storytelling makes a comeback

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Tue, 2012-02-14 14:18

Storytelling can be a powerful medium for community interaction and stimulating the imagination.

Storytelling used to a be a big part of societyStorytelling used to a be a big part of society

A long long time ago - before TV, video games and even radio - people used to tell each other stories. In fact, story-telling was an integral part of the tribal community; we all know about the old tradition of gathering around the evening camp fire to listen to a good old tale or two. Historically our myths, legends, fables and folklore have helped pass many a morale and life lesson from one generation to the next. While some seem wacky, the archetypes and intrinsic wisdom are forever present in their words.

The International School of Storytelling is all about bringing the story back. Based in the UK, Essex, this organisation works to maintain and share the ancient spirit of the storyteller. Travelling to our beautiful country at the beginning of each year, founders Ashley Ramsden and Sue Hollingsworth offer a 5 week storytelling course for those curious about this craft.

Last Friday evening (10 Feb) we visited Erin Hall in Rondebosch to watch Gavin Bonner's storytelling show called 'Strange Love Stories' staying in the theme of Valentines Day. Gavin trained with The School of Storytelling some years ago and has been based in SA a while now, although his English accent is still strong.

Gavin wows crowds with his wacky and wonderful storiesGavin wows crowds with his wacky and wonderful stories

Having attended a Waldorf school, I definitely appreciate a good story, so was looking forward to it. Even in this tremendous technology age, for me there is nothing like letting your imagination loose on a journey paved with words. Like they always say, the movie is never as good as the book was!

Gavin's stories proved to be bizarre and wacky, full of men with long silver beards and always having happy endings. Some were like fairytales, others based on life experience and he even retold an awesome traditional Venda animal tale. My favorite was when he told a whole story in poetry form - reminding me of Rupert the Bear stories from my childhood - and one time he got us to help him with ideas, even requesting objects to assist him with an improvised story (a monks assistant with a bad habit for stealing magical jewels!).

Using gongs, tamborines and clay pot drums to accompany his performance, he told of all different types of love: brotherly love, forgiveness and even redemption. Most of all his words echoed back hopes, fears and life in all it's eccentricity. Returning from our magical journey of stories, it felt good to have dabbled in this simplistic enjoyment.

If you would like to learn more about The International School of Storytelling, upcoming shows or courses that are on offer please click here to see their website.

You can also join Gavin Bonner at Kalk Bay Theatre for some more wacky tales on the 4th of March (for all the family).

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