Our curator of storytelling John Row, is a veteran of the U.K. festival scene and a familiar figure at Glastonbury Festival Kidz Field and Cambridge Folk Festival, where he has been performing for nearly thirty years.
He cut his teeth as a stage performer at the Ipswich Arts Theatre on free Monday night shows where his late wife Rose, was a theatre electrician and with Nick Toczeck in the poetry and music review Stereo Graffiti in the 70’s and as an open air performer in the East Anglian Albion Fairs in the 80’s. He added storytelling to his bow as the eighties drew to a close and was immediately drawn into a world of magic and wonder. He has shared that world in a mish mash of settings from prisons ( he was the first storyteller in residence in a British prison) to international schools across the world. His annual visits to Vienna in the first decade of this century saw him tell stories to thousands of Kindergarten children as they struggled to come to grips with English as an additional language. A crowd at the Algiers Book Fair listened, enthralled, to him speaking in what was for some their fourth language and he has become a favourite in the schools near Colibita in Transylvania where he has a house he uses as a writing retreat
He has told stories from Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei in the east to Lapland in the north, Shajah in the middle east, Texas, North Africa and across Europe.
Recently he has been collecting stories in Romania, leading an oral storytelling project in prisons, performing in schools and pootling from festival to festival.
Now isolated like many across the world as this virus spreads he is travelling the virtual highway of the world wide web to keep on sharing stories and as always encouraging others to do the same.
Check out his book of traditional tales from around the globe ‘Out of The Hat’.
Jul 13, 2020