News: First night of new National Storytelling Tour in Derby

The Kingdom of the Heart is a new piece of storytelling and music for adults, created and performed by storyteller Katy Cawkwell and cellist Sarah Llewellyn-Jones

On Weds 10th October at 7.30pm at the Guildhall Theatre, the show has its first performance in a 25 date national tour produced by Derby based company Adverse Camber.

The Kingdom of the Heart is based on two Czechoslovakian wonder tales – stories set in an imagined world where magical events happen.   Cello music by Bach and Britten, performed by Sarah Llewellyn-Jones create an atmospheric sound world for the storyteller, Katy Cawkwell, to respond to as she spins the tale for the audience.    It is aimed at adult audiences and older children.

A fisherman, out on a great blue lake, catches a rusty kettle in his nets. When he lifts the lid off the kettle, an enormous fiery man is released.  A bargain is struck and the fiery man shows the fisherman a pathway into another land, a golden kingdom where the cares of this world fall away.  Over ninety minutes, the storyteller and musician tell the story of various characters who find their way into the golden kingdom by different routes and find that all is not quite as it seems!  The story draws on many familiar motifs from wonder tales, such as the genie in the bottle and a speaking horse, as well as darker, more mysterious figures – a serpent prince who has a habit of enchanting women and a king with stone legs, watching apparently helpless at his queen’s infidelity.

Storytelling for adults is a growing art form, within the UK.   The stories are not learned by rote, rather each performance draws on the unique atmosphere and response of each audience, making events vibrant and dynamic.  Similarly, although the music includes excerpts from classical compositions, the musician responds to the particular choices made by the storyteller. 

Derby, like many cities, has its own storytelling club “Flying Donkeys” which meets monthly at the Voice Box on Forman Street.   The club alternates between guest storytellers and open nights, where anyone can share a story.  The Kingdom of the Heart is happening through a partnership between Flying Donkeys, Adverse Camber and Derby LIVE, all of whom are working together to bring new audiences to storytelling in the city.  The tour has been funded by Arts Council England and National Lottery and, from Derby, will go to London, Buckinghamshire and Cambridge before moving to the West Country and the Bristol Storytelling Festival in February 2013.

Tickets for The Kingdom of the Heart are £11.25 (£9.25 concessions) from Derby LIVE Box Office on 01332 255800 or in person. If you book via the website at tickets are cheaper, without booking fees.

After the show there will be a short Question and Answer session in the bar of the theatre, where audiences are welcome to ask questions and give their feedback on the performance.

Full details of all forthcoming tours are available on Adverse Camber’s website and Facebook page.