20-22 July 2018, Alderford Lake, Tilstock Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 3JQ
at Festival at the Edge 2018
Allan Yn Y Fan
Cardiff Storyteller and Singer Cath Little has “rough magic” in her voice and in her words “the gift of the story shines through”. She has a strong sense that stories have the power to connect us to one another, to the land and to the people who once lived here.
Cath has told stories at Festival at the Edge, Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival, Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts, the BBC Proms Folk Day and Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival. She regularly tells at The National Museum of Wales. Cath helps run the Cardiff Storytelling Circle and curates their seasonal concerts, Tales for the Turning Year. She keeps busy telling stories in local schools and runs a Family Storytelling Club for her community. She also runs a storytelling circle at Oasis, a Cardiff charity which offers a warm Welsh welcome to refugees and asylum seekers.
Cath is passionate about sharing these treasures, gifts from the ancestors and in her belief that the stories belong to us all and are meant to be heard. She is the author of Glamorgan Folk Tales for Children, published by the History Press.
Ceri Ridge Trading Company
Christine McMahon is a vibrant Storyteller with an international reputation. She has a love of traditional folktales, particularly 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 Storytelling Club, recognised as one of the most successful and long running clubs in England. She believes that storytelling is the thread that has linked all her work in the last 15 years in drama, psychology, dramatherapy and now, in the Youth Justice System.
Christine is involved in a wide range of storytelling projects and performance workshops in settings ranging from Prisons to schools and nurseries. Christine is interested in developing international links to support storytelling development and stories for use with Restorative Justice.
DANIEL MORDEN is no stranger to Fate – when he isn’t booked to perform at the festival, he is usually in the audience!. Born in Cwmbran, he has told traditional tales for a living since 1989. His work has taken him all over the world, from First Nation communities in the Arctic Circle to Sydney Writers Festival. He has researched and retold a huge variety of stories, but he particularly enjoys Greek myths and wonder tales. He is known for his collaborations with musicians, such as The Devil’s Violin. He is also an award-winning author.
Daria Kulesh Quartet
With her striking voice and strong Russian and Ingush heritage, “bold, exotic, impressive” Daria Kulesh is a rising star and a unique character on the UK folk scene. Her debut album Eternal Child was described as “phenomenal” and named Runner-Up in “Best Album of 2015 from a Female Artist” by FolkWords, among numerous other accolades. Her 2017 album Long Lost Home has won awards in the UK and in Russia. It has enjoyed national radio play and incredible reviews calling it a “triumph”, a “masterpiece” and “a definite contender for the best album of 2017”. Mike Harding praised the The Moon and the Pilot as “one of the most beautiful new songs of the last ten years”.
A hardworking and in-demand live performer, Daria offers her audiences a thoroughly engaging, entertaining and enchanting experience. At Festival at the Edge, she will be joined by her brand new stellar band – Daria Kulesh Quartet – comprising one of the UK’s leading young acoustic guitarists Tristan Seume, alongside Marina Osman (piano) and Kate Rouse (hammered dulcimer). With a unique mix of instruments, innovative and delightful arrangements, impressive musicianship and exciting, dramatic storytelling, this is an experience not to de missed. “The songs aren’t just sung, but lived.” (FATEA Magazine)
Dave is a jobbing teller of tales, an itinerant journeyman who performs at museums, heritage sites and schools, from Lindisfarne Holy Island in the north to Arundel Castle in the south. He works regularly for English Heritage and national museums like the Ashmolean and has written two books, ‘Tudor Tales’ and ‘Norfolk Folk Tales for Children.’ He is gleeman – storyteller in residence to the Stonemason Guild in Norwich and specialises in costumed historical storytelling of period rich and often irreverent tales shared by the poorer folk long ago. But of late he’s ditched his costume in favour of normal clothes and a fine trilby hat and can be heard at storytelling events including Settle and Taffy Thomas’s Tales in Trust. That said, many of his performances still have an historical flavour with sets like Tavern Yard Tales and Dame Fortunes Wheel.
