Monday, August 29, 2011

Tango Tangents. La Mama Sunday August 28 2011

Well ... it would have been nice to get a photo of the full theatre on Sunday afternoon but I was on stage with my colleagues strutting me stuff. This pic was taken just before the doors opened.

A glorious Melbourne day, the folk could have been forgiven for choosing a walk in the park but they didn't - they came to Tango Tangents.

Our entertainment, Tango Tangents is a glimpse into the rich world of Tango culture which includes music, poetry and stories - sometimes sentimental, sometimes satirical and sometimes with a political edge.

Sunday's performance was a tryout of the material and judging by the response, we are on the right track.

If you missed out we will be back at La Mama on December 4 and 18.

Written by Ellar Filar, Jackie Kerin, Faye Bendrups, Alison Richards and Guillermo Anad with short story by Luisa Valenzuela.
Technical support: Alan Davies.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kamishibai around the fire. Daylesford 2011

Story mates, myself, Matteo and Bettina Nissen responded to Anne E Stewart's invitation to visit Daylesford for Words in Winter. On the Saturday night and around the fire, Annie decided to film us telling stories in her lounge room. Perched on the coffee table and comfortable in thick socks and ugg boots, I began proceedings with the story of Split Dog. So at last you can see my beautiful Kamishibai in action. The yearly trip to Daylesford has become locked into the storytelling calendar and providing we are in the State, some of us always manage the trip to this beautiful town.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aireys Inlet Festival of Words 2011

I've just returned from the Aireys Festival of Words. Magic happened!

For years my friend, storyteller Bettina Nissen has banged on about how people give you things, special things, 'magic objects' she calls them. 'They are things that only storytellers are given because we recognise their value', she says. Bah! and Tosh! I have never been given such a thing. And then on Friday at Aireys Inlet Primary School, after telling the students the story of Phar Lap, a teacher presented me with this little wooden horse. It had been left behind by a past pupil who had been involved in a class project that centred around the story of Phar Lap and my book. I recognised it in an instant. A magic object! A palpable sign that my book matters. It will live on the shelf in the family room where I will see it every day and be reminded, in moments of doubt, that stories are important.

Following my wonderful Friday in the primary school with some of the most courteous and welcoming people I have met all year, I was programmed on Saturday to present alongside Elizabeth Honey and Roland Harvey.

Elizabeth Honey revealed her writing and illustrating process with us and read her story That's Not a Daffodil. As a gardener, I have to say - this book is a must. I weep to think that children are growing up without experiencing even the joy of growing a carrot top. But a daffodil! Now that's another kind of magic to share.

Roland's comedic eye and spectacular bending of space and perspective had the audience enthralled. With so much to share, he made good use of the lap top and digital projector.

There were so many wonderful things about this festival. As always a great opportunity to meet people working in the same field, the Saturday night dinner and the wonderful workshops and discussion panels, but there was also the walks along the cliff and the beach, the birds, the wattle and the cafes and the bookshop ...

Saturday was International Lighthouse Day and the flags were flying. How beautiful is this picture? It was also National Bookshop Day and the Aireys' bookshop was celebrating. Judging by the the bustle of people in the shop there is still great support for independent bookshops.

And now its time to unpack and repack the story box for a big week of storytelling in schools and kindergartens around Melbourne.

Think of me in the the traffic!

Listen to Phar Lap the wonderhorse recorded by Museum Victoria.

Phar Lap: audio

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tango Tangents rehearsal: La Mama 28 August 2011

Do we grow funnier as we ripen?

My friend Christine took this photo of myself, Alison Richards and Faye Bendrups rehearsing our show in the sun room at the back of our house.

I'm squeezed into black and trying to learn to walk in an extremely high pair of shoes borrowed from my daughter who bought them for her school formal. Faye is wearing a high viz jacket and sensible shoes - well why not? Alison, as usual, is very focused and drawing our attention to the fact the time is ticking and we need to stay on task!

The songs are sounding fantastic. Alison and Faye's harmonies are a knock out. Hope some of you can make on the 28th August.

