwell St, Overlooking North Beach, Tenby,SA70 7HA
Next sessions: Friday 3 March.
£4 on the door.  Info:  Tenby Storytelling Cafe page on Facebook or   Please contact Phil through the Storytelling Cafe facebook page if you'd like to book a floor spot.
Advance Notice
Society for Storytelling Annual Gathering
SfS GATHERING in Plymouth 5th - 7th MAY 2017 Facebook: The Society for Storytelling
This year the phoenix rises on the theme CHANGE AND EXPLORATION.
 The Gathering is coming to Plymouth and with the help of a plethora of storytellers and massive support from Plymouth University, it looks like being a FANTASTIC event – one that no-one will want to miss.  This year Devon and Cornwall get to showcase their storytellers.
It kicks off with Devon & Cornwall tellers on Friday night followed by the amazing KlezbiansCornwall’s finest klezmer/gypsy band. Taking this theme to heart there are workshops throughout Saturday and Sunday that stretch storytelling  in all different but delicious byways:
navigating the digital quagmire,
co-telling & collaborations,
moving bodies,
cultural diversity through storytelling,
the music in the words,
using textiles in storytelling
PLUS performances throughout the day and into the evening and opportunities for ‘drop-in’ telling, loads to learn and much to share.
Performances by familiar and less familiar names: Steph Bradley, Katy Cawkwell, Sue Field & Nina Hills, Moe Keast, Mike O' Connor & Barbara Griggs, Lisa Schneidau, Tamar Eluned Williams, Alan Woollard and tellers from the clubs of Devon & Cornwall as well as the students from the first undergraduate degree course in Contemporary Storytelling & Performancebased at the world-famous Eden project in Cornwall. 
Storytelling Workshops led by David Heathfield, Terrie Howey, Sharon Jacksties, Denzil Monk, Mike O'Connor and Barbara Griggs, Lois Taylor, Polly Tisdall to name a few, will open eyes, hearts and bodies to the changing world around us, giving you the chance to explore new ways to tell.
A chance to have your say about the SfS and an opportunity to come and make new contacts and share ideas.
Support the Junior Storytelling competition for Devon & Cornwall on the Sunday by showing the youngsters (7+) that we care about storytelling for the future.  So much so that we will listen and appreciate how difficult it is to get up on the stage and tell a story to an audience for the first time because we have been through it ourselves and love stories and want to encourage new tellers.
With all the workshops now organised, all that the workshop leaders need to know next is how many they have for each workshop, then they can tailor their workshop to you and your needs.  We have a very exciting and diverse range of workshops for you this year and we are hoping that there will be something for some really great story telling performances in the late afternoons and Friday and Saturday evening and time to share ideas.
With so many positive changes in the Sfs you can expect some lively and thrilling things to discuss  ...come and listen, or join in and have your say...
BOOKING   The Booking forms are now on the sfs website   Go to HOME PAGE... Click on The Gathering and a drop down Menu will show You 'Order Tickets'  SPECIAL EARLY BIRD PRICES for members and non members TILL THE END OF MARCH.
The Gathering is at Plymouth University’s iconic Roland Levinsky Building in Plymouth City Centre
Yes, you have to find the cost of travel and accommodation (don’t forget Airbnb as well as Guest Houses, Hotels and caravan sites – all within easy distance of the University) but the biggest yes of all is that for the price of the weekend ticket plus Friday night you get an experience to revel in. 
Information about accommodation will appear on SFS website by 14th February.
Plymouth University have a large database of AirB&B's and  B&B's in and around the City and into the countryside. If you have any immediate concerns over accommodation/travel you cancontactLIZ BERG. Gathering
or PAUL JACKSON on more general matters as SfS Director: email:
East Anglian Storytelling Festival, 30th June – 2nd July
Save the date for this free, accessible, very East Anglian festival full of fun, laughter, and unexpected treasures.  In 2017 it will happen at The Locks Inn, Geldeston. 
Festival at the Edge  28 - 30 July 2017
Please note: new venue this year

Dearnford Lake. Tilstock Road, Whitchurch SY13 3JQ

A packed programme of events tailored for all age groups, over a weekend that is unique in the festival calendar. FatE is the oldest storytelling festival in England and has something for everyone. There is an exciting adult programme, late night stories, a dedicated programme for children, and practical workshops throughout the weekend to help improve your skills.  
Including: story rounds/music jams, story walks, seven covered venues, outside performance areas, CAMRA beer tent, craft stalls, and on-site catering and camping.
Ticket booking form is available on the website - please contact us if you would like a booking form sent to you. Check the website for general festival information, on-line booking and full details of artists appearing.
Other advance news:
Course at the International School of Storytelling
ONLY TWO (2) PLACES LEFT! If this is for you, book NOW!  

7 – 9 April 2017, a weekend course  Starting on Friday at 19.30 and ending on Sunday at 15.30.  Storytelling Hut at Emerson College, Forest Row  “Gifts from our Ancestors: Performing Family Tales” with Stella Kassimati and Pelin Turgut
Tuition Fee: £165
We invite you to join us to work with us on family stories around loss, displacement, exile, and making a new home, with the goal of performing these powerful stories in places where they are most needed. The stories you bring can range from experiences of war, or loss of a homeland, to leaving a village, exile from a community, or children being sent away. All shapes and shades of these experiences are welcome. We anchor and honour them in our humanity today.  
You will need to either be a Gifts grad OR to come with a family story of between 8-10 minutes. We will offer personal coaching and support you in whatever you need for the story to shine. This is a chance to do some intensive, tailored work on your storytelling skills and a safe place to practice the intimacy of sharing personal stories with an audience. Our goal is to create a performance with many tellers that we can take to places and people where it is most needed, whether to refugee groups, divided communities that receive them, or policy makers.  Our hope is to then create a performance with many tellers that we can get funding for and tour to places and people where it is most needed, whether to refugee groups, communities that are receiving them, or policy makers. These stories are a rich source of empathy and strength for us all today. 

