Video: Janko’s Dog

The second video from ‘A Great British Evening’: the story of Janko’s dog. This is a story about the Roma people in the UK. I really wanted to include a story about the Roma because their culture tends to be ignored, and is almost invisible in a lot of places, and they still face a great deal of prejudice today, even though they are in theory protected by the law now.

The story is made up of themes from several original Roma stories. At fifteen minutes I thought it may be a bit long, but the action comes pretty quickly and audiences seem to like it.

Any thoughts welcome. Having watched both videos several times while I edited and posted them, I’ve decided I really need to leave the waistcoat open in future.


Video: Thor’s Wedding

A presentation of the Nordic Legend of “Thors’ Wedding” where Thor pretends to be the goddess Freya to get his hammer back from Thrym the giant. The story was part of “A Great British Evening”, an evening of stories and history from Great Britain from the time of the Romans to the beginning of the modern era.

This is the ‘short’ version of the story: if circumstances are different it can easily be twice as long. I also didn’t use many of the names in the original legend, such as Thor’s hammer, Miölnir, or Asgard, the home of the gods, because I thought it would be confusing for my German-speaking listeners to be confronted with lots of unfamiliar. non-English words. I also refer to Thrym as the ‘King’ of the giants. I’m not sure where I got that from as he is simply the ‘Stupidest’ in the original story.  I’ll get it right next time.

I’m grateful to Dave Thirlwall, who I first saw performing “Thor’s Wedding”  for permission to adapt and use his version of the story, and for showing me the potential of storytelling. Dave is the site manager for the Yorkshire Museum of Farming and Danelaw Living History outside York, UK.

First Step

2015-04-19_029 So, people turned up to “A Great British Evening”, didn’t run away during the interval, and made positive comments. Some of the students even came twice. We also had a healthy amount in the tips jar, which is encouraging as people tend to be honest with their wallet and pay what they think their evening was worth.

The evenings went well too. We had a great time together and people seemed to appreciate the mix of stories and history, the humour, and appeal at the end that we be open to “immigrants” because it is the waves of immigration over the centuries that made our countries what they are.

Several people suggested I work on a ‘sequel’, possibly based around the time of the industrial revolution in Britain, I like the idea, but I think I’ll work on improving “Great British Evening” first: I’ve got lots of time for at least one more story in the first half.

I’ve also got a couple of videos from the performance and when I’ve fought YouTube into submission, I’ll start putting them up here: within the week you should see these appearing on the site and get a much better idea of what a storytelling evening looks and sounds like.

Assuming I can persuade the computer to work, at any rate…