2019 in photos, some strange commissions -and very special thanks!

review of 2016

review of 2017

review of 2018

When people ask me what my job involves, I often struggle to explain it! Hopefully this post will give an idea of what we do.

I couldn’t do all this without my collaborator; ridiculously-talented, wildly-knowledgeable musician and storyteller George Hoyle!

1) Strange Commissions.

(Pics below.) Huge thank you to Mendy Korer, Georgie White, London Hat Week, Rebecca Campbell-Gay, Danielle Gilbert, Hazel Vernon and Avni Patel.

  • Science fiction Chanukah Story set in the future (with actions)- to be told to hundreds of people outside in the dark
  • True-life tale ‘which sums up Walthamstow’ to be told in a stairwell to a maximum of ten adults at a time
  • scary story for adults about hatpins, set in Bermondsey (for a milliners convention)
  • A story for under-fives about “how humans started to use writing” – incorporating sounds from the British Library Sound Archives.
  • The Courtoy Tomb- a macabre and bizarre tale set in a graveyard about time, space and ancient gods -to be adapted for a family audience!
  • A new and true Great Fire of London Story -with a female protagonist- to be told via music, smell, taste and touch (for all ages and abilities).

2) Writing

I was invited to write various articles and posts about storytelling including this for Time Out and this guide for storytellers about We’re Going on A Bear Hunt. Thanks Kate McCabe and Jo Humphrey-Davies

3) London Dreamtime

Our flagship monthly night for adults. 2019 was our most popular year ever! As always I am incredibly grateful to the audience members who bring their love and sense of fun (as well as blankets, candles, food and fairy lights) they basically “make” the experience. I’d also like to send love and thanks the people who offered venues and who collaborated with us… storytellers Bernadette Russell and Olivia Armstrong, London Month of the Dead, Library London, the volunteers from Glengall Garden, Charlotte Villiers and Sam and Andy from Lady Daphne. Below shows the audience for Scared to Death in October.

magical “late” in Leighton House (pic Melinda Haunton)

The Yellow Marble by a derelict house Peckham (Pic Bernadette Russell)

4) Children’s Books

We are honoured to have worked with four children’s publishers this year and we love them all to bits: Usborne, Walker, Harper Collins and Andersen Press. We spent 2019 with our literary heroes including

the Thats Not My series!

5) Curating

We created two mini storytelling festivals for families this summer and the second of our hugely popular “story night” series featuring five amazing tellers. Big thanks to Emily Hanna, Jum Faruq, Jumana Moon, Alim Kamera (pic), Alys Torrance, Grethe Jenssen, Imo Lee and Deqa Abdi- and to Russell Dryden and Elaine Walters for making it all happen.

and the magical audience for our Story Night run with Southwark Libraries.

Other highlights were getting to judge a brilliant inter-school storytelling competition (thanks Ghislaine Walker!)

Closing the Imagine Festival at Southbank Centre

our clients this year included the V&A, the London Eye, the British Library, the Royal Parks, the Nest Collective, the Museum of London, the National Literacy Trust, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Leighton House Museum, Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Barbican Centre.

I told stories about a ton of subjects including invertebrates, icelandic draugs, golems, rivers of pus, skinned bears, aggressive shoe-makers, time traveling tombs, patchwork elephants and dreams that come true.

We visited absolutely loads of schools and festivals. I was part of the “Wanderers Social” created by Saira Naizi, I told The Snow Queen for an adults birthday party in Hackney, was part of Time Out’s series of amazing events in the high tech Samsung KX store. Here I am as Mary Poppins for Chaika Events!

getting up to strange things in graveyards…

and much much more!

In 2020 I hope to run more story-circles and will try to promote other tellers even more. I hope to have a few more strange and wonderful commissions to add to the list.  But more than anything  I hope to continue to enjoy the amazing privilege of my job- to share the magic of stories with audiences of all kinds.