Artists appearing at Fate 2012 are:
Artists in alphabetical order.
Last updated 15th July 2012
Chirine El Ansary
Egyptian storyteller Chirine has thrilled audiences all around the world with her beguiling stories. She has completed a BA in Theatre at the American University in Cairo, has studied at Jacques Lecoq International School in Paris, and has an MA in Performance from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Since 1996 she has been entirely dedicated to the art of story performing with a very physical approach and a very deep interest in how words and movements can combine to create moods, atmospheres, and images.
Chirine has also led workshops in performance and storytelling in various communities, for diverse audiences from teenagers and young adults in the Egyptian Oasis, to public school teachers in Alexandria, and to professional actors in Syria and the UK.
Bang on Drummers
Bang On are a lively, energetic community band of drummers. They play a mix of fast Samba Reggae, fused with a twist of Bhangra and their own take on traditional rhythms. They're guaranteed to get you dancing! This year they are hot footing it from the Encompass Festival in Much Wenlock to conduct our Opening Ceremony.
They will be processing from the Orchard at 10 pm on Friday night and finishing with a performance on the Village Stage. Bring along your percussion instruments and join in the fun of the procession. Meet them at the Orchard just before 10 pm.
Blackbeard's Tea Party
Funky folk tunes, saucy songs and an infectious stage energy. Blackbeard's Tea Party mix fiddles and squeezeboxes, guitar noise and synth base, and a feast of international hand percussion to bring you an unforgettable folk-rock extravaganza. Grounded in English traditions - but never afraid to explore more exotic musical avenues - they create a sound that is equal parts tasty, dramatic and danceable.
London based Jan was born in Manchester to Jamaican parents and has been a professional storyteller for more than twenty years. She has an international reputation for dynamic, witty, exciting storytelling, specialising in stories from Africa and the Caribbean.
Jan has featured at all the major European storytelling festivals both as a performer and workshop leader. Closer to home she has worked as an artist in residence at various theatres throughout Britain and in doing so has developed close links with theatres such as The Royal National Theatre, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.
This year, alongside her solo shows, she will be performing with brilliant fiddler William Pearce-Smith, with 'Tales of the Diaspora'.
A Grammy-nominated recording artist; an award-winning veteran of storytelling, theatre and solo performance festivals; a published writer, and sought-after teacher of her craft, Milbre Burch has been called 'one of the most important voices in the American storytelling revival'. An emerging scholar, she has developed courses on 'American Storytelling in the 21st Century' and ' Auto-Biographical Performance Writing and the Body' for the Department of Theatre at the University of Missouri, and is the performance review editor of the academic journal Storytelling, Self, Society.
Performing traditional tales, personal stories, literary fantasies, and character monologues, she is a storyteller in every sense of the word. Changing Skins, her one-woman show of gender-bending folktales, premiered in the States in June 2010. Her newest work, 'Sometimes I Sing', a thirty five minute monodrama was staged as part of 'Justice Served: three short plays about women confronting violence' at the University of Missouri in March of this year.
FatE is thrilled to have Milbre appearing for the first time at the festival.
Co-founder of Creative Languages, Silvia graduated as a Visual Artist at the City of Wolverhampton University. She also trained as a Creative Practitioner with ALISS (Artist Learning, Information, and Support Services). Since 2007 she has gained extensive experience working within a variety of educational settings including Early Years, Primary and Special Needs Schools, and Adult Education across the West Midlands. She has also organised 'creative celebratory events' for up to 150 people in a variety of venues including Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Bantock House in Wolverhampton. She is also the founder of Creative-Fun. www.creative-fun.co.uk
Peter is one of Europe's finest storytellers who has told his fantastic tales all over Britain, and in Ireland, Norway, France, Canada, and India amongst other countries.
Of Punjabi background he is constantly in demand for his tales of wit and wisdom, and has worked with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Peter also runs storytelling workshops for all age groups and has been involved in many community based storytelling projects. Most recently he completed a six month residency at Springhill Library, Birmingham, under a project run by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where he helped groups create, learn and tell their own stories.
