FATE - taking storytelling to the edge

Festival at the Edge

Click here to return to FATE home page

The Festival at the Edge brings newly-commissioned storytelling performances to the glorious rural setting of Stokes Barn, Much Wenlock, Shropshire. An eclectic mix of artists from around the globe bring their art to the ears of visitors from all over the UK.

festival at the EdgeNews and EventsEdge ExtrasStorytelling

Artists appearing at FatE 2014

Artists confirmed so far - more details to follow...

Last updated 29th May 2014

Jess & Richard Arrowsmith

Jess and Richard Arrowsmith are singers and musicians (fiddle and melodeon) and well established in the traditional English music scene.  They bring you powerful vocals, subtle accompaniments, lively tunes and a broad range of material that will have you laughing, weeping, tapping your feet and joining choruses.  Jess's self-penned songs have been performed and recorded by a range of other artists and are entering the tradition in their own right.  Jess and Richard's latest project in conjunction with James Fagan and Nancy Kerr as the Melrose Quartet has earned them a nomination for "Best Group" at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards.  Other projects include Hekety, Glorystrokes, Crucible and Pecsaetan.

Peppo & Armelle Audigane

Armelle is a French Roma Storyteller, and Peppo is a French Sinto Musicien, together they are telling their Roma Culture.  For several years, they told for the Roma community, travelling on the road, in an old Gypsy caravan, with their children.  They have since travelled the world proud to represent the Roma People, telling tales in festivals in France, Greece, Lebanon, Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, Nova Scotia, and Guyana.

At FatE this year they will be performing a captivating multi-lingual Indo/Roma influenced piece created and performed with Peter Chand.  "Life is beautiful and amazing!" say Armelle and Peppo... "Opaaaa, Opaaaa!"  http://armellepeppo.wix.com/latchodrom

Tanya Batt

Tanya Batt is a self confessed story-o-phile and frock-o-holic.  Hailing from Waiheke Island, Aotearoa, New Zealand she is a South Pacific pirate princess, a black butterfly, a word warbler and story stitcher who channelled her childhood propensity  for talking and her love of dressing up into a real 'imaginary job'.  Stories have put food on her table and a roof over her head for twenty three years.  Her love of stories has taken her to places on and off maps and she has shared her work in over 20 countries.  She is a published author, arts educator and a rising 'Organic Garden Porn Star' whose love for the natural world and curiosity for the mysteries of life feed her ever playful repertoire.  www.Imagined-Worlds.net

Blackbeard's Tea Party

Funky folk tunes, storming songs and an infectious stage energy, Blackbeard's Tea Party mix fiddles and squeezeboxes, guitar noise and synth bass, 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.  Whether playing a raucous concert slot or performing as a high energy ceilidh band, they create a sound that is equal parts tasty, dramatic and danceable.

2013 the band issued their second full length album 'Whip Jamboree'. released nationwide through Proper Music Distribution and reaching number four on the Amazon MP3 folk charts alongside continued critical praise.  In support of the release the band embarked on two UK headline tours playing far and wide in both the Spring and Autumn.  In between touring, Summer provided a stunning festival season, such as Sidmouth, Beverley, Galtres, Bingley Live and Hull Freedom Fest.  In 2014 the band are gearing up for their biggest year yet with international gigs in Spain and Borneo, as well as their longest and most prestigious festival run to date, including slots at Glastonbury, Fairport's Cropredy Convention, shrewsbury Folk Festival, headline at Galtres, and Lamer Tree Festival.  www.blackbeardsteaparty.com

Black Veil Tribal

Black Veil Tribal are a semi-professional tribal-style belly dance troupe based in Wrexham.  They specialise in synchronised group improvisation following Kajira Djoumhana's BlackSheep BellyDance format under the leadership of Bridie Przibram, who is one of only four instructors in the UK qualified to teach this format to Level three.  The troupe have been dancing together in their current incarnation for three years, and have gone from strength to strength, being sought after to perform at parties and shows all over North Wales and England; most recently at Llangollen Women's Festival of Arts and Music.

Peter Chand

British Indian storyteller Peter Chand is one of Europe's most renowned storytellers and is constantly in demand for his tales of wit and wisdom.  He has shared his tales all across Britain and has also performed in Norway, France, Austria, Canada and Singapore, amongst other countries.

