– National Storytelling Week + Spring: private parties, Devon + Gloucestershire
– Packed house for Mad March Tales in the lovely little studio at Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton (Somerset). It’s one of those nights where the audience is in the mood so I take the risk – comedy, new material, instant storymaking with the audience…
– Reading from ‘The Hobbit’ and storytelling sessions for international exhibition of fantasy art (Gloucestershire)
– Cabaret spot for Visions experimental performance night, Cheltenham
– Telling Tales: Storytelling Day Workshop at Farncombe Estate Centre, Broadway (Worcestershire)
– Family sessions for opening of Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol
– Schools including World Book Day and start of Storytelling Residency for Chipping Campden School, Gloucestershire
– Staff training for Gardeners Lane Children’s Centre, Cheltenham
– Women’s groups, Evergreens group
– Multiple performances in Cheltenham and Gloucester for Gloucs. University’s One World Week
– Tales of Lust & Chocolate for annual dinner Lechlade Tennis Club
– Live radio interview Bank Holiday Monday for BBC Radio Gloucestershire
– Story sessions for Gloucestershire Libraries Fiction Festival
New photos, new website.
October, November, December 07 – Christmas Day Festive Fables for hotels in Northamptonshire & Warwickshire
– Christmas Eve private party, Devon
– Women’s groups, U3A groups, schools, village celebrations
– Afternoon Tea ‘n Tales for Snowshill Manor NT (Cotswolds)
– Tales of Lust & Chocolate for Hidcote NT lecture lunch
– Cabaret for Gala Charity night Cheltenham Animal Shelter
– Family sessions for award-winning Lightbox Art Gallery & Museum, Woking (Surrey)
– Festive Fables story lunch for Upper Thames Decorative & Fine Arts Society
– 21st Century Scrooge for H R Champions, Gloucester
– Successful to bursting point family storytelling in shimmer-starlit black marquee at Sudeley Castle Christmas Fayre; extra shows to meet demand
– Recorded Christmas show with various guests for BBC Radio Gloucestershire in Great Oak Hall at Westonbirt Arboretum
– Fishy Tales for Tall Ships weekend at National Waterways Museum, Gloucester Docks
– Hallowe’en Story Supper for gourmet gala at St Michael’s House Restaurant, Painswick (Gloucestershire)
– Hallowe’en Dinner for Miskin Manor Hotel, near Cardiff (Wales).
Summer 07 – Series of 6 different shows for Secret Gardens Story Concerts hosted by Cheltenham Tourism
– Debut at Sting In The Tale Festival of Storytelling (Dorset) with Night of Legends at the picturesque ruins of Shaftesbury Abbey; arrived to damp + gloom then large audience arrived bearing bulging picnic hampers and arctic clothing; the acoustic off the old stone walls was perfect and it turned into one of those extra sparkling performances…
….Rush home, re-pack, put moggies in charge of the cottage, rush off to join MS Boudicca (Fred Olsen Lines) for 2 weeks + 6 different shows. Stories from every port! – including Lisbon, Casablanca, Canary Islands + Madeira; so plenty of preparation. Onshore adventures included camels, scaring Moroccan taxi drivers and just 30 blissfully peaceful minutes taking morning coffee at Reid’s Hotel. Thoroughly enjoyed ballroom dancing, food, and nattering with lots of passengers – added to my story collection! My sessions were popular enough to earn me an evening cabaret spot; which produced quote of the trip from the show director “You’ve got 30 minutes but get off after 25”
– Debut at Windsor Fringe Festival with Tales of Lust & Chocolate; straight down to Taunton for next night…
…Night of Legends at my favourite studio space Brewhouse Theatre; leisurely pootle from Berkshire to Somerset wrecked by me putting petrol in diesel tank; rescue service worked miracles and I arrived at the theatre with 20 minutes to spare, so revved up on adrenalin that I flew through the show!
