Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘parents course’

Storytelling Starters ~ Necklace of pearls

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

On Thursday four wonderful stories were told by participants on my Kensington Palace storytelling course for parents. I’ve mentioned some of the stories before. For me, the making of them was one marvellous element of the course. Other elements included my imparting some of the techniques of storytelling with Early Years children, such storytelling essentials as visualization and, of course, aspects of the history and life of Kensington Palace including the 18th century mural by William  Kent and other objects and paintings in the palace which in turn gave rise to our storymaking.

 All the stories we heard on Thursday were made up by the parents working in groups, all revolved around an object real or imagined and what follows is one of the four. It’s a Cinderella-type story and I hope I can do it justice. Its makers said they were willing for me to retell it but the retelling is in my own words.

The necklace of pearls

Once there was a king and a queen who had a son. When the son grew up, his royal parents decided it would be good if he got married. So they announced a great ball to be held at the palace. At the ball, they were thinking, he might meet a suitable bride.

After the ball was announced, there was a great deal of preparing. Extra people were brought to the palace to help – cooks, cleaners, hat-makers, musicians.

One person who was sent to help at the palace was a quiet, shy and good-hearted young girl. The job she was given was to assist with the cleaning. On the morning of the ball, she was sent to clean a particular room in which was a beautiful painting. The painting was of a lovely-looking woman with a little girl beside her who looked as if she was her daughter. Both the woman and the girl in the painting were wearing necklaces made of pearls.

But the painting was very dusty. The cleaning maid took out her duster and carefully started to dust it down. She began at the top – dusting, dusting, dusting – and it was when she came to the face that she experienced a very big surprise. As she dusted the face of the woman, the woman in the painting began to smile. Then as the cleaning maid continued, the woman’s necklace began to glow and slowly, gradually, it came out of the painting and clasped itself round the cleaning girl’s neck.

Just then, a strange creaking noise came from the wardrobe that was the only other thing in the room and when the maid turned round, she saw that the wardrobe’s doors had opened and inside was a most beautiful ball-gown. Then she heard a woman’s voice speaking. It was the woman in the painting. ‘You must put on this dress,’ the woman said, ‘and wear it with the necklace to the ball tonight.’ (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Matters of truth

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

On Thursday this week I was asked a very pertinent question. It referred to the 40 or so people portrayed in William Kent’s mural that winds up the side of the King’s Grand Staircase in Kensington Palace. ‘But these are historical people,’ my questioner said. ‘How can we make up stories about them?’

Storytelling at Kensington Palace

At the time, we were standing at the top of the staircase as a class of schoolchildren rushed noisily down it and I was telling my group of adults something of what is known and not known about the characters in the mural. This was all part of the first of six sessions of a Storytelling course I’ve been employed to lead at the Palace – a course which is in turn part of the considerable Outreach work regularly carried out by the Palace with schoolchildren, parents and others.

The Storytelling course has two aims. One is to get the participants telling stories and learning and enjoying the techniques. On the other side is the challenge to create some new stories suitable for telling to quite young children. The stories to be made up will relate to the Palace and the idea is to take as a starting-point one or other of the characters in William Kent’s mural. All were real historical people in the court of King George I and they include such known persons as Mrs Tempest, Queen Caroline’s milliner, who is shown in the mural in a seductive black hood. Also there are Mustapha and Mohammed, the two Turkish servants who were closest to the king. It was their job to dress him and manage his bedchamber. As such, they were the cause of considerable envy and rumour among other courtiers. (more…)