“Middle Age Crisis” Show @ Babushka, June 4th, 2024

A first solo show for ‘Tis Tales teller Holly at Babushka Books, Shanklin, on Thursday, June 4th, 2024, 7pm doors with first story 7.15pm.

Tickets, as ever, £7, including refreshments, with reservations in advance on 07511 220038‬ / 01983 652880 or via the bookshop direct.

Early booking for all Babushka events is: a) much appreciated, and b) increasingly necessary, as the word starts to get out about the joy of storytelling, or perhaps it’s the cake and other refreshments?! (But that’s still no reason not to share the word: the bigger the audience, the more shows we can run, and hopefully the more tellers we can get onto the Island:-)


An Isle of Wight Miscellany (WIP — POSTPONED)

REGRETFULLY POSTPONED — the coughing, however, continues…:-(

Upcoming this week — Thursday, May 9th, 2024 — ‘TisTales teller Monty will be back at Babushka Books in Shanklin with a set of Island-based tales and legends. The first half of the show will feature a legend of how Godshill got its name, a macabre tale from Arreton, and a well known, and still told, children’s nursery tale that was originally set in Shanklin… The second part will feature a work-in-progress historical tale of life in the city of vice that was Newport in the 1850s, an evangelical preacher with a penchant for publishing inflammatory tracts, and a link to Jane Eyre…

The drill for tickets (£7, including refreshments) is, as ever, to make reservations in advance on 07511 220038‬ / 01983 652880 or via the bookshop direct. Doors are 7pm, with first story at 7.15.


‘Tis Tales at Lake Coffee House, Thurs, April 25th, 2024


We’re pleased to announce our first ‘Tis Tales set at the Coffee House, Lake, (on the No. 8 bus route, opposite Morrisons, next to Aldi; other supermarkets are available, just not there…), on Thursday, April 25th, 2024, doors at 7pm, first story 7.15, tickets £6 available from the ‘Tis Tales ticket site.

So come all ye and hear Holly, Monty and Sue regale you with tales for grown ups of fantastical beasts and maybe a mythical monster or two…


Stories’n’Harp, Monkton Arts, April 10th, 2024

Another outing for ‘Tis Tales teller Monty with Ryde based harpist Theresa Ellis, also featuring special guest Jenni Charity, at Monkton Arts, Ryde, on Wednesday April 10th, 2024.

Doors 7pm, first story 7.15pm. Tickets, price £5, are available here.

events Somewhenever

Somewhen Presents — Clare Murphy, UniVerse

A mathematician finds a gift from a god. Blacksmiths beat out the music of the spheres. And why are there turtles everywhere?

Where does myth meet science? Is it only in the middle of the night when we half wake and half sleep? In this timeless place of wonder and insight, time stretches and a fissure opens that builds a dream bridge between many worlds…

All you need to know:

  • where? Quay Arts, Newport;
  • when? Tue 5th March 2024
  • time? Cafe / Bar open from 18:00, performance from 19:00
  • how much? £10 + £1.75 booking fee — tickets available here.

Clare is also running a workshop on storytelling for science communicators at Quay arts on the following day, Wednesday, March 6th, 2024, 9-5. Cost £45, incl. ticket to UniVerse. More details here.

Both these are events are organised by Somewhen Storytelling, promoting traditional storytelling as living oral culture on the Isle of Wight, supported by an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant.

events Somewhenever

Storytelling for Science Educators Workshop

Clare Murphy, a highly respected international storyteller will
be leading a storytelling workshop from 9.00-5pm on
Wednesday 6th March, 2024, at Quay Arts, Newport. It will focus on developing new and different ways to communicate [Clare Murphy, training].

Clare says:

Whether you are a climate change scientist, a paramedic, a UN Policy maker, an academic, you need to be able to talk fluently about your work and make an impact on your audience.  Storytelling skills will help you and your team improve your impact and message, no matter what sector you work in.

Clare trains teams and individuals worldwide on storytelling skills.  These skills include managing nerves, preparing presentations, connecting to audience, turning experience into story, story editing, adaptive story formats.  Clare also develops confidence, presence and vocal range, while all the time developing the individual skillset of each person. 

 The evening before, (Tuesday 5th March at 7pm) Clare will be telling ‘UniVerse’ at Quay Arts, Newport.  Clare highly recommends workshop participants attend the storytelling performance, as it will be referenced during the workshop.

The cost per person for the workshop should be £100 but this is subsidised by Arts Council funding so the cost to each participant will be £45. This includes a ticket for UniVerse.

This event is being organised by the Island Storytellers who received a grant to develop storytelling on the Isle of Wight under the banner of Somewhen Storytelling. Please email to reserve a space.

Note, there are only 16 spaces on this course which will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Supported by Somewhen Storytelling, promoting traditional storytelling as living oral culture on the Isle of Wight, supported by an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant.


Tis Tales Show in Cowes — Love and Where It Takes You

Making use of the extra day in the year, Holly and Sue will be telling a set of tales on the theme of luurrrrve, and where it takes you, at Medina Bookshop in Cowes, on Thursday, 29th February, 2024. Doors open at 6.15 for 6.30pm start.

A wife plays a trick on her husband, a soldier holds a secret and a woman has a tough choice selecting a husband. Discover the funny, thoughtful and shocking place that love can take you in these wonderful traditional stories old by island-based storytellers Tis Tales.

Tickets cost £7, including booking fee, available here.