– More women’s groups; wedding; hen night; late night cabaret for rave in field
– Family story sessions inc. Forest of Dean Heritage Centre, schools, Leicester Radio 1 Summer Sundae
– Multiple cabaret spots for One World Day at University of Gloucester; performance for freshers’ week
– National Trust properties; Betjeman Millennium Park, Wantage
– Late night cabaret at National Rural Touring Conference
– Barnes Literary Society, London
– Live radio interviews BBC Radio Gloucestershire; Star Radio, Cheltenham
– Town Crying for Stow on the Wold 900th Charter Fayre
– Hottest year yet for MC duties at Northleach Countryside Fair; sunscorch avoided thanks to a few libations of Pimms and the gift of an Edwardian white silk parasol which caused some mirth but literally saved my skin.
Spring 07 – More women’s groups; hen night; family sessions + schools inc. independent Dragon School, Oxford; naturally all my best fire breathing tales got an airing
– Beginners’ course, Farncombe Estate Centre (Broadway, Worcestershire)
– Springfire Tales for Theatre Upstairs, Bath. An audience well used to hearing storytellers, thus a tad nerve wracking for me; shouldn’t have worried, we had a ball
– Forbidden Fruit at the lovely Brewhouse Theatre studio, Taunton (Somerset). My favourite studio space in all England: acoustic ceiling means you can almost whisper and still be clearly heard, even to a substantial audience
January (National Storytelling Week) February 07 – Rural Touring for South Oxfordshire
– Tales on Fire lunchtime cabaret for Chipping Norton Theatre, Oxfordshire
– Family sessions Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage
– 3 day project with Harewood Junior School, Gloucester, in which my intensive story performance workshops and slightly Simon Cowell approach to rehearsals brought much laughter and a triumphant finale starring 7 groups of debut young performance storytellers; even the most uncertain of performers didn’t put a word wrong. The audience of families was spellbound. It’s why we do this stuff…
– Half term family sessions at National Waterways Museum, Gloucester, and for Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden (Buckinghamshire); as always, adults enjoy the fun just as much as the youngsters
– Wine, Women & Stories for Gloucestershire Libraries’ Fiction Festival at Cirencester
– Valentine’s Night performance of Tales of Lust & Chocolate at Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage. Slightly startled audience eventually relaxed and had a good time
October, November, December 06 – Christmas Day: hotels in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire; end of Christmas week at Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden (Buckinghamshire); New Year’s Eve story supper for village hall, Gloucestershire. My idea of a great festive season!
– C S Lewis Festival, Belfast: workshops + performances honouring the creator of Narnia: The Door Into Narnia and Tales from the Shadowlands
– Upstairs Downstairs commissioned performance at Holst Birthplace Museum for Cheltenham Literature Festival. Promenade show starts in a tiny basement kitchen, concluding in a red gothic drawing room. Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ suite was one of my teen favourites, so this was a pleasure to do. I mixed local stories – Holst walked impressive distances up into the Cotswold villages from Cheltenham – and further flung tales reflecting his work + travels
– Another good night at Brewhouse Theatre studio (Taunton, Somerset) with After Dark
– Start of Rural Touring shows for Oxfordshire: Tales of Lust & Chocolate at Great Rollright village hall; sold out, very lively; and they were enchanted by the inclusion of ‘their’ Legend of the Rollright Stones
– Fantastic night of jazz ‘n Tales of Lust & Chocolate for Areley Kings Village Hall (Stourport on Severn); the band let me do my song with them
– Private and corporate Christmas celebrations
– Mix of Country Tales from the Cotswolds and After Dark for big, lively village harvest supper (north Gloucestershire)
– Wrote a chapter The Storyteller’s Tale for historian June Lewis-Jones’ 25th book A Cotswold Christmas. Very enjoyable launch party, too!
