Sunday, 7 February 2010

Spring buds

Our first booking this morning! In the shivery, dull, February mist someone has seen the gleam of the summer bank holiday and booked for the whole family! Actually a few have booked unofficially, but this came just after the website went live, so it sent a ray of sunshine into the office.

Another spring bud has sprung: we are confirmed for a pre-Festival performance of storytelling at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Exeter on Thursday 26th August at 7.30pm just to whet the appetite for the feast of storytelling at the weekend. Performers to be announced soon. Plus we hope to have some free performances in libraries and parks in Exeter and Teignbridge in the run up to the Festival – so watch out for those if you're local.

The Festival Programme is coming to life in rainbow colours. Look out for a complete draft on the website (if it will fit!) - in the next couple of weeks and don't miss out on the 10% discount for tickets booked in February, March and April. Call Clare on 01647 252983 or e-mail her:

The leaflets advertising the Festival will be out this month, too. Powerful images of storytelling at its best, including performers from the 2008 festival: Robert Bly, Ben Haggerty, Daniel Deardorff. 2010 performers Jan Blake, Cat Weatherill and Hugh Lupton are there too. If you have any thoughts about places where it would be good to put some leaflets contact

For those who have any doubts as to the relevance of the unique, ancient and potent art of storytelling, follow this link to Hugh Lupton's website and read some of the reviews of his performances. Here's my favourite: “I went to the Barbican the other day to listen to two of Britain’s finest storytellers – Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden – recounting the Iliad, the tale of that great quarrel from which all western literature springs. The seats were uncomfortable… but the hours flew by. These two men had to do no more than tap into the ancient power of the spoken word to hold an entire audience in their thrall. A veil of typescript fell from my eyes. I saw Helen in all her intoxicating beauty standing amid the bloody chunks of a slaughtered stallion. I saw Achilles aglitter in gold armour before his black ranks of Myrmidons. I saw banquets and voyages, armies and oceans, battling heroes and ravening gods – all conjured out of thin air by a voice. Film is often thought to be a threat to literature. But the images that billowed and faded in that darkened auditorium were quite different from those that unspool across a screen. I could put my hands in front of my face and the pictures would not vanish. They were inside me. They belonged to me. They were part of the history of the whole of human life.” Rachel Campbell Johnson, The Times, March 2005.

And here's one more: “For me the climax was Hugh Lupton’s masterly rendering of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’, in which he seemed to become possessed by the story. It was more intonation than recitation and swept away all bad memories of A level set texts.”
The Times Educational Supplement

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