A large part of his work involves enabling others to tell their own story, and he has worked with many diverse and challenging groups throughout Britain and Europe.
'Peter has delighted a variety of audiences young and old, bridging the gap between cultures with the humour and empathy that fill his amazing stories. Not to be missed!' Christine McMahon, Shaggy Dog Storytellers
Club Mix Sessions
Highlighting a variety of storytelling talent from some of the many storytelling clubs that meet regularly all over the country. These sessions aim to give a glimpse of the variety of voices and styles that make up this vital, thirving and essential element of live grassroots stroytelling.
Cath Little is a storyteller and singer drawing inspiration from her Irish and English heritage and her Welsh homeland. She has a rich sense of the magic of stories and their ability to connect us to one another. She is based in Cardiff and tells stories with "enthusiasm and passion." Cath also works as a language support teacher and runs regular storytelling workshops for parents and teachers. Since she discovered you could actualy tell stories as a job, she has been following her bliss and worked as a storyteller since 2006. The Cardiff Storytelling Circle meets at Chapter Arts Centre on the first Sunday of every month. All are welcome to listen or tell at their friendly story rounds. For the last two years the club has been running Tales for the Turning Year - performances of story and song to celebrate the earth and its seasons.
For seven years, Effie has been telling stories regularly at the Word of Mouth, Manchester, and other storytelling clubs, leading to a number of invited slots. Her meticulously crafted tales are engaging and varied, drawn from myths and folklore of her native Greece as well as other traditions. When not telling, Effie enjoys knitting and thinking about dead people.
Isaac is 15 and representing Dragons Breath Storytelling Club in Dronfield. He has grown up surrounded by stories and storytellers and this is the largest audience he is telling to outside of the Synagogue. Right from his earliest memories Isaac has almost absorbed the stories told to him by his mother, storyteller Shonaleigh, however Isaac's way of telling, is all his very own.
Representing the SW@N Club in Wolverhampton (Spoken Word at Newhampton), Kuran is also 15 and this is his first storytelling performance to an audience of this size. Despite his young age he has a natural flair for storytelling, and a mature understanding of the stories he shares. Kuran who is of a Punjabi background, has grown up surrounded by stories as his father is storyteller Gorg Chand and his great uncle is storyteller Peter Chand.
Julia grew up in a storytelling household, her parents creating entire series of tales, which were sustained for years. Julia has always written poems and short stories, but it was when her father passed away three years ago, that she decided to try her hand at live telling. Julia joined the Storylab classes at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, London and loved the support and experience afforded to all the tellers. As an English teacher, Julia took some of her tales into schools, and won a Story Slam at London Storytelling Festival 2011. Julia is thrilled to be here!
Jonathan began working as a storyteller over twenty years ago, when his own children were too small to object. He then started telling in local schools- where the general consensus was that his sessions were better than maths - and now regularly works in venues across the West Midlands, for audiences of all ages. He is a regular at the SW@N Club (Spoken Word at the Newhampton in Wolverhampton)
When not telling stories, Jonathan can be found acting, writing and directing. He combines all his roles in his work for Impetus Theatre - a set of one-man shows on Victorian themes, including A Christmas Carol, in which he plays all the characters (including the entire Cratchit family), and Elementary, Father Brown, where the audience is invited to pit their wits against two of literatures foremost detectives.
Jonathan is appearing for the first time at FatE, be sure to catch him on the Village Stage and the Bar.
As award winning Storyteller at the Irish Cultural Centre, London, Kate runs 'Around the Fire', one of the longest established storytelling clubs in the UK. Kate is also a singer/songwriter, and FatE audiences may know her as one half of the brilliant Celtic/Caribbean duo Spud & Yam with Winston Nzinga, with whom she has collaborated on many exciting projects and recordings.
She is also a proud member of Aos Sceal Eireann (Storytellers of Ireland) and has just returned from touring 'A Brewery of Eggshells ' with Nuala Hayes, bringing traditional Irish stories to a new generation. Kate has performed at festivals around the world, entrancing audiences with her immense skill, sense of humour, and love of language.