Alongside his solo spots at FatE this year, he will be performing with the wonderful Armelle and Peppo Audigane, a Roma/French duo of storyteller and musician, with their first collaboration 'Piri Path' (Foot Path).  This unique show is a four language storytelling and music piece, symbolically exploring the Roma Gypsy journey from North India to Europe.

Peter also shares his storytelling skills by leading workshops with teachers, librarians, budding storytellers, and anyone trying to find their voice and gain confidence when performing in public.  www.chandstory.com

'Peter transports the listener into his worls with remarkable energy and great expression...I was spellbound' - Kim Normanton, Producer BBC Radio 4

Photo credit - Brunnenpassage Vienna

John Edgar

John Edgar has been telling and making stories across the UK and beyond since 1990 in schools, art centre, theatres, festivals, forests and anywhere else people will have him!  Over the past twelve years, John has taken a special interest in the folklore of North-West France, particularly Brittany, translating and retelling many tales in a number of anthology performances for adult audiences.  He also works extensively in schools and colleges, blending workshops on storytelling and creative writing with performances of his own work to encourage young people to create and perform their own stories through oral storytelling, writing and performance.  He's sometimes called a balladeer, telling or singing (to the accompaniment of his guitar) many of his tales in rhyme.  John has also written a number of playscripts fro BBC Radio 4, and professional and young people's theatre.  www.storyjohn.co.uk

Cath Edwards

Cath has a warm and witty style of storytelling, and a wonderful sense of humour. She bases her repertoire on traditional and folk tales and she has a particular findness for British stories.  Besides her stories for children, Cath will be entertaining adults with her show Pirates for Grown Ups, based on West Country folklore.  She is co-host with storyteller Ana Lines, of the Stafford Knot Storytelling Club, and trainer for the CIC, Disability Inclusion Community Education, and she will be leading a workshop exploring techniques and approaches to storytelling with children and adults with severe and profound multiple learning disabilities.


EnChanté is a charismatic and, true to their name, enchanting trio whose music will take you to places you won't want to leave.  Paris born Jocelyne is a French singer songwriter accompanying herself on her old Spanish guitar.  Her influences lay mostly in the French Classics, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Barbara etc.  Jocelyne spent ten years of her life in Spain and that too, can be heard in some of her own songs.

Nick Thompson is an accomplished double bass player from Walsall, with a music career spanning forty years playing in various bands, including the 70s renowned West Midlands Folk/Rock band Zeth.  Nick's double bass adds a rich and haunting tone to EnChanté's music.

Ron Thomas who studied music at the Birmingham Conservatorie, is EnChanté's newwst member.  Ron brings to the band a wealth of guitar skills, from classical to Jazz and some marvellous improvisations.  With him, EnChanté's music sores to a new dimension and becomes truly original and arresting.

In true French style, EnChanté's songs are very lyric based.  They tell stories, pull you in and captivate you.  Jocelyne's self-penned numbers are performed in English but they keep that unmistakable French allure, enchanced by a lovely voice and heartfelt interpretation.  EnChanté's act includes some classic cover songs in French and occasionally in spanish.  With a few amusing anecdotes thrown in to keep the mood light, you are guaranteed an extremely enjoyable time in their company.

James Fagan & Nancy Kerr

Long standing, well loved Anglo-Australian duo, ames and Nancy have captured the attention of audiences across the world since 1995.  They tour constantly in the British Isles and have taken their sought-after sound to Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Holland and Belgium.  In 2000 they won the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award for Best Newcomers, which they followed up in 2003 with the inaugural Best Duo award and again in 2011.

Nancy is the daughter of well-known singer/songwriter Sandra Kerr and Northumbrian piper Ron Elliott, and started playing fiddle at the age of five.  At sixteen she formed a duo with Eliza Carthy receiving international acclaim as part of a new wave of English Folk.  Her partnership with with James Fagan has formed the backbone of her career since 1996 and she is also a registered Music Therapist.

