Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘magic’

Storytelling Starters ~ Catch the magic

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

P1070369In Pembrokeshire (again), I’m starting to prepare some workshops for Pembrokeshire National Parks. They’ll be training sessions for wardens, rangers and volunteers. But more of that anon. This week’s unmissable experience was another kind of storytelling – an art installation in Narberth.

Place of magic

Narberth – or Arberth in Welsh – is a crucial place in the Mabinogion, the epic cycle of medieval Welsh stories.  It’s where the stories and their magic begin. Today, Narberth is a dynamic little town where many varied artistic events take place – including oral storytelling. But the installation I went to see is an unique work of storytelling of another kind –  in painting, carving, words, animation and film.


Sarah and Tim Williams are the makers. Sarah is becoming well-known throughout Wales as an artist. I’ve known her since she was born and value her work very highly. Tim is an enormously skilled craftsman in wood and also a musician. Tim and Sarah got married a few years ago and Tim recently persuaded Sarah to sing with him on one of his albums, thus revealing that she also has a fine voice.

Together, Sarah and Tim have created an extraordinary, gallery-filling piece about their Pembrokeshire world. Sarah’s place of upbringing is in the north of the county, Tim’s in the south. Their new work brings both parts together in a circular installation which you enter to view. (Tim used a portable swimming pool as its basis).

The installation (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ A garden of stories

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

This week I’ve been preparing for a Storytelling evening I’ll be giving in Llangollen on 10th October.  The event is for the Story Circle regularly organised there by storyteller Fiona Collins . My preparations for it feel a bit like the gardening I’ve also been doing in my garden this week. A garden takes time and effort to make and time and effort to maintain. When it’s going right, it gives great pleasure.

From the Land of the Magic

Rebecca's roseMy Llangollen programme is a new one – From the Land of the Magic. The title comes from the Welsh, gwlad yr hud, which is a phrase that has been applied to Penfro, Pembrokeshire, the part of Wales I come from. The light there really is magic. It’s no surprise to me that so many Pembrokeshire stories reflect its enchanting effects.  

My stories for Llangollen will include some smaller ones I’ve often told before as well as one big one I’ve told before but not often, namely the story of Manawyddan which comprises the Third Branch of the early Welsh cycle of  stories, the Mabinogion. I feel this ancient story is extremely relevant to our world today dealing as it does with how to bring a halt to the incessant taking of vengeance.

As for the work of preparing my overall programme, I’ve adopted my normal technique – Mind-Mapping.  Mind-Maps are what work for me. They prompt  me to remember what stories I know, bring them into  fresh focus and enable me to create new programmes and themes. So, how to do it?

Making a Mind-Map (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Stories for Younger Children – No. 1

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The Elves and the Shoemaker

My choice as the first story in this series is one you probably know – The Elves and the Shoemaker. To illustrate it and the points that come after, I’ve selected some random pictures of shoes from my photo archive along with a couple I’ve taken this week.

Here’s the story: 

A poor shoemaker was down on his luck. He had only enough leather left in his workshop to make one final pair of shoes. He didn’t know how he and his wife would survive after that. But before going to bed, he cut out the leather thinking he would sew that last pair of shoes in the morning.

That night, while the shoemaker and his wife were in bed, two naked elves came to the shoemaker’s workshop and sewed and finished the pair of shoes.

In the morning, the shoemaker was almost speechless. WHO could POSSIBLY have made the shoes? And they were SO beautifully made, not a stitch was out of place. When a customer came into his shop that morning, he definitely wanted those shoes – and paid a lot of money for them. So now the shoemaker had enough money to buy leather for TWO pairs of shoes. (more…)