Storytelling

The word STORY on a parchment background

Widely regarded as one of the earliest form of performance, storytelling has a long history of bards and minstrels as well as family and friends telling tales. Storytelling has enjoyed resurgence in popularity since the late 1960s, and since then many story organisations and professional tellers have spread the interest and enjoyment of original and traditional tales.

Storytelling is becoming ever more popular as a form of entertainment in all manner of venues and for a wide variety of events. Unlike theatre, storytellers usually work as an individual without all the set, staging, props and costumes. As their work is not pre-scripted a teller can adapt to each and every audience, giving a truly unique experience.

Red Phoenix telling stories sat on a large wooden chair

With benefits to both teller and listener storytelling can; build language, memory and problem solving skills, develop creative thinking, empathy and confidence, and by using the imagination allow these skills to develop multi-functionally whilst having fun. The power of imagination can allow the individual to overcome the most difficult of obstacles and develop the most original creations, far from being restricted to the realms of childhood games, imaginative gives us the power to change the world, empathise with others and invent the innovations of tomorrow. Storytelling has been found to have benefits in the fields of education, health especially regarding mental degenerative illnesses, bereavement, social development and rehabilitation, cultural understanding, and behavioural issues.

Modern understanding of Storytelling is far from the Victorian view that it is something simply to entertain the children, its benefits are far reaching and useful to young and old alike. Being accessible to all as both listener and teller, if you have not experienced a live storytelling event, or told a story, then there is no better time than now to get involved.

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Website, images, sound-clips and video Terrie Howey 2007, unless otherwise cited. Last updated August 2013.