The Storytelling Choir

"Transfixed and enchanted"

 

 

The storytelling choir is a collective of UK-based storytellers working together to reforge our well known tales by exploring their multiple history and forgotten complexity. 

We have just completed our Rewilding Cinderella project, which was described as "incredibly rich, diverse, inspiring and thought-provoking", "simply beautiful and performed by riveting storytellers." You can view the video of the performances here, and the symposium with the George Ewart Evans storytelling centre here

Previous performances include Sleeping Beauty and Beauty & The Beast, to find out more see our past shows.

Our shows develop by exploring the relationship between wonder and reality - delving into social history, politics, relationships, love, passion and transformation to find the complexities and the possibilities buried within the many versions of well known tales.

Our ecological impulse is to play with the wildness embedded in the tale- to find the intrinsic, intimate relationships to land, plants and more-than-human creatures that inhabit the realm of story and folklore.

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The Choir

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Joanna Gilar

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.

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Nana Tomova

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.

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Wendy Shearer

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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.

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Marina Evans

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.

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Kestrel Morton

Kestrel Morton is a queer, non-binary storyteller currently living in South Wales. Telling often in forests, caves, abandoned buildings and quarries - Kestrel's voice carries with it the echoes of the wild edges where the mythic  otherworld overlaps with this one.

Their work revolves around reimagining old stories and creating new ones to fit the strange present and uncertain future that faces us. Their most recent show Binderella was brought to stage through a mentorship with acclaimed storyteller Daniel Morden and Beyond the Border Festival.

Wendy Shearer is a London based storyteller who brings stories to life from her Afro-Caribbean heritage. She tells tales of wily tricksters, magical spirits, and vengeful shapeshifters at schools and institutions across the arts including The British Museum, Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts and The V&A.

Wendy is the author of ‘African and Caribbean Folktales, Myths and Legends’ and  ‘Caribbean Folktales: stories from the islands and the Windrush Generation will be published by The History Press. 

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Sophie Gibson

Sophie is a singer, storyteller, writer  and facilitator. She was raised in a family where books and stories were her life blood. Her career spans theatre making for empowerment; transforming violence and leading trauma responsive services. She is fascinated by contemporary resonances in traditional tales

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Gauri Raje

Gauri Raje is a storyteller and anthropologist based in Scotland and India. She works with different genres: folk tales, fairy tales, epics and myths, mainly from non-European regions, and autobiographical storytelling. She is fascinated by myths and their power to hold community memories, and has been increasingly working with the ways in which stories allow migrants to create a relationship with the land they settle in.

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Laura Sampson

Laura Sampson is a London-based performance storyteller and writer whose studies in Japanese Noh and Old Norse sagas have led her on many adventures. She tells stories about big emotions and surreal situations from all over the world.

As a storyteller, Laura has worked with organisations including StoryJam, Crick Crack Club, British Library, Polka Theatre, and Secret City Arts. Recent projects include HIDE (Vault/Theatre Deli), and The New Mirror (Bloomsbury Festival).

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Tunde Balogun

T. Balogun is a South London based poet, passionate about inclusivity, diversity, positivity, sup-porting youth development, women’s rights, sport & her local community. ‘Blouse an’ skirt, babe!!!’ is Tunde’s debut book, written during Lockdown 2020 and self-published in March 2021. The book includes poems that feature themes such as equality, education, mental wellbeing, participation and racial injustice.

 Insta: freethinker68

 Twitter: @TBalogun4

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Heulwen Williams

Heulwen Williams is a queer non-binary Welsh multi-instrumentalist and composer, who plays Fiddle, Vocals, and Harmonium.

 

They draw their inspiration from folk music and folk traditions to create new compositions that are steeped in history yet speak to the now.

Reflecting on personal life experiences their work explores their connection to the environment and the disconnect between traditional music and their queer identity.


 

Most recently they composed and performed the music for the show Binderella alongside Kestrel Morton - weaving music and storytelling together.

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Philippa Snell

Philippa is a former Drama and English teacher, community theatre practitioner, Forest School leader and more recently a community choir leader. She currently runs the Dorking Birch Tree Folk Choir, writing her own arrangements of folk songs and has previously worked as musical director of Shakti Sings Choir, leading ritual songs at Stonehenge solstices. Philippa is also a visual artist and loves to collaborate with other practitioners and work outdoors with natural materials. Philippa can also be found rewilding schools, tracking birds and leading nature connection retreats for adults.

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Hannah Battershell

Hannah Battershell is an artist whose work is driven by a fascination for materials and a desire to enchant,
to conjure worlds. It takes many forms, from intricately layered paper landscapes to humorous automata,
and, most recently, stop-motion animations. The abiding mood is one of playful darkness and eerie
beauty. Sometimes miniature, always detailed, her work asks you to peer into its world up close.

Social Media: @hannahbattershellartist (Instagram)