– Schools; women’s groups; workshop for female young offenders
– After Dark for Kingshill House new arts venue at Dursley (Gloucestershire)
– Half term performance of ScaryTales for Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden (Buckinghamshire); part of series; a joy to work in this colourful, playful place
– Hallowe’en Story Supper in the amazingly decorated attic function room at Seven Tuns Inn, Chedworth (Gloucestershire). So festooned with fake cobwebs I can hardly bear to go into the room (they have to clear the doorway for me…) and so many fake spiders of all sizes that a few customers go a bit twitchy. Perfect! Plus more smooth spooky sounds from Charlie Fothergill’s clarinet.
Summer 06 – Midnight Storytellers goes international. That is, Karen-Eve has elderly parents to care for and goes home to North Carolina where she starts Midnight Storytellers USA. I continue Midnight Storytellers ‘original’. Too busy to be miserable but it’s very different.
– Chloë gives another one-woman show Legends of Britain at the Brewhouse Theatre studio, Taunton. Preceded by a fun live radio interview for BBC Radio Somerset including improvised ‘Tale of the Terrified Storyteller’ ‘cos I was quite anxious about my festival debut in August…
– Workshops, family sessions; English Department freshers’ weeks at Gloucestershire University; cabaret shows including late night Wine, Women & Stories for Wychwood Festival (Cheltenham)
– Schools from Wiltshire to London, (large!) private parties, women’s groups
– Tales of Lust & Chocolate in the Council Chambers (!) for Worcester’s Skills On Show big community entertainment event, plus ‘busking’ in the Arts Marquee
– Another thirst making day for Chloë and her wandering microphone at Northleach Countryside Day
– Debut for Chloë at Westcountry Storytelling Festival: for adults After Dark and The Pleasure Hunters, for families The Renaissance Cat wonderfully enlivened by my pal Beth Webb (performer and author of Stardancer series for young adults) in full feline mode. Meeow!! – oh, our paws and whiskers!
– Once Upon A Time: Storytelling Skills for All course at Farncombe Estate Centre
– First of the family show series by Chloë at Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden (Buckinghamshire). The museum truly breaks the mold and is a splendid tribute to the late great author’s sense of playfulness.
Spring 06 – Chloë enthralls more than 1,000 women at major conferences in Malvern (Worcestershire) and Scarborough (Yorkshire) with Tales of Love & Chocolate
– Then I’m allowed to do the full on version Tales of Lust & Chocolate on a return visit to the studio space at Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton (Somerset). I have now rather made this piece my own… Including a startling start to the second half of the show!
– Private parties, hospital and community radio
– Day of family shows at Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford
– Cabaret spot for AGM of Independent Schools association, Marlborough College (Wiltshire)
– Story Supper for The Fleece Inn, Bretforton near Evesham (Cotswolds/Worcestershire); atmospheric country inn owned by the National Trust
– Charity fundraiser for local school, Northleach; charity fundraiser and performer showcase, Devon
February 06 – conclusion of Air In G (Gloucestershire) rural tour of Country Tales from the Cotswolds
– Vale & Downland Museum, Wantage; family shows
– schools, women’s groups, hospital radio; morning lecture for Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway (Cotswolds/Worcestershire); cabaret for Pie ‘n Mash restaurant, Cheltenham
October, November, December 05 – Debut tour for Air In G (Arts In Rural Gloucestershire) with Country Tales from the Cotswolds. Of course we do the Minchinhampton Highwayman, of course we do the Rollright Stones! And many more. Successful tour with packed houses – often the first touring show they’ve seen.
First night at The Pludds, a pre-war village hall deep in the Forest of Dean, is typical: audience uncertain what they’ve let themselves in for, then relieved, then cheering. Bouquets for both of us! KE and I sit in the car afterwards and say, “This is why we’re passionate about rural touring – bringing the pleasure of live performance to where people are.”