Corncrow are Kim Guy and Steve Hunt and perform (mostly) traditional songs and tunes in a distinctive style which is infromed both by Cornwall's enduring musical tradtions and it's prevailing folknik spirit.
Kim sings and plays guitar and recorders and Steve sings and plays guitar and various stringed instruments. Their music features on several UK folk compilation albums, and an impressive list of festival and club appearances. They are the resident act at Liskeard's Barley Folk venue.
The seven tracks on their mini-album 'Sweet Nightingale' reveal many of the duo's experiences and influences, with discernible elements of Cornish social harmony singing and processional calendar customs, Breton fest noz, English traditional ballads and Morris dance, and American old-time folk music.
'I reckon they are going to go places, because I really like their stuff' Mike Harding BBC Radio 2
Michael and Wendy Dacre
HUGE DRAGONS: EMBER AND FROST
New to their Giant stable are two awesome Dragons: one icy cold, the other firey hot. Ember and Frost took their first steps at Embercombe and at Chalice Well at Glastonbury - really auspicious places! Michael and Wendy need them to dance together to encourage the seasons to keep turning, and so change to come about - we all need that to happen! Over the weekend storyteller Fiona Collins will be assisting.
Each Dragon needs nine of you adults or older children to bring them to life and get them to dance. A Dragon-lord / teaser / trainer completes a dragon team of ten. These are the first of the Dacre's truly interactive Giant Puppets, where it is festival goers who bring them to life.
Daughters of Elvin
Daughters of Elvin are well known for their unique theatrical interpretations of Early music. Their shows involve a synthesis of Medieval music and songs (both energetic and reflective) with fantastical masked dancing creatures inspired by Medieval iconography. Their work has taken them to rock festivals, early music concert series, street festivals, pagan events, new age and eco gatherings. They have performed in churches, stately homes, castles, arts centres and concert halls throughout the UK and in Ireland, Holland, Norway and Cyprus. Now with a new four-piece lineup the band are turning their attention to scintillating and original instrumental music comprising new compositions, dance music inspired by the French 'bal', and their unique interpretations of music from the later middle ages, their music resonates both physically and emotionally. Band members are Katy Marchant (right) bagpipes, shawm, recorders, Steve Tyler (right) hurdy gurdy, cittern, percussion, Jonathan Shorland pastoral oboes, bagpipes, flutes, and Sonny Davidson percussion, guitar, saz, voice.
Dogan and The Boombox Karavan
Dogan could be described as the creator of Anglo-Turkish, Gypsy rock, funk, reggae style mix of traditions, and strong acoustic grooves. Brighton born and bred, Dogan is a second generation Turkish Cypriot, with both sides of his family from the island, and whose heritage forms a big part of his musical identity, alongside his love for the British folk cultures that he grew up in. Last year he toured with Dogan and the Deerhunters to huge acclaim at a number of festivals including Sidmouth, Lamer Tree and FatE.
After a break from touring the band went back into the studio and while producing the next album, The Boombox Karavan came into being.
Those who saw Dogan and the band last year will know what to expect. Those that are hearing and seeing them for the first time at FatE - be prepared to hold on to your hats!
Pat has been making bamboo and plastic instruments for more than twenty years. He ins't a musician; he is a passionate enthusiast and teacher. By taking ideas from European pipes and First Nation American flutes he has developed a hybrid, the 'Hybie', which is simple to make and a delight to play first time, every time by beginners of all ages. He has never met a flute maker who wasn't a storyteller and enjoys combining the two activities. He passionately believes that learning to make music is central to learning everything else and that above all it must be fun!
Pat is currently working on ways to get the 'Hybie' into schools, therapy and anywhere where people get together. He is totally adicted to the look on peoples faces when they 'voice' their own instrument for the very first time.
