Storytelling and Barbecues…

On Saturday I had the last of the two storytelling evenings for “The (nearly) complete history of the Industrial Revolution”. Unfortunately (for me) it was a Saturday evening with perfect barbecue weather and most people very sensibly decided to go and enjoy themselves outside. Still, I had a few people there and they were most appreciative. I will hopefully be able to post videos and photos soon, as kind people made both for me.

So… thoughts on how this went. It was a deliberate change from the last evening which was based on folk tales: it took a lot longer to prepare, and while I enjoyed doing this, I think that both me and the audiences enjoyed the folk tales more.

In the other hand, I felt that the mix of prepared drawings and drawing as I spoke drawing as I spoke worked pretty well. Most feedback on that was positive as well…

One thing I noticed is that there wasn’t such a clear beginning and end to the stories as there would have been to a set of folk tales and this meant the audiences didn’t have a handle to tell where they were. I also felt that I couldn’t relax like I did with the fictional folk stories. I think that may have been because they were ‘true’ stories, so I felt I couldn’t exaggerate or increase things for comic effect. Certainly in the second evening I was more relaxed when I was speaking about the final inventor, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose stories were probably the funniest and most outrageous.

At the moment, I think I think I’ll keep the set in my story folder but probably concentrate more on folk tales and traditional stories in future. What do you think? Please let me know either in the comments or the contact form, in English or in German…

I also think that next summer the storytelling should be with a barbecue…

Scribble pictures

Ind.Rev.jpgPresentation number one for ‘The (nearly) complete history of the Industrial Revolution‘ came and went on Saturday. As you can see, there were pictures. I have enough to think about without a computer deciding not to work, so I don’t trust technology more complex than a big piece of paper and a pen.

Besides, the fun of Storytelling is that it is live and small scale. The sketches get us past the potentially boring technical bits so we can have more time for the fun stuff.

One piece of feedback is that the sketches could be more cartoonish, so we can get away from the feeling of ‘lecture’, which I can understand. I set up a cartoony style with the dates (which I prepared beforehand) so I’ll think about that more for next time.

There will be another presentation this weekend, Saturday the 11th of July, same place and on a donation basis.

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.


Here we go again…

2015-04-19_027So a ‘Great British Evening’ went really well. Many thanks again to those who came, gave feedback, and and joined the email list. It is really encouraging to have you aboard.

Now I’m working on the next step: another two evenings in the same place -the Evangelische Jugendhaus in Pfarrtrasse 4, Ostfildern Kemnat. on Saturday the 4th and Saturday the 11th of July. Please book one of the dates, and for those who came before, please bring a(nother) friend this time.

I’ll start planning the evening in a week or so, and I’ll be asking for opinions about the content: there may be voting. so please come over then, and let me know what you think.

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…

‘A Great British Evening’ April the 18th and 25th

GBE_Postcard_front_mergedI’ll be performing my storytelling presentation ‘A Great British Evening‘ in the Evangelische Jugendhaus in Pfarrstrasse 2, 73760 Ostfildern-Kemnat on Saturday the 18th (NOT the 19th as in the Stadtrundshau…) and 25th of April, starting at 1930.

The evening is a journey from south to north of Britain, and from early history to the beginning of the modern age. We’ll start with the beginning of London, and how it nearly didn’t last much longer, then move on to 1066, when the Normans came along and stole the more accesible parts of the country from some people who had stolen it off some other people a few centuries earlier. We find out why we have Viking names for the days of the week, what really happened to King Arthur, sort of, and why you really, really need to read the small print sometimes. After this, we have a story from the Roma people, avoid meeting Scotlands Loch Ness Monster, find out what qualifications you need to be the king or queen of Britain and end with the question, “so who are the British people anyway?”

The venue is easy to get to using public transport: the “Kemnat Altes Rathaus” stop is a few steps away, and you can find it on the VVS/public transport online journey planner for Stuttgart, and if you are really lucky, there may even be cake…