James was born in Australia and thanks to his performing parents Bob and Margaret Fagan he grew up in Sidney surrounded by folk music.  Along with his parents and sister Kate they formed the Fagans, and have toured the Australian folk scene for over two decades.  James's first instrument was piano, but by his teens he was singing, playing guitar and clarinet.  In 1992 he was given an Irish bouzouki by his dad, and fell in love with the sound.  This is now his main instrument but sining has become his first and foremost musical love.

James and Nancy will also be performing at this year's FatE with Jess and Richard Arrowsmith in their hugely successful collaboration Melrose Quartet.


Green Diesel

Green Diesel make noise.  Old fashioned, new fangled, jumping around with a violin and bouzouki sort of noise.  Specialising in innovative folk rock, Green diesel first emerged in 2009, determined to pair new interpretations of traditional tunes with their own manic compositions, and make them dance.

The sextet of multi-disciplined musicians from Faversham, Kent, take their inspiration from the depths of English folklore and legend and the classic rock sound of the 1970s.  Like their predecessors Fairport Convention and The Albion Band, Green Diesel's sound is born from a love of traditional English music and a desire to reinvent it for modern audiences.

2013 has been a hugely successful year for the band.  Their first full length album Now Is The Time produced by Roger Cotton, has earned then high praise for its innovative original songs and high quality musicianship. The band was invited to pen a brand new tune for Channel Four's critically acclaimed drama Southcliffe, and a packed tour schedule has seen them perform at festivals such as Lounge On the Farm Festival, New forest folk Festival and supporting Spiers and Boden at Artree Festival of folk.  www.greendieselfolk.com

Andy Harrop-Smith

Having being a member of the FatE organisation team for the past twelve years, Andy is no stranger to the festival, although he is more than a little strange in many other ways.  He's been a performance storyteller for more than a decade and will tell you anything from an epic to a mucky joke, much preferring the bizarre, weird and definitely dark with a hint of humour thrown in for good measure.  With a background in pantomime, street theatre and the army, and given his love of myth, hystory and 'Carry On' films you can never be quite sure what to expect.  He claims he'll try anything once, so long as it's not fatal under which circumstances he won't give it a second go.  He also offers his services as an auctioneer, Town Crier, Master of Ceremonies and manages to hold down a respectable job as an Occupational Therapist.  If you see him around the site, he's more than happy for you to buy him a beer!

Michael Harvey

Michael has told stories both as a solo performer and with other artists throughout the UK and Europe as well as festivals in North and South America.  Most of his work is in either English or Welsh and occasionally both at the same time!  He is a familiar performer in the UK festival and club scene and draws particular inspiration from the Welsh oral heritage and landscape.  He combines depth of material with lightness of delivery, which is timed and paced to perfection and minted fresh for every audience.  Many will have seen him on tour with Hunting the Giants Daughter, a faithful and contemporary retelling of the earliest Arthurian tale.  In 2011 he was awarded a Major Creative Wales Award, and took part in the third Labo at La Maison du Conte in Paris.  Michael was a featured teller at the 2012 US National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.  www.michaelharvey.org

Louise Jordan 

Louise Jordan's songs ask questions.  They are bold in their honesty and striking in their intensity.  they are haunting in their simplicity and yet they traverse a broad emotional arc.

Louise's musical arrangements are instinctive, embracing you like a familiar friend, providing comfort as they encourage you to reflect on and explore life's uncertainties.  Her gift for empathy and storytelling is due in part to an early career in education and children's rights as well as her ongoing interest in the many ways people overcome life's challenges.

"When I write music I want to convey feelings that the listener can identify with and understand and I hope that my music provides a safe place for people to explore these ideas so that something positive can come out of the experience."

Louise plays guitar, piano and cello but it's her voice which is most often celebrated as the pinnacle of her trade mark sound: captivating, powerful and evocative.  http://louisejordan.co.uk

'a stirring, lilting grace' - The Telegraph

'a masterclass in songwriting' - R2 Magazine

Annemarie Krarup

Hailing from the kingdom of Denmark, Annemarie Krarup lives in Roskilde near Lejre where the Beowulf story takes place.  She is a storyteller who also like to play music, sing and work with peoples voices.  She loves storytelling so much that she is spreading it throughout her country as Chairwoman of the Danish Storyteller Organization.

