Celebrate National Storytelling Week – 29 January – 4 February 2022

Celebrate National Storytelling Week – 29 January – 4 February 2022

Celebrate National Storytelling Week - 29 January - 4 February 2022 3

National Storytelling Week celebrates the wonder of stories.  It is the week where children and adults come together and enjoy the magic of storytelling in schools, museums and care homes around the United Kingdom. Here is a round up what it happening in our Museums around the country to help celebrate the week.

Myths and Monsters at Victoria Art Gallery, Bath

Monsters are taking over the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath this winter!
Myths and Monsters, a follow-up to 2017’s blockbuster Here be Dragons exhibition, which broke attendance records at the Gallery, will open on 27 November 2021 and run until 27 February 2022. The colourful celebration of children’s book illustration will appeal to children of all ages, from pre-schoolers to young adults. Visitors will meet a motley crew of characters, from the Gruffalo to the Iron Man, fearsome dragons to the Little Ogre, and even monsters in underpants! They will also come face-to-face with several larger-than-life 3D exhibits.
Star contributors include:
• Axel Scheffler – The Gruffalo and other Julia Donaldson books
• Michael Foreman – War Boy, Stubby and The Littlest Dinosaur
• Cressida Cowell – How to Train Your Dragon
• Victoria Topping – Mythologica: An encyclopedia of gods, monsters and mortals from ancient Greece
• Chris Mould – The Iron Man
Exhibition organiser Gill McLay, from Events of Wonder, said: “We are so delighted to be working with the team at Victoria Art Gallery. After the success of Here be Dragons we are excited to launch Myths and Monsters this November. With over 20 of the biggest names in book illustration it’s both a joy and a privilege to bring the art of everyone’s favourite books to the city. Creating a family friendly space for children to discover art and the magic of a gallery is very close to our heart. We can’t wait for the doors to open and to see everyone there…”
Alongside the exhibition, there will be a chance for young visitors to get involved by making their own ‘monster in a jar’, which will be displayed as part of the show.
There will be a cosy reading corner where visitors can peruse books by many of the artists and authors represented in the exhibition.
Look out, some monsters have escaped into the city! In addition to the exhibition, visitors will be invited to search for monsters on a free immersive trail around Bath.
Find the Myths and Monsters posters around the city centre and point your phone at them to reveal a variety of monsters. The city trail has been developed by Dr Matthew Freeman of Immersive Promotion, based at Bath Spa University. For advance tickets please visit www.victoriagal.org.uk.
Last year the Minack Theatre created a brand-new stage adaptation of David Melling’s delightful Knightly Tales. The Little Prince’s goodnight kiss has escaped into the forest and the brave and fearless knight is sent to bring it back… But is he brave and fearless enough? This enchanting bedtime story is a favourite with children everywhere. Look out for The Kiss that Missed, touring schools and community venues in Cornwall this Spring.

Llancaiach Fawr Manor, South Wales

According to the Living History Academy, “First-person interpretation is the act of performing a person from the past. The interpreter is in historic costume and speaks as if he or she lived in the past. According to the ALHFAM, the interpreter employs “a combination of techniques including storytelling, demonstration, question and answer, and discussion.”
The goal of historical interpretation is to educate the visitor about a certain time period and its people in ways that can’t be achieved through books or traditional static museum displays. It is truly immersive history, telling a story by transporting a visitor directly back to the time period in question, which in our case at Llancaiach Fawr Manor is the Seventeen Century.

Most people come to a living history museum to be entertained and/or to entertain their children in an educational context. They come to see the milkmaid, to make candles or see the costumes of the re-enactors. They want to hear musket fire, see historic activities or make butter in an authentic butter churn. The public comes to these sites expecting to learn about the lives of the people that lived hundreds of years ago and hear their stories, whilst being immersed in the political and social issues of the day. These are all things that a good living history museum can and does provide.  Therefore, the single most important technique for changing history into a storytelling experience is to focus on the people whose lives are being portrayed and this is exactly what first person interpretation does by creating intimate encounters with historical characters thus giving visitors the opportunity to become part of the story they are being told. It does this by focusing on the visitors and being rooted in authentic first-hand experience of a place.

At Llancaiach Fawr, storytelling has become a fine art, no imagination is needed as the sights, sounds and smells of 1645 are brought to life in a form tailored to the individual. Our First-person interpretation gives visitors an experience they can get nowhere else – that of “stepping back in time” and “talking” with people who might have actually lived here in the turbulent Civil War period.

As a form of storytelling then, first person Interpretation in an historical setting, provides first-hand experience of a place in time. It should be engaging, entertaining and accessible giving visitors the opportunity to become part of the stories and traditions it narrates. Done right, it creates powerful encounters, leaves memories that last a lifetime and helps us understand who we are and the events that have shaped our lives.

Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Last year the Minack Theatre created a brand-new stage adaptation of David Melling’s delightful Knightly Tales. The Little Prince’s goodnight kiss has escaped into the forest and the brave and fearless knight is sent to bring it back… But is he brave and fearless enough? This enchanting bedtime story is a favourite with children everywhere. Look out for The Kiss that Missed, touring schools and community venues in Cornwall this Spring.

The National Centre for Children’s Books, Seven Stories Newcastle

Seven Stories is the only place in Britain dedicated to celebrating, sharing and protecting our rich literary heritage for children. Their collection includes work by over 250 authors and illustrators including Enid Blyton, Philip Pullman, Robert Westall and Judith Kerr. They are open to the public, school visits and corporate hire and  also host events and workshops for children – and their grown-ups! We have a specialist children’s bookshop and two cafes perfect for feeding the family, meeting friends or a change of scenery from your home desk.  Their learning team also offers extensive online, schools and community programming – find out more in our Learning section.

Did you know?
One of the great features about storytelling in the UK is the variety of clubs. They vary from story rounds where anyone can come to tell a short story (or some come just to listen), to clubs where you listen one storyteller for the whole evening as they tell an epic tale. The hardest part is often finding your nearest club and finding out what is on. Below is a list of clubs that the Society knows about. If you know of another club, please let us know.Clubs do sometimes change their details, so if you are travelling some distance to a club it is worthwhile checking the events list, or contacting the club organisers to double check that it is meeting. For more information on Storytelling Clubs please see The Society for Storytelling

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