Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘truth’

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…)