‘Dave the Yarnsmith is every inch a mesmeric character, from the tip of his expressive finger-tips to the tilt of tall hat, his stage persona grabs the audience’s attention – and his warmth and immediate rapport ensures that he retains it from his first words to the very last..’ Settle Storytelling Festival 2016
Gorg Kumar Chand grew up listening to stories from his parents and grandparents, both in England and India. Piecing together the fragments of forgotten folk tales and the great epics, he learnt to unravel and translate these complex tales. Forming coherent stories that are easy to follow without losing their spirit, heart and core for today’s audience.
Hand to Mouth Theatre
Iron Men & Severn Gilders
Len Cabral is an internationally acclaimed, award winning storyteller who has been engaging and entertaining audiences with his storytelling performances for over 40 years, A great grandson of a Cape Verdean whaler whose grandparents immigrated to America from the islands off the coast of West Africa, Len’s strong Cape Verdean ancestry comes alive in his exuberant retelling of African, Cape Verdean and Caribbean folktales as well as original stories and tales from around the world. Len is a popular storyteller at theatres, schools and festivals throughout the United States and has recently performed at festivals in Ireland, Belgium Amsterdam and Singapore. He is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network 2001 Circle of Excellence Oracle Award. Len teaches the art of storytelling at colleges and conferences and leads in-service workshops for healthcare and social agencies. He has used stories to connect with people in homeless shelters and prisons.
Mara Menzies is one of Scotland’s best loved performance storytellers with a powerful, dynamic and physical style that captures the imagination of any audience. She has performed and led workshops around the world including Kenya, Singapore, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, the USA and across the UK.
Mara Menzies is an internationally touring storyteller and story-maker based in Edinburgh. She is passionate about sharing stories and lived experiences from her dual Scottish and Kenyan heritage, sculpting inspired storytelling performances for the stage and creating bespoke stories for unique events.
“Storytelling is the root of what makes us who we are. Stories move us, inspire us, teach us and help us see our place in the world”.
Collaborating with the finest artists, dancers, musicians and digital wonderkids to create powerful, energetic, deeply moving storytelling works of art.
Peter Chand is an award-winning international Storyteller, constantly in demand for his unique retelling of tales from his motherland. Peter has shared his stories across Britain and has also performed in Norway, France, Austria, Canada, and Singapore, amongst other countries. He grew up with Punjabi as his first language, and still visits family in the Punjab to collect folk tales, translating them into English and sharing them with audiences worldwide.
As well as touring extensively, he 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. Peter is also part of the organising team of Festival at the Edge, which is the oldest storytelling festival in England.
He has recently been honoured by being chosen as one of the 100 Masters, by Creative Black Country, which celebrates creativity and excellence within the many towns and cities which make up the Black Country region.
www.chandstory.com Photo credit – Elise Gherlan
“Peter transports the listener into his world with remarkable energy and great expression… I was spellbound” Kim Normanton Producer BBC Radio Four
Rachel Rose Reid
Thanks to her family’s storytelling traditions, Rachel has been attending FATE since both she and we were very small. This is Rachel’s first return to FATE as a teller since her part of the Young Storyteller of the Year performance.
Since then she has worked with the Crick Crack Club, at storytelling festivals around the World, and on BBC Radio. A hybrid of immigrant ancestry and London grit, Rachel’s telling is spell-binding, warming the heart, and restoring flesh to the bones of old tales.
“Immense skill and breathless conviction; There’s no faulting Reid’s command of her craft” The Times
Raphael Rodan graduated in 2008 from the School of Speech and Drama in Harduf in his country of birth Israel. He continued his actor training at the Actors Temple in London. He worked in Israel as a theatre director for Arab and Jewish young actors, using theatre as a bridge for communication. Since his move to Europe he runs storytelling workshops and performs all over the continent. Together with Sahand Sahebdivani he has established the “Mezrab Storytelling School”. A school that is striving to link the ancient art of storytelling with today’s burning questions.
Shonaleigh is a storyteller who was brought up in the Drut’syla tradition by her Bubbe (Grandmother).
