Story-Tea is a collaboration with the wonderful Arlene Burnett visual artist, folk herbalist and owner of tea company “Queen of Camellias”. There are other brews and teas but our very first outing was as part of Dying Matters Week 2019 with Dying Matters Brew which took place at the wondrous Artefact in Stirchley, Birmingham also home of StoryVibes
We were assisted by the excellent Synthia Onega and had the support of Brum YODO too
We delved into the meanings and soothing properties of teas and plants linked to death and grief.
I worked up my stories, Arlene investigated the folk lore we linked them together. I also began to look at how a crafty make (that underpins much of my community engagement work) could fit with a storytelling event and facilitate conversation.
We dipped our toes in ritual and we set ourselves the challenge of working only with natural, organic materials.
We sold out, we squeezed people in and we were booked for Birmingham Literature Festival! By the 2019 Festival Director Antonia Beck (who also has her own wonderful Death Linked work with the funny and moving Death Show with linked Death Show Pod Cast
And so two things happened as a result: – a new Autumn inspire Story-Tea called Wild Woods Brew began to simmer away ready for Birmingham Literature Festival
And I began to think what it was I wanted to do with this “death stuff” and the idea for Story-Tea: Tell It To The Bees began to take shape with an end game of making a full touring show via some deep rooted community engagement and funding applications.