postevent Somewhenever

Stories Galore at Ventnor Fringe 

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’.

And in the press at

activities postevent

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…


National Storytelling Week, 2023, Event Round-up

As we come to the end of National Storytelling Week, a quick round-up of events that took place over the last or so here on the island.

Last Friday saw internationally renowned storyteller Peter Chand telling a wonderful collection of elephant related tales, from the origin story of the Hindu god of new beginnings, Ganesha, to the title story of the set, Jayamala, and a short, but powerful, tale of the King of the Elephants and the cruelty of man (variant). If you missed the set, ask one of the Island Storytellers to tell you their favourite tale from the evening:-)

When asked for a goto reference book for Indian oral tales, Peter suggested A. K. Ramanujan’s Folktales from India: A Selection of Oral Tales from Twenty-two Languages, 1997.

‘Tis Tales teller, Monty, also had a couple of full-capacity/standing room only “pop-up” venue shows this week, with a performance of Unforeseen Consequences: Travelling the Road at The Athanor museum of curiosities in Ventnor, followed by a lighter set of tales — Unforeseen Consequences: Verging on Nonsense — at Babushka Books in Shanklin.

Huge thanks to Marushka and Reuben, respectively, for providing such wonderful venues, and thanks to all who attended.

PS I also note that it’s Independent Music Venue Week this week. For any old fans of the Stuffies out there (which is to say, The Wonderstuff), Strings in Newport have Miles Hunt on the bill this Saturday doing a solo set…


“Sinister Stories” Pop-Up Venue

For the sold-out first outing of our “Sinister Stories” set, we took to the woods in pop-up venue in the woods at Fort Victoria Country Park…

Thanks to everyone who braved it into the woods…

If you have any photos or videos from the event, please share them with our tistales Facebook page, tag them via @TisTales_IW Twitter account, or email them to

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We’re hoping to announce our next performance in the next few days, so keep checking back here, or via our socials, for details…