Storytelling Retreat: The Spell on the Tongue

Mon 22 October 2018 - Sat 27 October 2018
Tutors / Eric Maddern & Hugh Lupton
Guest Reader / Nick Hennessey
Course Fee / From £495.00 - £625 per person
Genre / Storytelling
Language / English

Poetry, prophecy, prayer, invocation, preaching, storytelling, song…the uttered word has the power to enchant, to cast a spell over its listeners. In this week of experiment and exploration the tutors will examine various kinds and qualities of ‘heightened speech’. Participants will be actively engaged in uttering their own words, the words of bards and poets, and the words of the anonymous creators of traditional myths, tales and ballads. There will be spells, curses, incantations and charms. There will be praise-songs and satires, and the course will involve several excursions into the landscapes of Gwynedd.


Eric Maddern

Eric Maddern set off aged 22 to travel round the world in two years. It took ten. The last four years were spent working in the Aboriginal communities of Central Australia – an experience which had a profound influence on him. It led to the creation of Cae Mabon, a unique eco-retreat centre in the foothills of Snowdonia. It also inspired him to become a storyteller with a special interest in unearthing the old stories of Britain. Since moving to north Wales in 1986 he has written a dozen children’s picture books, recorded a couple of CDs (Full of Life and Rare and Precious Earth) and in 2015 published Snowdonia Folktales (The History Press). Arising from this has come a new storytelling piece, Songlines of Snowdonia. He is currently working on a memoir.

Hugh Lupton

Hugh Lupton has been a central figure in the British storytelling revival for 30 years. Storytelling is in his blood – he’s the great-nephew of Arthur Ransome. Hugh tells myths, legends and folktales from many cultures, but his particular passion is for the hidden layers of the British landscape and the stories and ballads that give them voice. He has written many collections of folktales and two novels: The Ballad of John Clare(Dedalus, 2012) and The Assembly of the Severed Head (Propolis, 2018), which tells the story of the making of The Mabinogi.

Guest Reader

Nick Hennessey

Nick Hennessey is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading contemporary storytellers.  He is the only international entrant to win the Runolaulu singing competition in Espoo (2000) and was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to create a one-hour documentary about Kalevala in 2010.  He has performed at London’s South Bank Centre and the Royal Albert Hall and extensively at folk, storytelling, and literature festivals throughout the UK and internationally (Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and two national tours of Japan).  He has published three solo albums, the most recent of which, “A Rare Hunger” released on Harbourtown Records, received critical acclaim with airtime plays on BBC Radio 3.

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