– Live radio interviews for BBC Radio Gloucestershire
– Family workshops at half term for Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester
– Hallowe’en Story Supper with Karen-Eve & Chloë at Seven Tuns Inn, Chedworth (Gloucestershire). Another sell-out success, great food + even scarier stories
– Weekend course led by Chloë at Farncombe Estate Centre (Worcestershire)
– Weekend of family Festive Fables for Dyrham Park NT Christmas Fayre (Chloë)
– Christmas special performance of Chloë’s 21st Century Scrooge
– New Year’s Eve story supper for Wheeler’s Restaurant, Stow-on-the-Wold (Gloucestershire)
Summer 05 – Fetes, parties, weddings, schools + holiday activities, National Trust properties; midsummer night under a huge full moon near Avebury, Chloë all in white to tell sizzling tales for an anthropologists’ summer camp
– Compèring + announcing for 2nd Northleach Countryside Day; very hot day, Chloë in pink + blue linen + enormous hat. A gentle flow of Pimms (+ lots of water) ensured cool + calm at all times…
Spring 05 – Tales of Love & Chocolate for Wotton under Edge Arts Festival
– Schools, libraries; Lower Shaw Farm, Swindon
– Cabaret, Bristol + Birmingham
January 05 – Chloë leads new course at Farncombe Estate Centre
– Full page feature in Cotswold Life
November + December 04 – Chloë looks just right in Victorian costume for her performances at Dyrham Park NT’s Victorian Christmas weekend
– Family shows and evening performance of 21st Century Scrooge for Cirencester Advent Market by Chloë
– Winter weddings, family events and festive parties
October 04 – Chloë joins street performance team for Cheltenham Literature Festival
– Hallowe’en Story Supper at Seven Tunns Inn, Chedworth (Gloucestershire). Good food and scary stories in one of the Cotswolds’ most unspoiled country pubs. With cool clarinet playing by young musician Charlie Fothergill
– Wedding at Leeds Castle, Kent. Meeting place of world leaders. Chloë arrives in moonlight to perform romantic and scary legends by the huge fireplace in quite possibly England’s most impressive sitting room
Summer 04 – Debut for Karen-Eve & Chloë at Storytelling Cafe at Wednesbury Library, Birmingham, with The Pleasures of Life. Sold out
– Debut for Chloë as announcer + compère at first Northleach Countryside Day
– National Trust events; private parties, libraries; live radio
May 04 – Debut at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, with Tales of Lust & Chocolate. Three nights! Oh yeah, it feels good… In the studio. Simple lighting effects – crescent moon; red hearts – and chocolate incense. For once Karen-Eve and Chloë can go for it with naughty, delicious, luscious stories. But I think we got the haunted dressing room…?
– Chloë appointed Town Crier for Northleach. “I’ve got a trained voice and I’m not afraid to use it!”
February 04 – Debut at Sundial Theatre, Cirencester, with new Tales from the Wildwood. Harp music from Colin Hope and a wicked little yarn adapted from a short story by Sue Harwood.
November + December 03 – Story Suppers for hotels, private parties, family workshops, art group, and Ladies Night at Masonic Lodge
October 03 – Chloë lightens the mood at national conference for head teachers
– various schools, hotels, live radio
Summer 03 – Riddles & Roses: Stories for Midsummer Night. Chloë teams up with actor John Hartoch and storyteller Chris White for a memorable evening at Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury. On a balmy evening the audience is swept away into realms of riddle and romance by original music, story and the swoon-making scents from the rose garden. Warm thanks for this opportunity to unique and inspiring hosts Barbara and Ian Pollard.
– Midsummer Tales: lovely weather for picnic show in the Experimental Gardens at Westonbirt Arboretum. Out come the miners’ lamps again! We perform under a beautifully shaped tree – rounded, like a child’s drawing – the audience picnic and recline on a crescent moon shaped bank of earth snuggling around the tree. Not a sound from the real world. Perfect.
