Story-telling is one of the oldest, time-tested traditions of entertainment (and arguably education) enjoyed by all, young and old, through the ages. Unlike the printed story, where we have one narrator telling one version of a tale which is the same for everyone who reads it, the spoken tale is a living, changing beast. It can be invented on the spot, woven with fresh twists and details, and finely embellished over and again with the gems of imagination and experience added in by every teller. The oldest tales, passed on through generations of story tellers and their audience, will have gone through many evolutions, as every time a tale is told some detail may be lost, and more added. The game Chinese Whispers really highlights this! As such, the repeated spoken tale is often the result of many 'authors' - as each teller adds their own unique 'take' on the tale. Reading is a fantastic skill, opening the worlds of others up to us, while requiring imagination on the readers part to picture what the writer is conveying, but story telling tests our memories and frees our imaginations even further. A story teller is not limited to the words on a page; they can respond to their audiences responses, and tweak a tale to make it more relevant to the listener.
Set up by The Society for Storytelling, National Story Telling Week (30th January - 6th February 2021) celebrates this ancient tradition.
'The Society for Storytelling was set up to promote the oldest art form in the world. Storytelling is at the root of every art form: we think in story form, make sense of our world in narrative – from
something we’ve seen, through last night’s television, to what family and folk stories we remember and retell. Performance storytelling can be a powerful experience, both entertaining and moving. Story is also the traditional medium of communication from generation to generation, a tool for education and therapy. National Storytelling Week was conceived in the year 2000 AD to increase public awareness of the art, practice and value of oral
Why not join in with your family? Children love to hear, and to tell a good story, and everyone can join in. You could start them off with a first line, and take turns to add the next part of the tale. Who knows where that tale may take you? Enjoy!
Mum. Nan. And editor of Raring2go! Hereford & Worcester.