Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Tales from the Shepherd’s Hut’

Storytelling Starters ~ Baa-aaa

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

P1060973A bit of patter is part of the art. It may be only to say where a story comes from, where and from whom you heard it. Or it may be something about the weather, the event or the audience you’re addressing. It may be some introductory narrative that includes something about being a storyteller (after all, lots of people still don’t know what to expect) or you may have a joke that puts people at their ease. Whatever it is, it’s all part of creating a receptive atmosphere.

Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia:

This week, I participated in the Fitzrovia Festival, an annual week of events that take place in the area round London’s Fitzroy Square. This year’s festival has been dedicated to Dylan Thomas. I did two sessions of Dylan Thomas readings and, among other things, my patter for my second session included a delightful (and true) little story I once heard from one of the people involved. This was an English lecturer on a visit to South Wales to see her daughter and her daughter’s two little children. An excursion to Laugharne had been planned so as to visit The Boathouse where Dylan Thomas lived and the shed where he worked. The children had heard a lot about this proposed excursion and on the way in the car, one of them piped up from the back, ‘Mum, will we see see Dill and Thomas?’

For my first session, which I knew in advance would be for young children, one piece of patter that came in handy was what I’d discovered a few days previously when making decisions about what poems and prose-readings I’d offer. Two possible poem options – Poem in October and Poem On His Birthday sent me scurrying to look up when Dylan Thomas was born. A hundred years ago, yes. But when exactly? The answer was 22nd October – the very day of my readings.

Preparing for the 6-year olds:  (more…)