The Storytelling Choir
"There are almost no words for how marvellous the evening was."
"we were transfixed and enchanted"
The storytelling choir is a collective of Sussex-based storytellers who work together to reforge our well known tales by exploring their multiple history and forgotten complexity. Our first performance was of the wild varieties of Beauty and the Beast at the ONCA gallery in October 2019, and was described as "a night of true enchantment" and "a weird, wonderful weaving of stories to forge tales new and essential for our times."
On 15th January we premiered our new performance of Sleeping Beauties with Strange Times storytelling club. All donations went to The Survivor's Network - a Sussex based charity supporting survivors of sexual violence. We are performing again with Brighton Fringe from 28th May - 27th June.
As teller Nana Tomova puts it, "these stories are difficult and mysterious. They are filled with gifts, complexity, wisdom, courage and beauty." They are tales of rage and passion, of power and change, and, above all, they are stories that can wake us up to the necessity of our dreaming.
"What an absolutely gorgeous experience it was. I loved every minute of it."
Joanna is a Sussex based storyteller and writer with a PhD in fairy tales and ecology from the University of Chichester. She has been telling stories for ten years, and currently works as a community storyteller, building projects for families and young people that strengthen communities via stories. She is passionate about inspiring young – and old – to discover the infinite wonder of the ordinary world. She is the editor of The World Treasury of Fairy Tales and Folklore (Wellfleet Press, 2016) and the founder of the Storytelling Choir.
Nana Tomova is a storyteller based in Sussex. She enjoys telling stories from around the world, and most of all she loves to tell stories about nature, transformational tales about strong women, and Bulgarian and Slavic Stories.
Nana’s background is in mental health where she worked as a pharmacist for a decade, and this inspired her to create the Story Apothecary podcast where she dispenses medicinal stories for the whole world.
Sophie's career spans theatre making for empowerment, conflict resolution, alternatives to violence and trauma responsive services in the women’s sector. The connecting thread is her belief that we are all of equal value and that personal, cultural and collective change is possible. The life blood underpinning her work is the foundational power of story.
Fleur Shorthouse Hemmings
Fleur is a Brighton-based traditional storyteller and philosophy teacher. She runs Lunarsea Storytelling with Xanthe Gresham and the Dusty Bluebells project with Tina Warnock, connecting older people and young children through traditional stories, songs and musical improvisation. She also Brighton's first Sauna Storyteller, a project she is building with Beach Box Sauna Brighton.
By day, Marina Evans is a herbalist, teacher, forest school leader based in Worthing. By evening, she brews potions, play games and tells a foraged basket of traditional stories.
The storytelling choir focuses on the relationship between wonder and reality. From a social perspective, we explore the history, complexities and possibilities these stories hold around issues of politics, relationships, love, passion and transformation. From an ecological perspective, we explore the wildness embedded with the history of the story; the intrinsic, intimate relationships to land, plants and more-than-human creatures that the story holds.