We are a company of performing storytellers
We have worked together since 2000 to present a wide variety of storytelling shows in many different settings.
We have staged the ecobardic storytelling epics Arthur's Dream, Robin of the Wildwood and Return to Arcadia, and pioneering compilations of myth, history and inter-cultural encounter such as Voices from the Past, Vanished Voices, Tales from the Saxon Shore and Pilgrims of Love.
We also run workshops in storytelling and creative writing for groups and individuals, and provide creative and narrative consultancy services to cultural and heritage organisations and educational institutions.
Based in South West England, we have worked throughout Britain and internationally. Individually and in various combinations we have presented performances and led creative workshops in diverse settings, from theatres, schools and community centres to festivals, woodlands and open fields. We enjoy working together as a creative team, reshaping stories from the past to speak to our own time, and crafting new tales that look sideways at the present or speculatively into the future. We perform as a whole group, in combinations of twos and threes, and as individuals.
As a group, our artistic roots are in the bardic arts of oral storytelling, poetry and song. Individually, our backgrounds are in the fields of education, publishing, the natural sciences, history, archaeology, and art history. Our performances bring certain artistic qualities found in ancient and modern bardic practice together with the recognition of the centrality, in our time, of the relationship between humankind and the global ecosystem. We published An Ecobardic Manifesto in 2008, a twenty-page booklet presenting an audacious vision for the arts in a time of environmental crisis.
The performances, courses, workshops and other creative services each of us offers independently are noted on our individual websites. Originally founded by Anthony Nanson, Kirsty Hartsiotis, Kevan Manwaring and David Metcalfe, our current performing members are:
Anthony Nanson: writer and storyteller
Kirsty Hartsiotis: storyteller, writer and speaker
David Metcalfe: storyteller, folk singer and guitar player
Richard Selby: storyteller and bookseller
Chantelle Smith: folk singer and folk musician
Overall, we aim to:
Foster the imaginations of our listeners
Inspire transformation in individuals and groups
Reach different audiences with new stories and traditional tales
Empower others to seek, create and share their own particular stories
"I've been to a lot of storytelling up and down the country and this is as good as it gets."
Professor Ronald Hutton