Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Oracy Project’

Storytelling Starters ~ Out of currency?

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

 A surprise arrived in the post this week. The message inside said, ‘This is your Christmas card, Mary.’ But what was inside was not a card. It was a book written by one of the people who has most inspired my storytelling life  – Betty Rosen. Her book contains a fine selection of her poems and prose pieces. Its intriguing title is I Have a Threepenny Bit and Some Other Things.

Betty was the wife of Harold Rosen. They both came into my life during the early days of what can now be described with capital letters as The Storytelling Revival. Under the leadership of an excellent local authority English adviser by the name of Alastair West, the Borough of Redbridge had become a pilot authority for the Oracy Project. The Oracy Project was about the development of spoken English across all ages of children in education in the UK. Betty and Harold were often called upon to introduce people to what it was all about not only in Redbridge but up and down the land. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Where are we?

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

At the end of this week, an old Afrikaans saying came back to my mind. The exact wording eludes me but it goes something like this: We may think we know where we are but all the time we are being carried like great clouds across the sky.

The saying was a favourite of my wise friend, Lynne, poet and publisher and mother of two of my god-children, who died very much too young. Why I remembered it now was the work I’ve had to do on behalf of my Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nomination. The nomination is being made by the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling. To help, I’ve needed to provide lists of my work over the 30 years of my storytelling. Performances, workshops, courses, special projects, residencies, work in schools, talks, articles, publications – making the lists has been momentous for me, a real walk down memory lane. Yet how else is it possible to demonstrate the work across time of an oral storyteller, especially when, for most of that time, we didn’t have video recordings?

How to measure storytelling

In a very significant sense, the work of the oral storyteller mostly goes into the air (and, hopefully, the hearts and minds of those who listen). How can its results be measured? Its comparative invisibility creates many problems, especially in regard to what happens in education. Especially after the lovely long comment that arrived this week from Hilary Minns of Warwick University, I’ve been thinking about the problems all over again. (more…)