She is also constantly digging for new stories and chasing these tales from far and wide.  One of her special interests is exploring the heritage of the Danish collector Evald Tang Kristensen (1843-1929) who collected a treasure trove of stories many times greater than the collections of the Brothers Grimm.  Annemarie will be sharing many of these stories at Festival at the Edge this year.

Annemarie is also the Artistic Director of a new international storytelling festival 'Havats Fortaellinger' taking place in the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde in September this year.  www.annemariekrarup.dk

Lowe and Plant

Chris Lowe and Ron Plant come from opposite sides of the West Midlands border.  Chris has a cultured Birminham accent while Ron's tones are redolent of the wilder sides of the Black Country.  But there are some who say they both have twang when regaling audiences with their often gritty tales that can contain both humour and horror in the same narration.  Chris hails from Bordesley Green (home of the Peaky Blinders) and Ron inhabits the outer reaches of Black Heath.  They often work together at folk festivals and both have appeared seperately and together at such festivals as Whitby, Warwick, Banbury and Alcester.  Both have told at FatE in previous years and this year they hope to transport you with their tales from Bordesley and Black Heath.  Chris could be putting the frighteners on you with his dark tales and Ron may add a few just for sinister measure.  www.chrislowestories.co.uk

Mather & Robinson

Two names, four musicians and a fascinating and highly entertaining new sound.  Mather and Robinson's original songs take you from 'this must surely be a traditional folk anthem' to contemporary and thought-provoking social commentraries.  Commanding vocals and close harmonies, inspired melodies, captivating hooks and dazzling flute accents permeate their work.  Add in the spontaneity fo four accomplished live performers thoroughly enjoying themselves on stage and you're in for a real treat this July.  www.mather-robinson.bandcamp.com

'Fascinating and entertaining throughout.' - Bright Young Folk, Mike Hough

'I haven't identified so closely with the essence of an album for a long time' - Folk Words

Christine McMahon

Christine MacMahon is a vibrant Storyteller with an international reputation.  She has a love of traditional folktales, particulalry those with a link to her Northern roots.  Born in Lancashire, living in Yorkshire, her ready wit and warm manner, mixed with a dollop of Northern grit make her a unique performer who tells tales close to home even when she is far away!

Not only a performer, Christine has a unique talent for improvisational Storymaking, guiding audiences of any age to have the confidence to create stories from their own imaginations.

Christine is a member of Shaggy dog Storytellers Club, recognised as one of the most successful and long running clubs in England.


Melrose Quartet

There is a new band already making waves on the British folk Festival circuit; Melrose Quartet.  Multiple BBC 2 Folk Award winners Nancy Kerr and James Fagan join forces with legendary Sheffield duo Richard and Jess Arrowsmith (Crucible, Hekety, Pecsaetan) and the band are capturing imaginations with their bold take on old and new English songs and tunes.  Glorious four-part harmony singing combines with crunchy twin fiddles, full-bodied melodeon and powerful bouzouki in a set that will leave your heart singing and your feet tapping.  Their live performances infect audiences with the warmth and sparkle that these four seasoned musicians feel when they unite.

'...all in all an inspired ensemble so obviously playing for joy.' (Martin Simpson)

Francesca Millican-Slater

Francesca Millican-Slater creates a brand new piece 'My Dearest Girls: Helen's Story' based on the real letters sent between a group of six Shropshire women between 1917 - 1920.

Against a background of war the women tell each other stories of their everyday life; as farmers, office workers, factory hands, nurses and teachers.

Helen's story tells the tale of one of the women; a farmer's daughter in Much Wenlock.  Through Helen's own words we hear about women working on the land, the impact of the war on family and farm and her own wait for news from The Front.

Produced by Pippa Firth, in partnership with Arts Alive and Shropshire Archives, supported by Pentabus, Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund.  Image by Tom Middleton.

Daniel Morden

Daniel Morden is a regular perfrmer at Festival at the Edge. He was on the bill at the very first FatE in 1992.  One of the UKs most popular tellers, he has travelled the world sharing and hearing traditional stories.  His repertoire includes Greek myth, fairy tale, stories from his native Wales, ghost stories and awful jokes.  He tours with musicians in the Devil's Violin Company.

