That’s what I love about the art of performance storytelling; there’s so much room for improvisation. No live experience is the same. Every audience and venue are different so, in turn, every storytelling is different too.
Since the release of my debut children’s book, The Norfolk Story Book, I have had the pleasure of touring schools, book shops and museums as an author and performance storyteller for family audiences and children in primary schools. For me, the live storytelling very much goes hand in hand with the book, but is an entirely different experience. The wonderful thing about reading is that it can be your own, individual, magical experience. But in a room full of people, we can all join in together to create a unique, collective adventure. We don’t need props, fancy costumes or time machines…just lots of imagination!
My favourite part of performance storytelling is that the audience all become part of the story and we can discover things together, in the moment; it’s what keeps the narrative fun and fresh!
In A Mammoth Journey we go on a journey though prehistoric Norfolk, meet lots of animals along the way and make some noise! I always enjoy inviting the audience to help me create characters for the animals. They always come up with something different – so far we have encountered sneaky snakes, mischievous monkeys, kind mice and inquisitive hedgehogs….never a dull moment!
In Alice and the Snap Dragon there is an opportunity for the audience to create their own dragon, inspired by the dragon from the story. One of the best things about this job is that it gives me the chance to meet so many fantastically talented young writers and artists. Whether you read The Norfolk Story Book or see it in performance at one of my events, I hope it continues to encourage you to make up your own story; it could be about something in the book: snap dragons, mammoths, mustard or indeed, smelly feet, or something of your own creation. If your imagination is sparked that’s all you need to get started then…away we go!