activities Island Storytellers

Island Storytellers at Ventnor Fringe, 2023: “Green”

A new gang show from the Island Storytellers will be presented at Ventnor Library on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023, 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: £6, Under 25 £3, Culture / Unlimited Pass 2for1 (pass holders only) available here.

GREEN is life itself. From the smallest flower to the oldest oak; flashing eyes of love to the dark plots of jealous envy; ‘The force through the green fuse drives the flower…’. And don’t forget lizards, parrots and dragons with their GREEN Scales and Tails. Come to hear GREEN stories of every description as told by the Island Storytellers.

The simple art of storytelling has been with us forever, enjoyed by young and old alike, in all parts of the world. Come join us to hear a mix of tales linked together by the colour green, and brought to you by The Island Storytellers, a group of people who meet monthly, keen to keep alive the age old art of oral storytelling and share the pleasure of listening and telling.
This evening of tales will be great for adults and older children. A cosy atmosphere with (green!) refreshments in the break.

Storytelling as living oral culture. Tales for all ages, spoken not read. Because stories aren’t (just) for children.


‘Tis Tales Show at Ventnor Fringe, 2023

Don’t miss out, there’s still time to book your tickets for our new show, Here Be Giants, at the Ventnor Arts Club on Friday, July 28th, 3-4pm. Tickets available here.

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Taking Somewhen Stories to Calbourne Water Mill

Over the weekend, ‘Tis Tales teller Monty took a selection of stories to the Water Mill at Calbourne.

The weather didn’t really suit telling outside using the rather fantastic story-telling chair, but maybe next time?

And when it came to trying to pull the sword from the stone…?!

We’ll hopefully be taking some tales to other island events over the summer as part of the Somewhen Storytelling initiative, so keep an eye out for details…


“Unforeseen Consequences” at Ventnor Fringe

We’re involved with a whole host of stories at Ventnor Fringe this week, in part under the banner of the Somewhen Storytelling initiative.

First up, ‘Tis Tales Monty is bringing his “Unfortunate Consequences (Verging on Nonsense)” set to Boniface Studios on Sunday 23rd July, 2023, 5-6pm. Tickets: £8, Under 25 £5, Culture / Unlimited Pass 2for1 available here.

Whatever the streaming services try to tell you, the best stories, and the best storytelling, are NOT best told through a screen…

The best stories are the stories that just kept on, and keep on, being told, somewherever, and somewhenever, for generations. And the best way to experience them is the original way – from a storyteller. Traditional stories, traditionally told, but still as colourful and vibrant, and entertaining as ever they were. Every so often, some of them disappear from view, but then they make a return, and re-enter the storytelling tradition they never really left…

So make yourself comfortable, and journey with Island-based traditional performance storyteller Tony Hirst, aka Monty, to the land of once upon a time, where tales are told that aren’t (just) for children. Come and hear tell of how two farmers tried to get the better of their neighbour, whilst a young prince accepted a challenge to win a beautiful princess. A dragon-serpent watches on as a childless old couple suddenly find they have a child to bring up, a blacksmith does a deal with a devil, and a young man certainly knows how to use his head.

What could possibly go wrong…?

Monty will also be doing a free fringe set at the Fringe Square, St Catherine’s Church, 1pm-1.30pm on Tuesday, July 25th, 2023, telling “Folk Tales from Britain and Ireland”.


Promoting Somewhen Storytelling at Ventnor Fringe

Just a fortnight or so to go before Ventnor Fringe — have you started getting your tickets yet? There are 2for1 offers on many shows, if you’re quick, and it’s a real confidence boost be performers knowing in advance that there will be audience there!

A huge treat for us is having Daniel Morden at the Ventnor Fringe. One of the most compelling tellers of dark tales out there, Daniel’s set will feature his own reworked versions of several late 19th century tales from the Woods’, a legendary Welsh gypsy family. A show not to be missed. Tickets available here.