Resident in Abergavenny, he has been a storyteller for twenty five years.  His anthologies of Welsh folktales have won awards.  In 2013 he gave the Opening Address at the Sydney Writers Festival.

Jess Morgan

Songs that tell stories, claw-hammer-like guitar playing and a truly unique voice that binds the package tightly together...

2014 sees the release of a brand new album 'Langa Langa', which will showcase a windfall of sizzling new songs and rhythmic guitar playing from this prolific writer from Norwich.  Expect simple, evocative songs that tell stories, peppered with influence from British Folk as well as country, blues and world music.  After an exciting year playing over one hundred shows, including Cambridge Folk Festival, Warwick Folk and Towersey Festival, Jess is steadily building a name for herself as a grafter and a force to be reckoned with in roots and folk music in the UK and in Europe.

Funded by Fans and the centrepiece of a Pledge Music Campaign, Jess released her album 'Aye Me' back in 2012 building on the success of her Norwegian made debut release 'All Swell' (2010).  Jess is championed by DJs from BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, Folk Radio UK and BBC Wales, most notably by new music DJs Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson who have watched with interest as Jess has grown as an independant artist.  Jess looks forward to the release of 'Langa Langa' in April and an exciting tour taking her through UK, Ireland, Germany and Belgium...for starters at least.  www.jessmorgan.co.uk

Ciarán Mulholland

Ciarán started playing the fiddle from about the age of eleven, having found an old 3/4 size fiddle under a bed in his Grandmother's house in Belfast.  He was given lessons by Leo McGarry in Stoneyford, and also attended the McPeake Music School in Belfast for a number of years.  He continued playing when he went to University n England, finding a vibrant scene in Bath and Bristol.  He played in a traditional group playing mostly Irish dance music, touring the south-west of England including Chippenham Folk Festival.

In 1990 Ciarán was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award in London and on moving to Lancaster he began playing regulalry with Jim Maguire and Gordon Johnston at the Pan Celtic Folk Club in the city.  One of the highligths of this period was playing with Sean Maguire at a celebration concert, where Sean accompanied Ciarán on the piano.

Since returning to Northern Ireland he has also taught music in the Antrim and Derry fiddlers, as well as the 2003 Antrim Glens Traditional Group workshops, and in several Comhaltas exchange programmes.  Ciarán was also a regular finalist in the Comhaltas Fleadh competitions, at proveincial and all-Ireland levels, and he is a previous holder of the Charles O Curry Memorial Cup at the Ballymena Festival.

Ciarán is the regular fiddle player for Haste to the Wedding ceilidh band based in Larne, playing both Scottish and Irish music for ceilidh around Northern Ireland and further afield.  At FatE for the first time he will be accompanying Liz Weir in this year's commissioned piece.

Gail Nyoka

Gail Nyoka is a storyteller, author and award-winning playwright from Canada.  Her performances include Nuit Blanche for theatre Local and the Toronto Storytelling Festival, as well as schools and libraries.

She tells original stories which touch upon the culture and history of Zimbabwe, and explore personal histroy where it intersects with the famous and not so famous.

Gail blogs regulalry about storytellers and storytelling at www.gailnyoka-stories.com



New Rope String Band

Once seen, never forgotten: an indefinable confusion of superb musicianship and side splitting comic genius, the New Rope String Band are truly unique entertainers.  Elements of circus, clowning, vaudeville, slapstick and sheer inspired silliness are spliced with beautiful acoustic music from various world traditions, in precision-honed yet uproarious performances that have delighted audiences from Borneo's Sarawak rainforest to the Shetland Folk Festival.  Equally at home in tiny village halls or on major festival stages, these three manic minstrels mix up long-time favourite routines with ever-evolving new material.  From musical gyrations to deconstructed nursery rhymes, Python-esque absurdism to pyrotechnics, dream sequences and live, interactive film, expect the hilariously unexpected.  www.newropestringband.co.uk

The New rope String Band are: Pete Challoner, Tim Dalling and Jock Tyldesley.

'inspired madness' - The Scotsman

'...prodigious musicianship laced with their very own brand of slapstick' - The Glasgow Herald


Openstorytellers is a company of storytellers for people with learning and communication difficulties, helping people to be heard, understood, included and valued.

