Storytelling from Britain at the Hans Christian Andersen Festivals in Odense
20th, 21st and 22nd August 2018
Oral storytelling is an age-old entertainment genre and one of the oldest ways of passing on important information and wisdom. The storyteller brings the story to life for the audience through words, body language, eye contact and the tone of voice. Each year, Odense City Museums and Hans Christian Andersen Festivals invite storytellers from around the world to Odense in Denmark to help celebrate the art of storytelling. This year, the audience will experience four storytellers from across Britain at International Storytelling Days which takes place in the birth town of the famous Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. Who are these people from Wales, Scotland, England and beyond and why are they exciting?
Described as the ‘Nick Cave of storytelling’, Ben Haggarty trained in mime and theatre direction before deciding to tell stories as a professional storyteller in the early 1980s. He soon became a central figure in the revival of the practice as a contemporary performing art form in the UK. Today, Ben is a world-class performance storyteller and a much sought-after teacher, whose work delights audiences across the English-speaking world. Ben has performed in venues ranging from ancient caves to the Carnegie Hall. A regular voice on BBC Radio, he has undertaken research trips to Northern and Central India and in Central Asia and is the official storyteller for Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
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. Based in Edinburgh, she is an internationally touring storyteller and story maker. 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 stories for unique events. She collaborates with the finest artists, dancers, musicians and digital wonder kids to create powerful, energetic, deeply moving storytelling works of art. She says, “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.”
Daniel Morden is a storyteller from Wales. He has performed all over the world; in schools, theatres and museums, at festivals and on the radio. Morden retells traditional stories from various cultures, in particular the Celtic and the ancient Greek. His repertoire ranges from nonsense to fairy tale to myth and his lucid, humorous and passionate storytelling has been seen at the Soho Theatre, the National Theatre, the Barbican Centre, the British Museum to mention a few. Daniel has published many books, of which Dark Tales from the Woods and Tree of Leaf & Flame won the Welsh Books Council's Tir Na Nog Award.
Clare Murphy is one of a new generation of performance storytellers. Part Irish, part American, she has lived in both countries, as well as in Spain, and is now based in London. A popular performer at European and American storytelling festivals, she has performed stories in more than 20 countries. Her repertoire extends from her beloved Irish mythology to a wealth of short stories from world folklore, anecdotes, fables, death stories, personal tales and original stories. Her storytelling performances are physical and passionate, and she is blessed with an inherently delightful personality that befriends all and sundry.