Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘my father’

Storytelling Starters ~ The Happy Prince …

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

The Happy Prince is the new film by Rupert Everett. It took him ten years to get it off the ground and last night was its opening night. We went to see it at the Curzon cinema in Victoria (small and extremely comfortable). The film deals with the last wretched years of Oscar Wilde’s life after he was released from Reading Gaol where he had been imprisoned for ‘acts of gross indecency’. Since homosexuality was legalised, Oscar Wilde could not have been so cruelly punished.

Some of the most touching scenes in the film are where Oscar Wilde is telling stories to children. Early on, it’s to his own two little boys. Later, it’s to two French boys who spend time around him during his exile. The story he tells them is one of his own, The Happy Prince. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Through the Post

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

The post this week brought unexpected things. First arrived a large envelope from Sweden. This contained four smart-looking booklets – the published list of all nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2014. There are 238 of us from 68 countries. Out of the total – I’ve checked! – only 12 are listed as oral storytellers. Some of the 12 are also described as authors and, in a couple of instances, as reading promoters too. We come from countries as diverse as the British Virgin Islands, Malta, Malaysia and the UK.

The nominees

It’s as exhilarating as it is daunting. The UK nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Award could hardly be a more prestigious bunch. Allan Ahlberg, Quentin Blake, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Michael Foreman, Shirley Hughes, Michael Morpurgo, Jill Paton-Walsh, Terry Pratchett, Michael Rosen, Meg Rosoff. Yet how wonderful it is that it’s possible for oral storytellers to get included alongside such extremely distinguished authors and illustrators. There are two of us in the UK list – Liz Weir who comes from Northern Ireland and myself who comes from Wales. Interestingly, both of us have worked across divides. Liz in Northern Ireland is especially well-known for her work across religious divides. In Wales the divides are perhaps less obvious. Yet, linguistic and cultural, they are both present and very pertinent. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Spider

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

I don’t mind spiders. Some people can’t abide them. One summer in my childhood, I remember my father crushing a Daddy-Long-Legs against the window of the caravan where we were staying. My father used the bread knife. I was upset for the spider and rather appalled by my father. Spiders don’t do any harm – at least not the sort that I know.

But some people are really frightened even when the spiders are small and harmless. You know that North American Indian story – The Man Who Was Afraid Of Nothing?

The Man Who Was Afraid Of Nothing

The man who was afraid of nothing was a terrific hero among his people. One night four ghosts who were sitting together happened to mention this man: ‘He’s not afraid of us, so they say,’ said one.

‘I bet I could scare him,’ said another. A third said, ‘Let’s make a wager. Whichever of us scares him most is the one who wins the wager.’

So the four ghosts set about the challenge. The next moonlit night, the first ghost suddenly materialized in front of the young man and challenged him to a game. ‘If you lose,’ said the ghost, ‘I’ll make you into a skeleton like me.’ (more…)