– Workshops for families and adults at Westonbirt Arboretum; multiple shows for families at Festival of Wood
– Corporate events and National Trust properties
Spring 03 – Television debut for Chloë as Storyteller in 6 programme series Great Trees for HTV West. All my pieces were recorded in one morning; in the woods on the farm; I’ve got my dragon-proof cloak but the camera and sound guys have jeans.. and the nettles are waist high. Broadcast July/August 2003, repeated 2004
– Mum’s the Word: tales and tea for Mother’s Day, Westonbirt Arboretum
– Assorted business clubs, National Trust properties, social groups, hotels, AGMs + corporate events
– Wine, Women & Stories: Chloë solo at wine tasting, Lechlade; first of several. Featuring stories from every wine producing country represented. Note to self: do NOT join in tasting…
– Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight: Karen-Eve & Chloë deliver multiple shows for families during English Heritage weekend event
January 03 – Interview for Cotswold Life magazine tests my performance skills as I battle to tell a spooky Cotswold legend to the journalist in a crowded Cirencester coffee shop; surrounded by chocolate and sticky cakes.
November + December 02 – At the annual Enchanted Wood floodlit walk, Westonbirt Arboretum, damp but enthusiastic audiences packed all 3 shows of all 5 Sunday evenings. Possibly the warmth of the lovely Greak Oak Hall (or the alternative Marquee) helped lure them in – weather was unmitigatedly ghastly – but the magic of Festive Fables ensured that adults towed in by children listened just as spellbound…
– Golden Tales in Great Oak Hall, Westonbirt Arboretum. One of those magical nights
October 02 – Spooky Story Supper at the Fosse Manor Hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold (Gloucestershire, UK) is packed. Barely room for Karen-Eve and me to stand up and speak! Mr and Mrs Johnson do us proud: black table cloths, perfectly carved candle lit pumpkins and a menu featuring Vampire Steak and Large Thumb on Black Bits with Green Stuff! Tales range from Appalachian tragedy to classic horror – chosen for wit, depth and offbeat spookiness. (And I’ll never forget their sound-activated spider – like a furry black football – trundling up and down its line from the chandelier every time the audience applauds; or screams…)
Spring + summer 02 – Warm evenings, beautiful gardens, glamorous guests and several performances of Cocktail Tales for stylish 60th birthdays, weddings and similar revels. Plus schools, luncheons and Summertime Story Supper shows for country pubs and hotels.
– Chloë appears at assorted village fetes, Wiltshire, Dorset etc, continuing to perform under trees when rain sets in.
– Summer Story Concert at Westonbirt Arboretum. Possibly Karen-Eve & Chloë’s most magical performance so far. Greak Oak Hall packed. Tales of humour and heartbreak from around the world – and what nobody knows on the night is that both of us improvise new tales. Real live 100% hot off the tongue verbal jazz! Plus gorgeous a capella singing from the SPANtastic Choir (provided by the Single Parent Action Network of Bristol), lifting us all to another level.
January 02 – Twelfth Night Tales as a surprise entertainment for post-Xmas guests at a house party. Gentle humour and stories to inspire the heart for another year.
December 01 – Hidcote Manor Garden NT (Gloucestershire): Family Festive Fables with Karen-Eve
– World premier of 21st Century Scrooge, a tale of Dickensian darkness and heartwarming humanity; created and told by Chloë for the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. Performed at Cheltenham Film Studios.
November 01 – Series of 3 Story Supper Shows at the Fosse Manor Hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold (Gloucestershire)
– Story Supper show for AVEGA charity fundraising night. Karen-Eve & Chloë in full flight for 90 minutes around dinner. We’re at Chipping Norton (Oxfordshire) very near the Rollright Stones circle; the audience is thrilled when Chloë performs the legend.
– Various Story Supper shows including a great night at Restaurant 5 The Beach, Clevedon (near Bristol) for a women’s group.