'Xanthe summons goddesses and heroes to take centre stage, not from some long forgotten past, but emanating form here and now, you and me. She unfolds each tale like the petals of the lotus. At the end, you leave with something beautiful created in your own mind.' The British Theatre Review
'Xanthe's work is highly energetic and distinctive and has captivated audiences all over the world: We were enraptured!' The Telegraph
'Exquisite timing' The Irish Times
'Held the audience in the palm of her hand!' New Zealand Times
Having trained in mime, and in theatre direction at East 15, and apprenticed as an image-maker with Welfare State International, Ben became a pioneer of the British Storytelling revival in 1981. Today Ben is a world-class performance storyteller, whose work delights and subverts audiences across the English-speaking world. He tours widely and has been a guest artist in well over a hundred International Storytelling Festivals in 25 countries. Since 2001 he has been the official storyteller with Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Ben is a much sought after teacher and director of storytellers and is the artistic director of the legendary Crick Crack Club. He is Honorary Professor of Storytelling at the Arts University of Berlin (UDK). His graphic novel, 'MeZolith' was published by Random house in 2010. Ben was last at the Festival in 2005 with his FatE commission, The Iron Man Kavad. www.benhaggarty.com
Andy has been a member of the FatE Organisation Team for the past eleven years, and claims he has nothing better to do with his time. Unless of course he is peforming around his local territory in North Wales or over the border in exotic locations such as Runcorn or Mouldsworth. As a regular storyteller at local museums, Andy has been mistaken for an exhibit on numerous occasions (mostly in the prehistoric section). He also offers his services as a Town Crier, Master of Ceremonies, auctioneer, or sandwich-board-man (ham and cheese if possible). Being completely bonkers, he'll try anything once, unless it proved fatal, under which circumstances he won't give it a second go. In order to retain what small bit of sanity remains, he works as an Occupational Therapist during the day, and a Druid at night (full moons mainly) and at weekends. If you see him around the festival site, please buy him a beer.
Andy is a storyteller and poet who performs with huge energy and enthusiasm. With a background in acting, he studied Drama, Theatre Studies and Contemporary Performance Art at Canterbury University, Kent. He later trained as a youth worker, and now uses storytelling and drama to engage with young people who are labelled 'hard to reach'. In 2002, he spent an inspiring 15 months in Bulgaria travelling with a group of Romanian Gypsies who told stories in return for sustenance. He is making a welcome return to FatE and he has performed at Stockton International Festival, Cambridge Storytelling Festival, and the Lakeland Festival of Storytelling amongst others.
Nick is a dynamic and passionate performer with skills that draw an audience in. With a love for the traditional culture of Northern Europe his craft draws together the note, the song and the spoken word into a unique and engaging style. Over the last ten years or more, he has worked extensively with the Kalevala and the oral tradition from which it was drawn. In 2009 he made a successful BBC documentary for Radio 4 on the contribution of the epic to national identity in Finland. As a storyteller and songwriter he aims to explore the ambiguous teritory betwen the real and the imagined, the ordinary and the extraordinary. His music has received worldwide critical acclaim, with air time on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, as well as radio stations across the US. He has a number of recordings available, including The Liberty Tree (FatE commission 2007) with Hugh Lupton.
With a natural talent for art Catharine (also known as Hennacat) was always drawing, sketching and doodling but never quite satisfied. Then she picked up her first henna cone and found not only an art that she loved but also an art which combined her passion for science (Catharine has a degree in Zoology) and interest in womens history. It is a living, expressive art form, therapeutic and beautiful in its aplication. Catharine's only regret is that she didn't discover the art of henna when she was much younger and so she is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge at the henna workshops at FatE.
