Storyteller Directory Entry

Dave Tonge

Dave Tonge is both an author and storyteller, he published his first book, Tudor Tales for the History Press in 2015. He has been telling tales since 1999, both as one half of Past -Imagined and now as the Yarnsmith of Norwich. He travels all over the UK telling stories at storytelling clubs, museums, heritage sites, fairs, festivals and in schools. He is always happy to travel anywhere, however far.

Dave specialises in tales from from Saxon and Viking through to Tudor and Jacobean times, although he will be the first to tell you that we storytellers grow new corn from old fields and that many of the tales we now claim for our own were brought over by sailors, soldiers and merchants from far away lands, long ago! Dave sometimes adopts different historical costume for the different times in which his tales are set and can tell from a medieval style tent which includes seating and authentic objects and curios from times past. His other interest is history which he studied to MA level and he often adapts his tales to be site specific, including historical events and people - not just Kings and Queens, but the underbelly; the every day people much like himself!

A typical session with Dave the Yarnsmith includes comic tales and riddles, for above all his sessions are meant to be interactive, with stories being shared rather than just performed. That said, he does offer themed performances for adults and older children. These include adaptations from Chaucer and Bocacio, also Tudor Tales and other medieval inspired sets such as the ups and downs of riding upon Dame Fortunes Wheel and the Three Estates. Full details of all his peformances can be found on his website: http://www.theyarnsmithofnorwich.com/Welcome.html

Dave has performed at venues and festivals all over the UK from the British Museum and the Ashmolean to Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust and Hampton Court Palace. He has also told at many a  storytelling club and festival from Taffy Thomas's Tales in Trust at Halsway Manor to Settle storytelling Festival as well as for both the National Trust and English Heritage, telling at events and as part of EH Discovery Visits for schools.

His schools programme is designed with history in mind and his stories range from Saxon and Viking myths and legends to tales about the medieval church and court to Tudor rich and poor. He has also deveoped a stone age set - a collection of hunter-gatherer tales based upon a session he put together for the Suffolk Library Service in 2016, entitled, Legends From a Long Forgotten Land - a celebration of the now lost area called Doggerland, that once joined the UK to mainland Europe. To see how his schools sessions fit in with the curriculum simply go to Dave’s schools page on his website linked above.

And so come one, come all, old and young, rich and poor, for all are welcome in the Yarnsmith's storytelling tent!

To find out more about Dave Tonge, his stories and book, go to his website linked above or vist his facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/dave.tonge.3 and https://www.facebook.com/The-Yarnsmith-of-Norwich-Storyteller-259312640752292/

And finally some reviews:

The Yarnsmith of Norwich is every inch a mesmeric character, from the tip of his expressive finger-tips to the tilt of tall hat his stage persona grabs the audience’s attention. The stories themselves are irreverent and full of cunning, revel in life and are told with great flair and a real twinkle in the eye. He tells at times with an hypnotic quality, magically drawing you deeper into the tale. Settle Storytelling Festival 2016

Dave Tonge from Norwich held the audience in the palm of his hand, engaging with us in a very special way, drawing us into his world of folk from a bygone age which we truly believe in and enthralled us with their wily ways!  After Dark Tales - The Tom Thumb Theatre, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed your tales last Tuesday at Cath and Ana’s Stafford Knot Storytelling session. Lyn and I have been going to the monthly events in Stafford for over a year now and your storytelling skills stand out among many very good ones for more than the others you share the stories rather than just tell them. You are also prepared to take risks by asking your audience questions and having to improvise answers. An excellent evening. Thank you, again. Stafford Knott Storytelling Club 2016

Home Region: Norfolk
Submitted by Dave Tonge | Last updated on 03/01/2017