To book:

Touring in 2017: Carol Graham writes:

"Watchers of the Skies" is written and performed by storyteller Carol Florence Graham and musician Simon McCorry. It tells the story of Edna Leigh, Carol's American grandmother, who embarked on a dramatic voyage from New York to Liverpool just before the end of World War Two in order to start a new life. Edna lived in the North West for over forty years and during that time she undertook a very different sort of journey - one that led deep into the heart of ancient cultures and to the discovery of an encyclopaedia of astronomy hidden within Homer's epic poems. In 1991 her daughter and son-in-law inherited her papers and eventually published two books verifying the discoveries.  

The piece spirals around Carol’s childhood memories, details of her grandmother’s life in rural Kansas and the discovery of complex star charts and maps - all interwoven with poetry, myth, and references to the work of Homer and Keats. Simon’s accompaniment on the cello draws the audience deeper into this remarkable story that spans generations, continents and thousands of years of poetry and astronomy.

“… I was enchanted and immersed in a journey of the imagination which drew together story, myth, music and the heavens which left me utterly transformed.”  Phillippa Slinger  - Manager Ledbury Poetry Festival

Watchers of the Skies - Tour Dates March 2017

March 2nd  - Hay on Wye       

March 4th - Cheltenham         

March 23rd - Henley on Thames

March 26th - Birmingham        

Storytelling for Health International Conference
Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June 2017 in Swansea, South Wales starting with welcome event Thursday 15th at 7pm

Early bird booking for the Storytelling for Health conference ends on 1st March.  You  can book your early bird ticket online at .  We are really excited about the range of presentations and level of interest and think it is going to be an event that you won’t want to miss. 


We have a really exciting range of speakers lined up with invited papers, presentations and performances from Daniel Morden and the Devil’s Violin (one of the UK’s leading storytelling companies),  Prof Mike Wilson (author of ‘Storytelling and Theatre’), Dr Jac Saorsa (visual artist, writer and researcher ), Baroness Eluned Morgan AM (Assembly Member, and initiator of the Wales Government cross party Group on Arts and Health), and Phil George (chair of Arts Council Wales).  Don’t forget, the call for proposals is still open until Monday 3rd November 2016.  We would be pleased to hear about projects which facilitate communication and build shared language across different cultures (eg: patients and clinicians, artists and commissioners), projects which embed storytelling in training of health professionals, projects which have influenced policy, examples of project evaluations, examples of methodologies or projects which utilise different methodological approaches, case studies from any stage of the life of a project from origination to completion, inter-disciplinary evidence, and explorations of gaps in the existing research.

For more information visit


News from Helen East:

Forget  dark winter, book ahead for a glorious summer storytelling workshop in southern France with well-known " leading light" Helen East.  23-30th Aug 2017. Only 6 places available.

In warm sunshine, by clear morning light or on starry nights, we’ll be in mountain country of stunning variety, from huge open granite slopes to dramatic limestone gorges and magical forests of chestnut, beech and birch. The rivers that start their journey to the ocean here have many guises, cascading over rocks and waterfalls, whispering over a bed of pebbles or winding serenely past intimate wooded beaches and through deep clear pools. Our host, a qualified walking guide, will help plan and lead our walks to seek out stories in this special landscape. You might be drawn to tales of trees, hills, ancient stones, but with all that water to swim, paddle and dream in, Helen will also be offering a particular focus on water spirits of all kinds- from the Arabic S'iluwa to Melusine, to the Blue men of the Minch... and beyond. Musician and drummer Rick Wilson will join our group to help with rhythm and music for an end of workshop public performance (advised but nor compulsory).

You will be staying in a splendid 18th century house in Florac, the little town at the heart of the Cevennes national park.  All prices are based on two sharing in spacious rooms each with ensuite shower room + WC.  Total cost 685 pounds per person for 7 nights, including breakfasts, picnic lunches and 5 evening meals, leaving two evenings free for your choice of the local restaurants. We’ll pick you up from  Nimes airport or railway station on the morning of Aug 23 and return you there on Aug 30.

(Flights not included, but workshop dates are determined by cheapest options on UK flights to Nimes, which are operated by Ryanair from Luton. Other travelling options also available; Nimes is just 3 hours from Paris by high speed train.)

To book your place, contact Helen on

From Settle Stories:

The Storytellers Art    Storytelling Training for Adults
We’re driven to tell stories. But, how do we harness their power to develop engaging performance? 
Across 5 workshops in 2017, we’ll show you how with training from Playful Being, Olivia Armstrong teacher at Central School of Speech & Drama and Sita Brand, Settle Stories Director. The course will give you all the critical skills you need to stand up in front of a crowd and tell a story. With workshops spread out across the year, this course will give you the time to breathe and reflect across the year.
The Storyteller's Art is for people who want to invest in themselves, in the art of storytelling, for those who want to find themselves with the skills to stand up in front of a crowd and tell a story.
Workshop outline:
1: What’s a Story - understanding the principles of good storytelling. 4th Feb
2: A Vocal Toolkit - voice and movement. 1st Apr
3: Find the Story - choosing your material. 3rd Jun
4: Comedy Improv - Improvisation with Playful Being. 2nd Sep
5: Preparing for Performance - getting feedback. 4th Nov 
To view each workshop click on the workshop title above.
£35 per workshop, full course £135 (Save £40) 
Participants on the full course will also be invited to participate in a Settle Stories public performance. 
Full course info and booking via: 

Thanks and, again, welcome.

Martin Manasse.

Society for Storytelling 

If you want information from other regions:

London and South East England: