Just over a year ago the first Cinderella a day performances and workshops began ! And today the resulting exhibition of over 200 peg doll Cinderella’s and other fairy tale characters comes home to the place where it all started. Hall Green Library.
This is the story of the project:
Once upon a time there were two storytellers Pyn Stockman and Sharon Carr who met and told stories under the banner of Tree- Mendous Tales to children and families at Hall Green Library. Pyn and Sharon were both fascinated by the Cinderella cycle of tales. The way they existed in so many cultures, the way they delighted audiences and the fact that they didn’t always end with the girl marrying the prince.
Imagine their delight when they discovered that Cinderella was coming to Mac at Christmas! Imagine their excitement when they discovered that mac and artworks were looking for community projects that linked to the mac programme!
Would the fabulous people of Hall Green be interested in the Cinderella Cycle of stories? They asked the question and were blown away by the response.
The project became known as “A Cinderella A Day”
between November 2015 and February 2016 families came along to Hall Green Library (and mac birmingham) to listen and take part in the stories. Each story session was followed by a craft activity: Pegs and wool, fabric and glue, ribbon, beads and felt tip pens: a magical mix to make peg dolls inspired by the stories that were told.
And if that wasn’t enough we all got to go to the mac Cinderella Show! What a treat! Another version, another telling this time through theatre!
The project concluded with a showcase of all the creative work at MAC to launch the exhibition. It was a wonderful, lively and engaging evening with a film by Balsall Heath CATS,
Rachel Green and Jane Thakoordin “Little Bits of Lovely”
performance and exhibition, Ashiana
taking us through a wedding ceremony and offering henna painting.
The exhibition opened in February 2016 and was so popular with the public that it ran until September 2016 when finally all the art work was returned to the people who had worked to create them. The peg dolls will now be on exhibition at Hall Green Library before finally finding their way back to their creators.
All photographic documentation by the wonderfully talented Harpreet Kaur
Last night Mr Fox had his first outing of the Autumn at The Stagey Fox a wonderful theatrical bookshop in the heart of Leamington Spa.
Mr Fox was first performed back in April at Story Jam but since then he has gone back into the studio. The piece has now been developed with live music provided by the wonderfully talented Ann Jones. It also incorporates mask and has two endings – the audience use masks to choose which one they wish to see. Both times it has been performed the audience has asked to see both the endings. But this time Mr Fox won the original vote!
I enjoy this game with the audience the point when they all place masks on their faces (I plan to take a picture of this at the next performance) it is a wonderful theatrical moment when the lines between performer and speactator blur and merge.
I want to play with this idea more in other stories in different ways and I really want to sit down with fabulous London storyteller Vanessa Wolf who also has a curiosity about audience decision making within a tale so that we can compare experiences.
The audience at The Stagey Fox were very welcoming and have given us some gorgeous feedback!
“So engaging – especially when underscored with music”
“Loved the rhythmic speaking and repetitions”
“The choice the audience makes between Mr Fox and Miss Mary must be such an interesting psychology test for you to observe!”
“Great setting up of the evening; immense clarity and simplicity, great use of pause, silence and the musical underscoring enhances the theatricality perfectly. Versatile and very suitable touring product!”
“Particularly liked the description of the Summer picnic scene with half of Pyn’s face hidden.”
“The Oak story great hors d’oeuvre”
“I’ve only seen 4 or 5 storytelling gig (and they’ve been amazing) but this was by far the best. Music and storytelling performance was perfectly intertwined and I was engaged from start to finish. You two are brilliant!”
“A brilliant, captivating evening of storytelling last night from Pyn Stockman and musician Ann Jones. We hope to welcome them back in the new year.”
Mr Fox’s Blue Bottle and Other Stories will be performed again on:
23rd November @ Waterstones Book Shop, Central Birmingham
24th November @ Thimble Mill Library, Sandwell
Despite a distinct lack of voice yesterday I had a wonderful time working with #story in a different way. I was at @Action4Bullying all day where we used story to explore the emotional impact of bullying and to raise confidence and self esteem.
We worked with traditional stories with the young people disecting the characters and ultimatly relating their own experiences to the stories. The outcomes were rich and varied. Re-imagined scenes and altered endings plus a Baba Yaga rap, spitting bars with beats behind it.
“The first story was the best (Baba Yaga) there was lots to talk about”
“I’d like to work with more stories”
“It was fun, exciting – I still don’t like acting but it makes you feel good if you have a go”
“The stories were good – they linked to stories we knew but gave us a different perspective”
“It’s been a good opportunity. I was able to express myself. I would like to do more. It was good to end with a making activity”
“I enjoyed it a lot as I love to work with Pyn and I love to do the drama. Thank you ever so much you are the best”
You can find out more about Action4Bullying here
and see some of the amazing films that the young people made with Secret City Arts here
Look forward to working more with these young people.
Green Mice, Dueling Doctors, A Postman Post, The Worlds Tallest Woman ! A rich mix of historical tales based on the work of Dr Chris Upton developed as part of Birmingham Hippodrome and Sampad’s Arts Champions Project.
The tales were told in libraries and community centres from Edgbaston to Bartley Green and were accessed by children, families and Older Adults.
The performances were interactive and lasted between 30 minutes to an hour they were followed either by discussion or a peg doll making activity where participants were encouraged to create one of the characters as a momento.
It was such a fun project and there was a fabulous response that I am in the process of developing further stories based on Chris Uptons’ Research to cover the other areas of Birmingham.
If you would like to book a Heritage Storytelling Session please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org