“You hear people talking about the storytelling revival, but in Jewish culture it never died. From the age of four I lived and breathed the tales of my childhood, unaware that there was anything unusual. I thought this was quite normal and that all storytellers had this background … It was quite routine for me to fall asleep at night listening to songs and stories in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Dutch and Turkish – a wonderful colourful mix,” she says.
A dedicated and committed storyteller, who has actively worked to expand and share her tradition, she has a repertoire of over three thousand stories which can be adapted as appropriate for the theme and audience with whom she is working.
She has performed in venues from church halls to London’s Albert Hall, from forests to the Barbican, and at festivals in the U.K., on the Continent, USA and New Zealand. She also does a great deal of work in schools and among community groups, helping people, particularly teenagers and the immigrant community, find their voice.
Shonaleigh was the UK’s Deputy National Storytelling Laureate from 2010-12, has completed commissions for the British Library, the British Museum and Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival, and is a regular contributor to BBC arts programs.
Her 2012 appointment as Artistic Director of Phrase Arts, where she helped promote storytelling within communities, has led to her work with the European Court of Human Rights. She was Teller In Residence at the International Storytelling Centre in Tennessee. Shonaleigh is now based at the International School of Storytelling in East Sussex, UK.
Spud & Yam
‘Story Feast’ shows for children..
“Irish/ Afro Caribbean duo Spud and Yam aka Kate Corkery and Winston Nzinga bring a feast of tasty stories, songs and music to inspire and delight little ones of all ages..”
Steve Lally has worked as a storyteller throughout Ireland and the UK for over fifteen years. He writes his own material and is an avid collector of folklore and mythology (He has written three books on Irish Folklore and another that he is currently co-writing with his partner Paula Flynn on Fairy Stories from the 32 counties of Ireland).
Steve Lally is experienced with all age groups and abilities, he is equally at home in all areas from hospitals to peace & reconciliation work.
Growing up in a rural part of Co. Kildare (now based in Northern Ireland) his young self gathered stories like corn and saved them for later years. His Grandmother was a Seanchaí (Storyteller) and she was a huge influence on his storytelling. He is both authentic and original, he has a wonderful stage presence and a great old Irish wit and charm that some would feel is long gone. He is constantly collecting and writing new material. He brings his stories far and wide and wants to continue on with this vital and significant art form.
‘Steve lally brings the ancient art of storytelling into the 21st century, by simply taking the story from the fireside of a Rural Shebeen into modern surroundings.
The technology, fashions and sounds of the world have all changed but the story still harbours the same power and impact on the audience today as when it was told hundreds of years ago’.
Tanya Batt and Peter Forster
Tanya Batt is a self confessed story-o-phile and frock-o-holic. Hailing from Waiheke Island, Aotearoa, New Zealand she is a green fingered witch, 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 more than a quarter of a century enabling her to share her work in over 20 countries. She is the creative director of the ‘Once Upon An Island Charitable Trust’ that uses storytelling for community building, environmental and cultural education.
Peter Forster is a versatile musician, composer and instrument maker who plays a variety of instruments. He builds guitars and wooden flutes, and is currently building a cello. Peter is passionate about the healing power of music and singing, and is known to burst out in Mongolian overtone chanting at times!
The Trials of Cato
Hailing from North Wales and Yorkshire, The Trials of Cato returned to the UK from Beirut, Lebanon in the winter of 2016. Since then their feet have barely touched the ground as their eclectic brand of folk music – encompassing 18th century ballads all the way up to self-penned stomping dance tunes – has seen them booked out at folk clubs and festivals across the country, with 2018 looking ever busier. Having caught the attention of the industry heavyweights like Mark Radcliffe and Mike Harding, The Trials of Cato debut album is due for release later this year.
The band’s live set includes both original and traditional material, delivered on fretted instruments alone to achive a musical presence not often heard on the modern folk scene. Praised for the diversity of their material and influences, their live show ‘invariably stuns audiences wherever they play’.
Vera Van Heeringen Trio
The 27th Storytelling Festival at the Edge - Friday 20th July to Sunday 22nd July 2018