October 01 – Cheltenham Literature Festival debut. Karen-Eve & Chloë let loose on the theme of Envy, in the Voices Off fringe programme based on the Seven Deadly Sins. A large audience enjoys our green-eyed glance at the subject. Plus live impromptu interview for BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
– Chloë entertains the WI Group rally: a vast church hall, more than 100 women in festive mood!
– Coln St Alwyn’s Village Fete: a delightful example of Cotswold fun, with special guest Tania Faulkner-Mackenzie from New Zealand. After children’s sessions in the afternoon, supper and a cool jazz trio lead into tales for the grown-ups in a firelit Cotswold courtyard under the stars…
– Bibury Harvest Supper: a simple session of storytelling to celebrate the season of mellow fruitfulness in a traditional village hall at the heart of ‘the prettiest village in England’.
Summer 01 – Mosaic Mysteries for Corinium Museum, Cirencester. Including specially created versions of Actaeon & Artemis.
– Mini Festival of Storytelling at Westonbirt Arboretum: Karen-Eve & Chloë join tellers from all over the UK in shows, story walks and story rounds. Sunshine, happy families, and plenty of Wildwood Tales.
– BBC Radio Gloucestershire interviews
– Midsummer Night Tales: Karen-Eve & Chloë’s second sell-out story concert in the beautiful setting of Westonbirt Arboretum’s Great Oak Hall. With original music from superb young singer songwriter Chris Davidson.
Spring 01 – Story Supper for Farming In Crisis: supporting Gloucestershire’s farmers during the worst of the Foot & Mouth year.
– Various story suppers + groups including WI Group rally for 100+ women. A cracking good evening; probably the best story was the one made up by the audience!
– Rant & Write devised and delivered for volunteer stewards at Lodge Park NT (Gloucestershire). People who’d never penned or spoken an imaginative word before astonished and delighted themselves by writing and telling great little short tales.
– Interviews and stories on BBC Radio Gloucestershire
February 01 – Valentine’s Night Love Bytes Story Supper for The Elms Country House Restaurant, near Berkeley Castle (Gloucestershire). Romantic tales with a modern twist. Now I can reveal that both Karen-Eve and I had ‘flu that night – we could barely stand up; I was just dizzy and weird-feeling, KE was on equine quantities of painkiller for migraine…! While one of us went out front and performed, the other was offstage drinking gallons of water and swallowing paracetamol! But once that adrenalin flows, your ills and aches truly do vanish. Wonderful! Neither the audience nor our hosts ever knew we were other than 100% firing on all 6 cylinders…
October/November 2000 – 5 Sundays of shows for the Enchanted Wood season at Westonbirt Arboretum; 5 x 30minute sets each evening (!) reaching some 200 people every week.
– Recording for Westonbirt Arboretum promotional video
Summer 2000 – A Summer Night’s Dream: debut open air story concert and picnic at Westonbirt Arboretum. A woodland glade, 50 lanterns, pretty dresses, a blessed absence of insects.
– Cirencester Festival: street performances and evening show at Brewery Arts Theatre
– Afternoon Teas and Story Suppers at Arlington Mill Museum, Bibury
– Various charity fundraiser events, senior citizens groups, supper clubs, garden parties
– Uley Feast, revival of a splendid rural Gloucestershire tradition. Chloë gives 3 shows including mischievous medieval romance The Grey Palfry for the evening gala in the church; so much audience laughter I can barely finish the tale. Cause quite a stir in my dragon-proof leather patchwork cloak.
10 November 99 – Debut performance for Karen-Eve & Chloë as the Midnight Storytellers with Wine, Women & Stories at the former Country Wine Merchant wine bar and shop, Northleach, Gloucestershire [now Mark Savage Selection Wine Merchant; still a cosy wine bar!]. Slightly press-ganged audience of bar regulars; mine host Roger willing to let us have a go but naturally a bit dubious; complete enchantment achieved by the end of the evening (phew!). Midnight Storytellers have arrived.