Taffy Thomas trained as a Literature and Drama teacher at Dudley College of Education. After teaching for several years in Wolverhampton he founded and directed the legendary folk theatre company, Magic Lantern, illustrating traditional stories and songs with shadow puppets and circus skills.
He founded and directed the community arts company, Charivari, with their popular touring unit, the Fabulous Salami Brothers, which he fronted and performed in. After a major stroke at the age of 36 Taffy turned back to story telling as self-imposed speech therapy, which turned into a new career.
Taffy has a repertoire of more than 300 stories, collected mainly from traditional oral sources, which he is happy to tell in almost any situation. This repertoire was built by meeting and working with virtually all the great traditional storytellers who were alive in Britain. See ‘Ancestral Voices’.
He is now the most experienced English storyteller, having performed in many countries on four continents. He is currently artistic director of Tales in Trust, the Northern Centre for Storytelling, based at The Storyteller’s Garden in Grasmere.
In the 2001 New Year Honours List he was awarded the MBE for services to storytelling and charity and performed a new collaboration for the Blue Peter Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. And In October 2009 Taffy accepted the honorary position of first Laureate for Storytelling which ran for two years from January 2010 to January 2012.
With Taffy’s head bursting with stories, riddles and folklore, Giles Abbot once commented, “when Taffy goes it will be like a library burning down.”