Ursula Holden Gill
Since she stood down from the small screen in 2006 as Alice Dingle on the ITV soap Emmerdale, Award Winning Actress Ursula Holden Gill has emerged as one of West Yorkshire's most innovative new Storytellers - building a solid reputation in theatres, clubs, at libraries, charity organisations and at schools throughout the region. A keen herbalist, tree hugger and general outdoor girl, Ursula also regularly hosts Story Walks for Calderdale County Council and delivers Storytelling Workshops for the Behaviour and Attendance Team and the Calderdale Adoption Team. Recently, Ursula has been filming a new series for the BBC "Wolfblood" set to screen September 2012, in which she plays the role of Jen Fitzgerald, a seemingly insightful teacher/storyteller... At present, she is in the process of recording her first song and story CD and is relishing her debut tour of the UK folk and story festivals. www.ursulaholdengill.com
Rosie Hood is an unaccompanied singer originally from Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Rosie is fairly new to solo performance, having recently succeeded in becoming a finalist at New Roots 2011 and winning the Open Mic Competition at Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Her experience of sessions and folk clubs has sparked an interest in the history of the songs she sings, particularly those of her native Wiltshire and those collected by Alfred Williams. Rosie also sings a variety of songs from around the British Isles, learned from many sources, including the sessions of Glasgow (where she studies Design) and Sidmouth Folk Week's legendary Middle Bar.
Sohan works as a full time Indian dance artist and specialises in the art forms of Bhangra (Punjabi folk dance), Bollywood (Indian film dance), and creative Indian dance. He is currently delivering Bhangra dance workshops across the city of Stoke-on-Trent as part of the 2012 Olympic & Paralympics Games (World Dance Culture Programme), which he is thrilled about as it's a wonderful experience working with so many people from the wider community.
He has performed and facilitated workshops throughout schools in Wolverhampton and Birmingham, working closely with the Birmingham Library Services. Festivals and events he has performed at include, Wychwood Music Festival, Cornbury Music Festival, Birmingham Artsfest, FatE, Uttoxeter Triangle Story Telling Festival.
Talis Kimberley presents contemporary, literate folk songs with green/political edges and a warm, whimsical heart. Wiltshire based Talis performs solo and with her floating multi skilled band. Talis's songs are rooted in tradition but inspired by books, cakes, tea, history, socks, geo-politics and fish...among other things.
Talis has performed to delighted audiences in Germany, Canada and the USA and won several songwriting awards, most recently for the sing-along tea-shanty 'Spoon!' which builds on her previous albums 'The Hearth and the Hive' and 'Queen of Spindles', both of which catch the zeitgeist of the self-sufficiency movement and challenges the listener to engage with contemporary issues in a positive way.
Talis performs widely for folk festivals and clubs, Transition Town/green group, literary festivals and a variety of other events; she recently created the soundtrack for a short film 'The Threshold' which is currently hitting film festivals in the USA. Solo or with floating band, Talis always leaves listeners moved and engaged.
"Right there in the vein...I'd love to hear more of your stuff" - Mike Harding
Chris Lowe / Speake & Lowe
Chris Lowe is a Birmingham storyteller, author, and singer, making a welcome return to FatE. Over the weekend he will be performing as a solo artist - in particular he will be telling his own "Uncle Jacks Rainbow", five original stories of magic and mystery - and also with fellow Birmingham storyteller Malcolm Speake as Speake & Lowe. Speake & Lowe have been delighting audiences for many years with their particular mix of songs and stories. They both hail from the same suburb in east Birmingham and helped establish the famous Brummagem Blarney Story Telling Club. They have appeared at festivals, including FatE, clubs, schools, residential homes, and many more venues across the UK and in America.
Jack Lynch is firmly rooted in the seanchaí tradition, as explored in recent times by the late great Eamon Kelly and John Campbell, both of whom he shared a stage with. He combines folkloric elements with ancient Irish myths and Wonder Tales and scurrilous Tall Tales set in the County Cavan.
He has much experience in schools, libraries, hospitals and prisons throughout Ireland and has played at festivals throughout Ireland and in England, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, Jordan, Estonia, the West Indies and the US (most recently at the Smithsonian Institute Folklife Festival).
Jack is appearing for the first time at Fate and is a founder member of Storytellers of Ireland, which he currently chairs. www.jackstory.com
The Men From Off
Originally a group who met annually just to sing wintertime wassail songs around Bishops Castle they eventually decided to extend their repertoire and sing throughout the year. Although they all have strong connectons to Bishops Castle none of them were born there and therfore classed as From Off. The harmonies they use are structured on a highly skilled hit and miss technique that gives rise to them being known as The Men From Off - the Fairly Close Harmony Singers.
