Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Clare Coburn: Singapore International Storytelling Festival 2013

Last week I returned from an amazing trip—a week in Singapore at the brilliantly organised Singapore International Storytelling Festival where I received a wonderful welcome as keynote speaker, workshop presenter and storyteller. It was very humbling and encouraging. If you're on facebook, you can see a record of the event at  
I met enchanting storytellers from throughout the region and was honoured to be a guest with Len Cabral and Gene Tagaban from the USA, Ng Kok Keong from Malaysia, Muriel Bloch from France as well as Amihan Bonifacio-Ramelete and Sigmund Pecho of the Phillipines.

I spent the following week in Hiroshima, a city where grief mingles with resilience, and art and creativity serve to honour suffering. The city both remembers its tragic past and celebrates its new vitality. My experiences there inspired the theme for this month's PlayshopStory Playshop from 7-9.30pm at 319 Auburn Road, Hawthorn.

Also, remember the storytelling muster is scheduled for Cup Day. Read about our special 'musterers' and book your ticket to be present on the day: 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky: The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley. Newport 2013

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky is a storyteller folk musician who considers the heart of our history to be the relationship between black and white Australians. The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley tracks the epic adventure of a convict’s escape in 1803 from the farthest out-post of the British Empire – Sullivan Bay (Sorrento) on Port Phillip - and explores Buckley’s 32 years with Wathaurong people where he became Murrungurk, a spirit returned from the dead.
   Jan has been travelling with his show performing in a variety of venues including Casltemaine, Cororooke, Stieglitz and Albert Park. His most recent performance was in the Scout Hall in Newport on 21 September.
   The show was supported by:
 Newport Fiddle and Folk Club, Hobsons Bay Council and the local GetUp Reconciliation Group.

  Jan is a member of Storytelling Australia (Victoria) and is the master of the history tale. His research is impeccable and his storytelling flawless.

For more information and Jan’s contact, click HERE


pics: (top to bottom): Arriving early for a front row seat, tuning the banjo, promoting Recognise*, Jan with William Murrungurk Buckley.

*RECOGNISE is the national conversation about updating Australia's constitution to recognise both Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

An Afternoon of Readings and Recitations by our finest Bush Poets. 20 October 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

JB Rowley remembers Graham Davey 2013

The taciturn bushies whom my father worked with in the East Gippsland forests were rarely moved to
lavish praise on others, but when they did, their eloquence knew no bounds.
“He was a good bloke,” they would say with a slight nod of their heads, “Yeah, a bloody good bloke.” 
I don’t know what they would have made of Graham Davey, who morphed with aplomb from authentic Santa Claus in red and white, to medieval court jester in purple and yellow, to ‘well rounded’ elf in bright green and a myriad of other outrageously costumed characters, but I think they would have seen past the razzle-dazzle straight to the core of the man and recognised him for what he was: a bloody good bloke.
Graham was a bloke who wore many hats: volunteer President of YABBA (for over twenty years), President of CBCA Victoria Branch, and performance storyteller. He wore all these hats (and more) with deep commitment, generosity and enthusiasm. Graham was a tireless champion of Australian children’s books and passionate about children’s books in general. When I noticed on a blog linked to the John Hancock Theatre Restaurant Reunion that he had nominated Peace at Last by Jill Murphy as his favourite book, I couldn’t help smiling. I have no doubt he loved the book, but I also suspect that in choosing a children’s book he was making a statement about the value of children’s stories.
I knew Graham best as a fellow storyteller. For years our paths crossed at story festivals where we invariably enjoyed a bite to eat or coffee together and occasionally appeared in the same program. Sometimes he was a little slow in packing up and getting off the stage when I was due to follow him. I would joke with the audience as I waited that Graham always tried to hog the stage. However, that was far, far from the truth. Graham Davey was always supportive of other artists and extraordinarily generous to fellow storytellers by promoting them whenever possible and including them in events that he organised for the CBCA or YABBA.
As a storyteller he captivated his audience with laidback ease. I first saw him ‘wearing’ his storytelling hat at a book fair. He was telling a simple story to a young audience about a child stealing a biscuit from a cookie jar high up on a shelf. Graham’s ability to paint pictures with words was such that every child in the audience had their eyes directed upward to the imaginary jar on the imaginary shelf. His skilful pacing of the story held his audience in the grip of suspense until the final moment.
Sadly, Graham’s final moment came on April 11, 2013. Perhaps it was a storyteller who said: Life is a search for the peace we once had in the safety of the womb. That search is over for Graham Davey who has found ‘peace at last’.
JB and Graham at the Storytelling Australia (Vic) AGM 2012

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Niki na Meadhra Enchanted Evening: Sunday 22 September 2013

These truly are Enchanted Evenings. We recommend booking to make sure you get a seat and if you arrive early enjoy a meal at Lentils as Anything and a stroll around around the magical world of the old covent and beautiful gardens. How to get there

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ladders to the Moon Sunday 15 September 2013

Ladders to the Moon is proving to be popular with storytellers and listeners. 

The Ladders team: Teena Hartnett, Simon Oats and Prem Jaya have revived traditional storytelling nights in Melbourne, injecting fresh life and enthusiasm into the form.  They've created a safe place where experienced storytellers can develop repertoire and beginners can hone their skills.There are several monthly events in Melbourne where thematic, autobiographical storytelling can be found (Rocket Clock, Cock and Bull, Now Hear This) but to my knowledge, Ladders to the Moon and Niki ne Meadhra’s Enchanted Evenings are the places to go if you like old stories.
Ladders to the Moon features 8 storytellers every month and is keen to meet more people who wish to step up onto the stage.

On Sunday night the stories came from around the world: China, Burma, Greece and England.  We heard tales of tenacity, sacrifice, tact, optimism and stories from the inner child.

Next Ladders to the Moon: October 13
Place 303 High Street Northcote (Parking behind 303)
Time: 7.30
Cost: $10
Ladders to the Moon is on  Facebook

 pictured from the top: John Houghton, Jackie Kerin, Gyanamala, Teena Hartnett, Hakan Mapolar, Stev Fioretti, Roslyn Quin, Prem Jaya, Simon Oats
cellist: Michael Avanitakis

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ladders to the Moon: a night of traditional storytelling. 15 September 2013

Traditional storytelling at its best.

'We want to create an inspired space for storytellers and listeners to come together for the love of STORY and to expand our storytelling community.'

organised and hosted by Vic storytellers:

Simon Oats  0423 467 068 or 
Teena Hartnett  0405 447 093