Bookings: La Mama

Monday, August 15, 2011

Aireys Festival of Words 2011

Well ... I have just returned from Daylesford's Words in Winter where I have been eating, drinking wine and sharing stories with friends. When I have their permission I will show you some lovely pictures of the weekend and maybe even a short film!

Now I shall re pack my bags and pack the story box, fill the car with petrol, check the map and head down to the coast to Airy's Inlet for their Festival of Words.

The program looks very exciting, most events are free, thanks to generous sponsorship and I can't wait to walk along the beautiful beaches and breathe the ozone.

I will be spending Friday with the local primary school children and on Saturday I will be sharing stories alongside Elizabeth Honey and Roland Harvey.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kamishibai goes to the ABC Melbourne Studios.

This Kamishibai needs its own blog!

Still sharing with Bernard Caleo who started the whole fascination with one word, "Kamishibai", I was up at sunrise and on the train with the K to meet Bernard in the foyer of the ABC studios at Southbank.

I love microphones and soundproof studios and all that tech stuff. Here is ABC arts journalist Michael Shirrefs twiddling dials in preparation for a Kamishibai performance. I will say no more because very soon the performance will be available for all to see on you tube. I'll say this ... there is a snail, a narrow escape and ... well you'll just have to wait.

The Kamishibai is now off to Daylesford for Words in Winter. One of my favourite regional arts festivals. Myself with some kamishibai tales, a digital tale and possibly a ballad about race horse will be on a panel with Jan (Yarn) Wositzky, Matteo and Anne E Stewart.

More info : Words In Winter August 2011

original Kamishibai artwork by Bernard Caleo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tango Tangents: La Mama 28 August 2011

Today I have been rehearsing Tango Tangents with Alison Richards and Faye Bendrups. (pic Faye at the piano and Alison singing.)

Faye and Alison have been busy composing a lively mix of original, tongue twisting, acerbic and moving songs. The songs are woven into a short story by Argentinian writer Luisa Valenzuela which Faye has translated.

Myself and Alison have collaborated on a spoken piece for three voices, Last Tango in Brunswick, echoing the tango sensibility.

Much hilarity along with some serious rehearsal and a fashion crisis. We would love to see you at Tango Tangents.

Artists: Alison Richards, Faye Bendrups, Jackie Kerin, Guillermo Anad with special guests Tango Mundo.

Tickets and Bookings and info: La Mama

Monday, August 1, 2011

Storytelling Australia. South Australia 2011

Storytelling Australia (the national body of storytellers) celebrated the 2011 Gathering in South Australia. It was extraordinary!

I arrived on Thursday in order to have time to catch up with SA friends - I lived there for 10 years and have some very special people I love to see when I visit.

On Friday night the Gathering 2011 launched into full swing with a concert of stories.

Tellers from around the country held the audience spellbound with diverse and dynamic performances. Encouraged by Graham Ross from SA, I told the story of the the foundation of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. You can read this story here - its called No horse, no cart, no shoes.

The following day we were locked in discussion with storytellers from around the country, linked into the dialogue via skype. How cute is that map with the microphone in the middle - it says it all. Opinion was beaming in from WA, Q'ld and NSW. Present were reps from the ACT, Vic and WA. The outcome is that the National body of storytellers will soon have a new logo, and a user friendly welcome page to all the member story groups around the country. Hopefully this will make it easier for those of you overseas to contact us and share stories. Watch this space for developments! Gael Cresp, Anne E Stewart (pictured) and myself represented Victoria.

The final day was a day of workshops - a vigorous and exhausting exchange of ideas and resources.

It would be remiss of me if I did not share this new resource, revealed to me over the weekend.

Montgomery Kelly's book Out of the Storyteller's Hat is the book all of us working in the 3 - 7 zone have been waiting for. Generously illustrated by Siovan Kelly, spiral bound for easy photocopying and tracing, this is a resource for both the experienced and the beginning storyteller.

I will be promoting this book wherever I go!

A website for this book is still a work in progress but you can learn more here

  • Out of the Storyteller's Hat
  • $49.95 plus postage.
  • Email: Monty:


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