Daniel Morden has been telling traditional stories for a living since 1989 and his craft has taken him around the world. He regularly collaborates with the Education Departments of The Barbican Centre and The National Theatre. He has concieved and presented numerous documentaries for BBC Radio Wales. His first book, 'Weird Tales from the Storyteller' was nominated for the Tir Na Nog Children's Book Prize. His most recent book is 'Dark Tales from the Woods'. A favourite with FatE audiences , he tells tales of magic and danger with passion and humour. Equally comfortable with adults and children, he has performed anywhere you can think of, from Old Crow to New York, palaces to prisons, village halls to the Albert Hall.
Photo by Mark Simmons
Folk singer Pete Morton is a songwriter and performer originally from Leicester, who currently lives in London. With a wealth of great songs and stage presence, his show is dynamic and intense as well as approachable and fun loving. Well known songs such as 'Another Train', 'The Shepherds Song', and 'Six Billion Eccentrics' are now performed at gigs alongside songs from the album 'Economy', which features the well loved rant 'The Sock on the Line' and the anthemic 'When We Sing Together'.
Starting out as a busker on the streets of Europe, he has entertained all over the globe with his unique and involving style of songwriting and traditional singing. With a passionate strong voice and strident guitar style his songs are an unruly mix of humour, politics, love, and social comment, wrapping their way around the folk tradition.
Photo by Joe Dilworth
O'Hooley & Tidow
Belinda O'Hooley (The Unthanks) and Heidi tidow are the dapper gentlewomen behind the groundbreaking Silent June; one of MOJO Magazine's Top 10 Folk Albums of 2010. Pioneers of innovative chamber-folk; their music defies easy description, crosing folk and classical boundaries with a hint of burlesque theatricality. They were also awarded Spiral Earth Best Debut 2011 and Fatea Records Innovation Award 2011. The Fragile, released in February 2012, sees them touring the country with their irresistible blend of striking arrangements, sublime harmonies and cheeky Northern banter.
"Blessed with sensitivity, coupled with a great sense of humour, Belinda and Heidi write creatively, expressing new ideas both lyrically and musically in a beautiful way" Nic Jones
Trevor Organ - yorkshire man, cabaret artiste, the self styled 'Sultan of Spin' has been to FatE once before and is surprised to be asked back. He is most well known for his spectacular plate-spinning act 'Trevor Organ's Cracking Crockery'. This year he is presenting his 'Cabaret Tales' - stories about his dog, his mum, his upbringing in a showbiz family, his dad the human cannonball, and his Auntie Caroline's skills with a ping-pong ball. All spiced through with pocket tricks and stunts, some nifty plate manipulation and maybe also singing one of his Uncle Ivor's songs. Not for the fainthearted or the easily upset.
The Professor and his Panic Circus will be presenting a mix of workshops, games, puppet shows, shadow shows, as well as storytelling from the Professor, Chris Panic with his unique magical "Coat of 100 Pockets", a coat of a 100 treasures! As the Professor says "You are never too old to have a happy childhood!" Join him and his versatile team for a fun packed weekend of activities, that appeals to children of all ages.
William was born and raised in the city of Winchester the ancient historic capital of England, amidst the green hills and fields of the countryside, till the age of 19, when he travelled to London town. There he studied music in Greenwich, by the banks of the river Thames, and since he has begun carving a merry career playing with various bands and constellations at parties, gigs and festivals, and busking on the High streets of the towns, all across the length and breadth of England.
Travelling to the Eastern lands he played side by side with the Indian musical gurus journeying across the northern deserts, with the Gypsies dancing and twirling along the way, to the lively tune of his fiddle.
Nell has been performing professionally since graduating from Goldsmiths College in 1984 as a storyteller; her work includes hundreds of performances to thousands of children, families, and adults, in schools, art centres, libraries, and festivals in the UK and Ireland.