There’s also a whole host of local tellers at the fringe: we’ll be there as `Tis Tales, as well as with the Island Storytellers, and Monty and Sue are also doing solo slots. Tickets now available from the Ventnor Fringe website: just search for somewhen or storytelling.

If you’ve seen us telling around the island, we’d love to see you at the fringe. If the shows are a success, we’re more likely to attract more storytellers to the island in future.

We also appreciate that the cost of tickets can quickly add up, but all our shows offer 2-for-1 discounts if you’re a friend of the fringe or Ventnor Exchange (and you but the tickets in time!). There are also discounts for under-25s. There are also quite a few costs involved in putting on a show (programme entry fee, box office take, minimum venue take/percentage), so we’re not necessarily laughing all the way to the bank! (We also don’t want to undersell ourselves,. but that’s really for you to judge…)


‘Tis Tales and More at Ventnor Fringe 2023

As part of the Island-based Somwhen Storytelling initiative, ‘Tis Tales will be appearing as one of several Somewhen affiliated events at Ventnor Fringe.

Search for somewhen storytelling on the Ventnor Fringe website.

Tickets for all our events are already on sale from the Ventnor Fringe Box Office. Please help spread the word…

If you like storytelling (stories as traditionally told (NOT read), or are just intrigued as to how stories might not just be for children, please try to support these events. Any profits generated will go back into the pot to help us bring more professional storytellers to the Island.


Somewhen Storytelling Festival, June 3-4, 2023


Two Storytelling Shows for May…

Following on from two successful shows in February, at pop up venues The Athanor in Ventnor, and Babushka Books in Shanklin, ‘Tis Tales teller Monty will performing two new back to back shows at the same venues in May.

First up, on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023, with doors open at 7pm, at The Athanor, Ventnor, “And the Girl Played On…”. What happens when King’s daughter claims to love him only as much salt? What is the significance of the leaves that hung but never grew? How should a young girl respond when the local lord tells her she can only marry when she had spun her wedding shift, and his death shroud, from nettles? And what price ambition — for love, for fame? — when a bargain with the Devil is part of the story? Tickets, priced £4, are reservable in advance from the venue or by calling 07405 346388.

The following night, Thursday, May 11th, 2023, at Babushka Books in Shanklin, doors open at 7pm for a set of Irish tales and legends based on the Fenian cycle stories of Fionn Mac Cumhail, his son Oísin, and the warriors of the Fianna. How did Oísin get his name (“little fawn”)? How did Fionn get his thumb of knowledge, and how could his favourite hounds also be his cousins? And just how quickly could Cuilthe run? Tickets priced £5, including refreshments, are reservable in advance from the venue or by calling 07511 220038.

As space is limited in each venue, prior booking is required.


‘Tis Tales’ Favourites at Freshwater Library

In the land of story, there are many tales to tell. Of good deeds and bad, of gifts and desires, of tricksters and terrible ends.

So join us for a magical evening of storytelling in which Tis Tales will enchant you with a selection of their favourite traditional tales, hailing from places as near as the Back of the Wight and as far as the mountains of Marrakech.

Through these skilfully told tales, you’ll discover the object more valuable than gold, learn why you should never interrupt a story and meet the woman who terrified death himself.

So come along for an evening of stories you’ll never forget.

Wednesday, 26th April, 2023, 7.30pm, at Freshwater Library.

Tickets available, priced £5 in advance, in advance only from :


Announcing “Spring Stories”, 2023, @ Bar 74

With spring in the air, ‘Tis Tales are pleased to announce a new collection of traditional tales — Spring Stories — presenting for the first time on the Ides of March — Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start — at Bar 74, Ryde.

Look forward to an enchanting evening of traditional spring tales, featuring gods and goddesses, flowers and fog, making it perfectly balanced between the darkness of winter and the lightness of summer.

Tickets are now available priced £6 in advance (includes booking fee), or on the door.

To secure a ticket for purchase on the door, email: