Giants, green dragons, wonder tales, sock hunts…. The Island Storyteller’s Somewhen team brought a myriad of stories to Ventnor Fringe last week in a multitude of events. Internationally renowned storyteller Xanthe Gresham Knight enthralled the audience with her tales chosen by the audience; Xanthe had stepped in at the last moment as well-known storyteller, Daniel Morden, had been taken ill. Sue Bailey said “ It was great that Xanthe was able to come. We were looking for someone of a similar calibre to Daniel, and Xanthe pulled the stops out to fill the void with mesmerising stories and accordion playing”.
On Wednesday, seven regulars people, from the Island Storytellers’ monthly story round, took to the floor to tell tales linked by the word green. Sue continued “I loved the diversity of voices and styles at our ‘Green’ storytelling at Ventnor library. It really showed that stories come in many forms whether they are based on anecdotes, traditional folk tales or even on impossibly probable animal stories. We rocked with laughter when local storyteller Sue Clark related her story of how their caravanning group converted a car into a green dragon.”
Stories continued on Friday, when TisTales, a trio of local storytellers, regaled a packed audience at Ventnor Arts Club with tales of giants. Holly Medland’s tales of the origin of Britain gave a possible insight into the assertive nature of women on these islands today, as the heroine, Albina, encouraged the daughters of a Syrian king to rise up against the mundane and devaluing requirements of being obedient and subservient wives.
Welsh hero, Bendigeidfran (“Bran the Blessed”), Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhail and Norse god, Thor, all featured in this excellent hour of stories.
On Saturday and Sunday Sue Bailey led one of her infamous and highly engaging storywalks. “One sock – a riddle and story filled sock hunt, is such fun” said Sue. “The children are very sharp eyed and always manage to follow the clues and find all my missing socks. I love the way they work together and even though they are keen to be the finders, they make sure all the children taking part have a chance to find something”
Tony ‘Monty’ Hirst added to the wealth of storytelling at the Fringe with his set ‘Unforeseen Consequences’. He said “The fringe is a fantastic opportunity for bringing traditional stories to new audiences. Storytelling was the standup of its day, and many of the tales work as well today as ever they did.”
Sue Bailey continued “It has been great being part of Ventnor Fringe. We are very grateful to the organisers for providing a platform for all the performances, whether they be local, national or international. Our storytelling events this week have been part of a year long lottery supported project called ‘Somewhen Storytelling’.