As an actress, she has performed in the theatres around the world - from the Blackpool Grand to the Sydney Opera House, and all over Easern and Western Europe. Nell is joining us at FatE for the first time this year, be sure to catch her shows in the Children's Marquee on Saturday and Sunday, and with rather more adult content in the Pub Quiz on Sunday.
Emily Portman Trio
Emily Portman is a singer and concertina player from Glastonbury, hailed 'one of the new British folk scene's most beguiling presences' (Uncut). With her 2010 debut album The Glamoury gaining her two BBC Folk Award nominations, Emily is fast gaining a reputation for her unique songwriting, described as 'remarkable and original' (The Observer) and 'the raw stuff of great Ballads' (Radio 2).
With an EP just out and a full year of touring behind her Emily's bound for a busy 2012. Her second album Hatching was released in the spring, featuring indie songster Alasdair Roberts. Hatching is an off kilter collection of contemporary lullabies, apple-tree wassails, and folk carols. The Glamoury earned Emily widespread critical acclaim, international airplay, Mojo and fRoots top ten folk albums of the year.
"The raw stuff of the great ballads" Mike Harding BBC Radio 2
Shonaleigh is a drut'syla (storyteller) from the Yiddish oral tradition. She has worked as a storyteller within the secular world the past 15 years across the UK, Europe, and United States. As the UK deputy national Storytelling Laureate 2010-12 she used the opportunity to promote and work with inner city communities devising oral literacy programmes for schools and adult education. She was shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Award in 2009. She performs from the Barbican to Burgreave Village Hall, from the Albert Hall to Albert Park, Unstone and all points in between. Her commissioned pieces include 'The Tower of Bagel', the first Festival at the Edge commission in 1998, and now available on CD for the first time; 'Fool of the Warsaw Ghetto'; 'The Ruby Tree'; 'The Golem'; 'The Golden Labyrinth', and her work with story teller Peter Chand, of which she is very proud. She has completed commissions for the British Library, the British Museum, and Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival to name a few, and is a regular contributor to BBC arts programmes.
Katherine Soutar-Caddick and Kinza
Katherine has been studying Arabic dance for 10 years and teaches, performs and organises dance events in Shropshire regularly. She will be teaching Khaleeji, a joyful and fun dance from the gulf of Arabia this weekend as well as performing with her student dance group Kinza.
'Dancing is a great way to step outside the daily demands of our lives, relax, have fun and expand our horizons...we can learn something of another culture whilst challenging our bodies and spirits to reach a more healthy state of being, dance is for everybody...'
Kinza (which means jewel) are a performance group drawn from Katherine's regular classes in Madeley.
Zoe Spencer born and raised in Staffordshire, has returned from Ireland and is currently touring the UK. As well as being a supremely moving singer and performer, her songs are memorable projections of life and landscape bringing the listener a spiritual affinity to her life on the shores of the Emerald Isle.
Accompanied by fine guitar work her voice is one in a million. she has worked with many of Ireland's top acts and is now promoting her album "Time To Fly", which she recorded in her home studio in Ireland.
The Bailey Sisters
The Bailey Sisters are Alyson Rainey, Karen Dyson and Shelley Rainey. Karen and Shelley have sung throughout in various choirs, and met through their chamber choir Duodecimo, where Karen sings first soprano, and Shelley sings second alto. Although Aly's musical background is mainly orchestral, she too has a fine singing voice, which fortunately slots neatly into the mezzo role. They decided to start singing together after attending several singing courses led by Maddy Prior, Abbie Lathe and Rose Kemp at Stones Barn in Cumbria. With the addition of Karen's guitar, and Aly's fiddle, they offer a wide variety of traditional, self-penned and classical material, ranging from the thirteenth century to the present day. However, they are becoming particularly known for their a cappella performances, which feature strongly on 'After Silence, Music', their debut album. They are well know on the North West of England folk scene and are now branching out into other parts of the country. This year sees them performing at Maddy Prior's Stepping Stones Festival in Brampton, West Wycombe Park, Bucks and Readifolk.
The Village Quire
The Village Quire sings thrilling, unaccompanied West Gallery Music, folk harmony, shape note and catches. Like so many of the 18th century quires they sing in four parts with three voices to a part. Their performances are in the spirit of the sort of music-making that must have been found in the rural parishes of these times. In those days it was the same singers in the pub on Saturday night, in the church gallery on Sunday morning and out on the land all the other hours God sent. The songs might have been different, but the spirit was the same; the Welsh call it Hwyl - heart and soul!
Tinkerscuss are a highly entertaining and versatile Folk trio who play an enchanting mixture of both traditional and original arrangements with tight harmonies and skilful musicianship. Erin Holden (custom guitars, mandola, cittern) and Bryony Holden (lead vocals, Celtic harp, Indian Shruti Box) have played music together for over thirty years, and come from a musical family with Scottish and Irish backgrounds. After cutting their teeth on the rock and blues scene of the mid 1970s things changed when after listening to Pentangle, John Martin, Planxty, and lots of Scottish and Irish accoustic bands they took an altogether different route by entering the world of folk music. In 2008 they were joined by the multi-talented Kathryn 'Pixie' Wheeler (accordion, viola, violin, vocals) who took up the accordion after seeing a ceilidh band one snowy Easter on the Isle of Rhum. Their range covers dark eerie songs of ghosts and murder, to light and joyous ones about the coming of spring. Tinkerscuss always create an atmosphere of melody and ethereal beauty.
Steve began his career on the Manchester Folk scene at the end of the 1960s. Joining the Geordie band "Canny Fettle" in the 1970s, he made two albums and toured in Britain and Europe with them for eight years.
In 1979, he won the Melody Maker "Stars of the 80s" national competition, which persuaded him to turn professional for 12 years until 1991. During this time he made four solo albums with Fellside Records and toured internationally.
A period of 13 years away from the folk scene followed with Steve building a violin retailing business and diversifying musically into a more classical mode. Steve's 5th album, his first for 22 years "The Whirling of Time" featuring guests Martin Carthy, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan and Miranda Sykes was released in March 2008. Steve's 6th album "On the Rim of the Wheel" was released in February 2012 to great acclaim and brilliant reviews.
Fred is a storyteller from Flanders in Belgium who loves to listen to, and tell stories. At present he is teaching in a Circus School, and for several years he was a clinic clown for children's hospitals. Besides peforming on stage Fred has a lively and colourful background as a street performer entertaining audiences as a jester, stilt walker, fire crasher, clown juggler, and storyteller. Fred supervises an intergenerational reminiscence project in his home city of Leuven and is delivering several storytelling classes at teacher training colleges.
He performed at Alden Beisen, the international storytelling festival in Belgium in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and was featured in 2012. In 2011 he performed in Roermond and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and at FatE in 2010.
A powerful and thoughtful storyteller, he has a special preference for the popular stories of his grandfathers, dark and jolly medieval histories, and understandably stories that evoke the atmosphere of fairs and carry the essence of an old time circus. www.schobbejak.be
Full of verve and enthusiasm - even at nine o'clock in the morning, Lucy says "Tai chi and Chi Gung movements offer health, relaxation and enhancing vitality". Once again, Lucy will be holding her Tai Chi sessions early on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the Yellow Marquee. Lucy is a certified Plant Spirit Medicine Healer and an initiated Fire Keeper.
Pete White's Suitcase Circus
Peter White comes from Leeds, West Yorkshire. He trained as a Youth and Community worker in the 1980s, and then as a juggler and a clown in the 1990s. Since then the lure of the stage and the challenge of performing his Suitcase Circus on the festival circuit has been too strong for him to hold down a proper job. His performances are are full of circus tricks and stunts, comic inventions, audience participation and general flummery that can delight children and adults in equal measure. Watch out for the magic wellie and the flight simulator, or maybe your thing will be spectacular and skilful juggling, or perhaps the spitting of half-chewed bits of apple over small children in the front row is what pleases you most. Something for everyone. Pete has four children of his own, is a keen hula hooper and loves to fly kites and grow courgettes.
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