Openstorytellers uses the art-form of storytelling to help people to find personal meaning in traditional stories, and to make links between a legend and their own lives.  Stories are a valuble resource - stories are fun and interesting, they help you to make firends, to understand the world and to develop your imagination.

Openstorytellers provides imaginative, empowering and innovative activities which develop people's confidence, release potential, and promote inclusion in the community.  They use personal and traditional stories to develop social inclusion and their mission is to enrich the lives of people with learning and communication difficulites, and the lives of those who live and work with them.  Through the use of narrative and story they are building relationships, sharing experiences, developing a sense of identity and helping people to find their place in society.

Openstorytellers explore, celebrate and challenge the ways in which people with learning and other sdisabiliteis are represented in traditional stories and are proud winners of the BASE Award 2013 for Outstanding Community Project. 

Panic Circus

The Professor and his Panic Circus will be presenting a mix of workshops, games and puppet shows, shadow shows, as well as storytelling from the Professor, Chris Panic with his unique magical 'Coat of a 100 Pockets', a coat of 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.

Dawn Powell

Dawn tells stories to hundreds of children up and down the country each week in schools and community settings.  She is resident teller at the Birmingham Storytelling Cafe and assistant director of the Children's Festival at shrewsbury Folk.

Dawn's cosy cabaret evenings pop up in venues across the Midlands surprising and delighting adult audiences with stories that swirl together  belly dancing, theatre and live music.  A highlight of her year was introducing Ron Rogers (formerly of T'Pau) and the Ronaldos' fans to the world of storytelling.  Telling a wonder tale in several parts, she teased the audience with sneaky song lyrics and cliff hangers.



As a grizzled veteran of the Shropshire folk music scene, Rapsquillion has a hard-won reputation for building gradually to a climax throughout a performance.  The band's invigorating music, an eclectic mix of traditional songs, non-conformist hymns, parody and contemporary, usually sung a capella but occasionally enhanced with an infusion of instruments, is at it's impressive best towards the 'witching hour'.  When bellies bloated and all cares and sheets to the wind they tear off their inhibitions and display their crinkled credentials to the world.  Not content with singing, Rapsquillion are happy to pass the secrets of their success on.  In fact, a Rapsquillion workshop was described by one victim as a "life changing".  www.rapsquillion.co.uk

Susan Raven & Satch Norton

Susan Raven is a twenty-first century troubadour and her captivating songs have a distinct mystical and esoteric theme.  Her powerful songcraft and haunting voice have garnered many fans and glowing reviews over the years.  She performs as a duo with her partner Satch, comprising twelve and six string acoustic guitars and vocals.  Susan's songs have been played on BCC Radio and many other local stations, and she performs regularly at festivals around the UK.  'The task of the troubadour has always been to listen to the wind and anticipate the future, to discern the fine nuances of a spiritual age and to play the dual roles of receiver and transmitter.'  www.susanraven.com     

Kath Reade

Singer-Songwriter, Sound Healer, Performance Poet, Kath Reade invites you to her stunning Shamanic Drumming Journey and songs to touch your inner being. Her latest CD is 'Devotion to Song' and as a winner of Saltburn Folk Festival Songwriter's Cup Award her winning poem is soon to be published in Pendle War Poetry book. Kath will bring her guitar and her African Gathering Drum for a session of song, and a Shamanic Drumming Journey, not to be missed.  www.deepsong.org


'Her live performance is unmissable' - Tykes News

'Kaths voice makes my knees melt' - Swan Acoustic

'Celebratory and life-affirming' - Feta Magazine

Sarah Rundle

Sarah Rundle got locked in a biochemistry laboratory but tunnelled her way to freedom.  She ran away to drama school, and for the last eight years has been a full-time storyteller, and sporadic actor.

She devised works for the Wellcome Foundation, Geffrye Museum, and the National Trust, and performed at Stockholm's Fabula Stroy Café, the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, and Aberystwyth's Storytelling Festival.

Her work has been described by the Crick Crack Club's Ben Haggerty as "truly magical...It sparkles with particularly glorious English humour."