National Storytelling Week — Extra Event

Just a reminder that this week is National Storytelling Week, as promoted by the Society for Storytelling (who seem to have decided that now is a good time to refresh their whole website, which is to say, the site is currently down…;-)

If storytelling still means little more to you than reading bedtime tales, to children, from illustrated books, then DEFINITELY LEAVE THE YOUNGER KIDS AT HOME and come to see one of the sassiest tellers of traditional tales that I think I’ve ever seen: Sarah Liisa Wilkinson’s “Strange Girls, Beautiful Monsters” is on at the Cowes Combined Services Club, Tuesday, Jan. 30th, 2024, 7pm, tickets available here. Not really for children..

On Thursday, Feb 1st, ‘Tis Tales teller Monty will again be performing with Island based harpist Theresa Ellis at Babushka Books in Shanklin. There were enough names on the reserve list following the sold out performance last week to make it seem rude not to offer another opportunity to see this new collaboration, but as before, advance booking is essential, either on 07511 220038‬ / 01983 652880 or via the bookshop directly.

Both these events are word of mouth marketing driven — we can’t rely on online algos to share our posts, and the island print press don’t seem to run with our press releases — so please help spread the word — and the idea of — storytelling that’s not (just) for children…

PS If you’ve seen our telling, you’ll know this has nothing to do with reading books to kids. And it’s nothing to do with the “Isle of Wight Story Festival”, which is focussed on selling illustrated childrens’ books to families with kids (and there’s nothing wrong with that; but that’s not what performance storytelling is about…;-)


Somewhen Stories on the Isle of Wight, for National Storytelling week, 2024

It’s that time of year when the National Storytelling Week comes around again — Saturday, 27th January – Sunday, 4th February 2024 — and we’re starting things off early with a performance by ‘Tis Tales teller, Monty, alongside harpist Theresa Ellis, at Babushka Books, Shanklin, on the theme of Tradtional Tales from England and Wales.

Poor Sir Orfeo, a King of Winchester whose wife has been taken prisoner by the fairies. A master harper, can he beguile the good people to win her back?

For the sorceress Ceridwen, a year and a day is a price she’ll happy pay to brew a potion of inspiration for her talentless. But when the prize goes elsewhere, a magical chase ensues….

And you’ve maybe heard tales tell of the ravens of the Tower of London, protecting England from invasion, but how did they come to be there? The tale starts in Wales, when the King of Ireland calls on Bendigeidfran, aka Bran the Blessed, or the Blessed Crow, seeking to marry the Welsh King’s sister, Branwen.

Tickets for “Traditional Tales of England and Wales” on Friday, January 26th, 2024, are available in advance from Babushka Books, Shanklin, or via ‭07511 220038‬ / 01983 652880. Advance booking essential.

On Saturday, January 27th, Monty will also be telling a short set of tales at the launch of the Figlet Literary magazine, a new magazine published by Jean G. Owen. The venue is the Community Hall ( CHOYD), in Yarmouth, 2 till 5, admission free but please book in advance to help give an idea of numbers…

On Sunday, 28th January, 2024, there is an invitation only event at Monkton Arts, Ryde, for member of the Island Storytellers and participants of the Somewhen Storytelling supported storytelling workshops, as run by storyteller Nell Phoenix over the last few months.

On Tuesday, January 30th, 2024, as part of the Somewhen Storytelling promoted events, we’re delighted to have Sarah Liisa Wilkinson performing her show Strange Girls, Beautiful Monsters, in what is likely to be a high energy telling of some fantastic tales, featuring, hilarity and adventure, and not a little danger, told from a perspective with a strong female gaze.

Cowes Combined Services & Social Club, Cowes, PO31 7AJ

Tuesday 30th January 2024, 7pm-9.30pm (timed to fit with Red Jet sailings (just around the corner) to/from Southampton…)

Running time: 75 minutes

Tickets: £10 (incl. booking fee).



Strange Girls, Beautiful Monsters

As the new year begins, what better way to start than with a Somewhen Storytelling promoted storytelling event in Cowes as part of National Storytelling Week….

If you haven’t been to a storytelling show before, try this one…

A girl enters the woods clutching a skull with burning eyesAnother tumbles out of a barrel and falls in loveA third erupts into the world riding a goatOne more opens a forbidden door…

If you like long form narrative comedians, you might find you like storytelling too…

Sarah Liisa Wilkinson invites you to meet some very strange girls and some very beguiling monsters from the fairytale forest. This is a world of Baba Yagas and bloodstained dolls, wide-eyed girls and spoon wielding sisters, lovestruck trolls, and lovers who hide monstrous secrets behind their charms.Dark, funny and enchanted – these are stories with iron teeth.

Cowes Combined Services & Social Club, Cowes, PO31 7AJ

Tuesday 30th January 2024, 7pm-9.30pm (timed to fit with Red Jet sailings (just around the corner) to/from Southampton…)

Running time: 75 minutes

Tickets: £10 (incl. booking fee)

Monty says: “I saw Sarah Liisa for the first time last year, performing this show, and was absolutely blown away by the energy and humour of it. A brilliant example of what storytelling can be. I can’t wait to see it again. This show will be a treat not to be missed… DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!”

If you’re not sure what storytelling is, here’s a rare video of Sara Liisa telling a tale…

Sara Liisa Wilkinson tells “The Golden Balls”. See how far she moved the tale on by comparing a traditional version from 1894...