A young protagonist sets out on a journey of discovery. It may be the neglected ashgirl who is mistreated by her family or the hapless, third prince who sets off into the world against all the odds. On the way they will suffer frequently and deeply, meet despair and hunger but still maintain a generosity and openness to the world. They may encounter elemental forces of fire, wind and water. It is more than likely that they will meet animals and ancestral elders and their kindness to them will be repaid many times over. At the end of the story their intuitive, generous and authentic behaviour brings them happiness and fulfillment and, yes, there will almost definitely be a wedding at the end, and a very good wedding it will be too.
That, broadly, is the wondertale format. It is a perennial favourite with many sorts of audience and is an instantly recognisable world that audiences sink into quickly and completely. How do we, as storytellers, negotiate our way through the thicket? How do we find the power behind the happy-ever-after cliché? How do we make the witch and ogre really, really scary? How do we inhabit the natural, animal and supernatural worlds that all clamour for our attention in this apparently simple format?
Those are the questions that this workshop will help you answer with practically focussed storytelling activities and exercises to help you bring these stories to life. We will be looking at how we can use our bodies and voices to inhabit these enchanted worlds and use structure to bring the actions and feelings contained in them to life.
I have been telling wondertales for over twenty years and regularly teach workshops to new, experienced and professional storytellers. I will be bringing you my experience as a teller and the fruit of research and experimentation undertaken with many leading practitioners (Adverse Camber Abbi Patrix, Miranda Tuffnell, Gilly Adams and Sue Fox, John Wright, Eric Franklin etc) and my time at the 3rd Labo experimental storytelling group at La Maison du Conte storytelling centre near Paris.