Category Archives: on telling stories

Babayaga and the Russian Forest

Babayaga and the Russian Forest: the landscape of Russian fairytales  I was invited to The University of Essex’s Centre for Myth Studies to share ideas about Babayaga with their Myth Reading Group. The group is open to students, staff, and local people. There was a wide range of people attending, of all ages and backgrounds, […]

Honouring she who goes before – ten female storytellers

Those storytellers who go before us are an everlasting well of inspiration that we must not forget. Each carrying the tradition of stories in their own way, keeping it alive, so that we may follow behind. It is our responsibility to drink from this well, to feel connected to it, and most of all to […]

Stories have no passports – Kurdish Proverb

Reeling with shock from the result of the EU referendum it is hard to know where to turn.  The Guardian has been doing amazing journalism, voicing the powerful emotions and issues this devastating situation is generating on all sides. The divisions across the UK are stark, and the referendum has fostered them. They seem to have allowed […]

Solomon and Sheba

Solomon and Sheba appear briefly in the Old Testament when Sheba visits King Solomon, tests him with hard questions until dawn, then Solomon gives to Sheba ‘all her desire’. Although the Book of Kings doesn’t say what this desire might be! However, I have found countless other tales exist about Solomon and Sheba. Stories of […]

The Pelion Storytelling Festival – a model of sustainability

Dimitris Prousalis, director of the Pelion Storytelling Festival, was performing stories about slavery and liberation with a blues band. There was huge audience, sitting at tables, drinking beer, eating souvlaki, children running around, a wind gusting, and lighting flashing in the distance! It was a powerful performance in difficult circumstances. But Dimitris wanted to reach […]

Who owns a story? A discussion between Sally Pomme Clayton and Laura Simms

I have been working on my new show The Magician’s Apprentice and will be performing it again at a private party in a couple of weeks. Within it is long Russian fairytale ‘Elena the Wise’. I’ve been working on this story for the last year, and it turns out that my good friend, and wonderful […]

Jordan – Land of Stories

‘There was, and there was not, but even so there was …’ is one way an Arabic fairytale starts. Stories can take us to fantastic lands, to the underworld or a glass mountain, to a girl living at the bottom of a well or a prince with one arm and one wing. I was honoured […]

The Magician’s Apprentice – working on new material

Working on new stories is seductive, preoccupying and very time-consuming! It takes me months and months and months, and longer, to create new material. It starts with a process of researching every version I can find of the story I want to tell. Sometimes I list all the narrative elements and images from all the  […]

Storytelling benefit for Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers

Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers (SDCAS) is a vital charity who provide help, training, advice, a nourishing meal, and a warm, supportive atmosphere for asylum seekers. SDCAS is like a family to everyone. I will be doing a benefit performance on 27th June at 7pm at Peckham Park Road Baptist Church. SDCAS runs on […]

Tales from the Statue – Radio 4 extra

Tales from the Statue is a radio programme I made in 2003 with producer Arlene Gregorius. It is being repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra – Thursday 29 May, at 6.30 am and 8.30 pm and you will also be able to listen on iplayer. Tales from the Statue is about the Hans Christian Anderson […]