Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Archive for the ‘Memory walk’ Category

Storytelling Starters ~ Looking up

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

P1070076Here’s a story I remember with laughter and delight every time I think about Laugharne, the place where the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas lived and wrote and also where the novelist and story-writer Richard Hughes had his writing-room high up in the castle walls. This story was created orally by a small group of 11-year old children.

The story:

Merlin was watching over the wall of his castle. Beside him was his favourite seagull. As he looked down, Merlin saw a family of parents and children, obviously tourists, walking along the foreshore of the estuary below. All were munching – crisps from crisp bags, chocolate from wrappers. Then as they passed, one by one they dropped their plastic wrappers onto the ground. Merlin was horrified. When the family had gone by, he sent his favourite seagull down onto the shore to bring him something else that was messing it up. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ The Crucible of Story

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

P1070464A castle, wherever it is, is a story in itself. When was it created? Why? By whom? Inevitably the story continues to the people who have lived there, the conflicts they may have provoked or suffered, the enmities and love affairs its silent walls may have witnessed. And so it goes on, suffering ravages of time and weather as decisions are made to extend, rebuild, refurbish or abandon until eventually, it reaches today and the people who decide to go and see it in its old age and those who have become its carers now.

Carew Castle

Carew Castle is a staggeringly beautiful creation. It has existed in one form or another since 1100 or shortly thereafter…., first as some kind of stone tower with wooden palisades, in Tudor times taking on aspects of a mansion, today almost completely floorless except for a couple of large rooms. Several of the participants who attended the storytelling training day I ran there on Thursday for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are people who do guided tours around it. What a huge story it provides for them to tell! Architectural, archaeological, historical, social, Welsh, English, the story has so many aspects, including what visitors add. I loved what one young woman said to me about it as our training day concluded and we were walking away. ‘It’s a crucible we have here,’ she said. ‘Every day it’s different, always transforming. Whatever you put in, there’s always more. It’s always changing.’

On reflection, I think these could be very good words for describing stories and storytelling. Whatever you put into the crucible, it’s always changing, it’s never full, and for that reason it’s life-enhancing. It  leaves you with new perspectives and new questions. (more…)