Colum Sands

Colum Sands is a universal storyteller who draws on a long Irish tradition of poetic musicality to weave songs for the world.  He has performed in over thirty countries and his songs have been recorded by countless artistes including versions in German, Dutch, Danish and Hebrew.

From portraits like The Man with the Cap, to observations on the paranoia of difference like Whatever you say, say nothing, "his songs cross borders on the map and in the mind with sensitivity, insight and humour."

A Living Tradition award winner, Colum has produced around one hundred albums including recordings with Joan Baez and Pete Seeger and he was shortlisted for three Grammy Awards nominations.  His ninth album, 'Turn the Corner' has just been released.  www.columsands.com

Spud and Yam

Kate Corkery, whose award winning piece 'Sweet Shop On The Shore' commissioned by FatE and premiered in 2012, makes a welcome return with her wonderful storytelling partner Winston Nzinga.  Together they comprise the dynamic Irish/Afro Caribbean duo Spud and Yam, much loved by children far and wide.  Their interactive shows offer a rich mix of stories, songs and music from their colourful cultures.  www.spudandyam.co.uk

The Iron Men and Severn Gilders

Two seperate but closely associated teams of Morris Dancers based in the historic town of Ironbridge in Shropshire.  The Iron Men are a men's team who dance in the Welsh Border tradition, while the Severn Gilders  are a women's team who dance North-West Morris. 

Although they dance seperately they almost always appear together and many of the dancers in one team appear as musicians while the other dances.  Originally formed in 1976 they appear in festivals all over the country and Severn Gilders are former winners of the Ritual Dance Competition at the Sidmouth Folk Festival.




Suzanne and Jake Thomas

Suzanne finds her inspiration for her stories in the hills and valleys of south Shropshire where she lives.  Tales of Dragons and Giants are mixed with traditonal stories and legends of the British Isles, with a little Grimm added for good measure.

Suzanne began storytelling six years ago, when she set up Cranesfield Bardic Arts as part of the Serpent Festival on Clee hill and since then, her passion for sharing stories has taken her to schools, Shropshire Libraries and the National Trust.  www.cranesfieldbardicarts.co.uk

Jake is a musician, whose fabulous style of playing has him hailed as an Acoustic Guitar Wizard.  His repertoire comprises of his own music blended in his versions of Bert Jansch, Robin Williamson and Jethro tull songs along with traditional folk tunes from around the British Isles.

Debuting together at FatE this year, they will be bringing folk tunes to a new generation with a folk sing along in the Chilrden's Marquee with Andy Harrop-Smith.

Fred Versonnen

Fred is a storyteller from Flanders in Belgium who loves stories to listen to and to tell.  At present he is teaching in a Circus School and a highschool for trainee teachers.  For several years he was a clinic clown for children's hospitals, and besides performing 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.

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 atmospher of fairs and carry the essence of an old time circus.

Fred has performed a number of times at Alden Beisen, the famous international storytelling festival in Belgium, and in the last three years he has also performed in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and UK.

Since 2013 Fred has been organising international storytelling evenings with Fonkelvogel, and so far his guests have included Jan Blake, Katrice Horsley, Daniel Morden, Shonaleigh, Mats Rehnman and Peter Chand.  www.fonkelvogel.be

Liz Weir

Liz Weir is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland who has tols her stories to children and adults on all five continents.

As a children's Librarian for the city of Belfast in the 1970s she learned about the healing power of storytelling.  She appears in small storytelling clubs and at major international festivals including the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee and the Australian National Storytelling Festival.  She has performed at an evening of "Stories for Peace" in Israel, at universities in Germany and Wales, on TV between Australia and Canada, in the mighty hall of New York's Grand Central Station and in quiet hospital rooms.

Liz Weir was the first winner of the International Storybridge Award from the National Storytelling Network which cited her "exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling within Ireland and between other countries" and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award.

Liz believes fervently in the power of storytelling to promote understanding and aid conflict resolution.  www.lizweir.net

Lucy Wells

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 seesions early on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the Yellow Marquee.  Lucy is a certified Plant Spirit Medicine Healer and an initiated Fire Keeper.



© 2015 Festival at the Edge. Developed and hosted by Face Interactive