Storytelling is a timeless craft, providing enchantment and fascination for centuries. Blurring the line between traditional and contemporary, storytellers open our eyes to the wonders and woes of the world. With beguiling tales from both fictional and non-fictional origins, they enrich souls and stir emotions. Blending the old with the new, modern-day storytelling breathes life into this marvellous corner of literature.
Home to a myriad of enthusiastic storytellers, eager to tell their tale. Beyond The Border – Wales’ International Storytelling Festival, to give it its official subtitle – is set to support three chosen applicants through their New Voices Mentoring Programme.
Actor, writer and comic Ceri Phillips, from Morriston, is utilising a talent for storytelling. Discovering the origins of Bardic tradition with modern storytelling, Ceri hopes to develop his own piece Stori’r Gerdd, exploring narratives of Welsh poetry.
Chandrika Joshi has a heritage steeped in Indian culture. With family ties to Kathakaar (storytellers), stories run through her veins. Since joining the Cardiff Storytelling Circle eight years ago, tales have flowed from her. Chandrika would like to create a long show, as a part of New Voices.
On a tangled path, Kestrel Morton explores the hidden edges of society. Discovering beautiful ragged populations, filled with interesting characters and passionate personalities, myths blur with reality, amongst the wild edges of life. Drawing on traditional legends and the modern world. Kestrel explores today’s challenges, through in-depth discussion.
Each enriched by their own enchanting journeys, unique insights and experiences have woven the path for these storytellers to enlighten audiences. With support and mentoring from Beyond The Border, the boundaries of their imaginations will soon become endless.
BTB’s Engagement Co-Ordinator Tamar Eluned Williams explains New Voices in more detail. “These three storytellers are at the very start of their careers and we are really excited to see them develop their craft. We were really pleased with the number of applications we had for the mentoring programme reflecting the need for people wanting to develop skills at this time. The standard of applications was incredibly high and we know there are many more artists needing support. Hopefully we will be able to support them through other opportunities over the next year. The level of interest in the programme has made us all very excited about the potential of storytelling in Wales and the new generation of voices coming through.”
Through its Reimagine, Redevelop & Create Resilience programme, Beyond The Border will mentor the emerging storytellers throughout the year, as well as hosting weekly coffee and chat spaces known as CASGLU. Allowing established and emerging storytellers to meet, CASGLU provides a safe, relaxing space for networking and conversation, where language and stories are discussed. Taking place every Friday, these events are open to all who wish to join. Beyond The Border also host numerous webinars and online workshops, to support storytellers at every stage of their career.
words REBECCA LLEWELLYN