Dave storytelling and singing, East Malling.
Dave, for a number of years, Storyteller in Residence, at the Trinity Theatre,
Tunbridge Wells, has been a professional storyteller for over
twenty years, at first with his ex-wife Toni, on children’s
television, and in their stage show Music Box (at one
time voted the Best Children’s Touring Theatre Show in England)
and for the last 12 years as a solo performer. He works regularly
for children, family, and adult audiences, in schools, colleges,
libraries, clubs and festivals, is a founder member of Storytellers’
Forum South East, and a Trustee of Mythstories, the storytelling
museum and research centre. and has travelled extensively throughout
the British Isles, Europe, Africa, China, and the Americas collecting
and performing traditional stories.
school and theatre work for children he uses a variety of rod
puppets, masks, and ‘props’, also music on guitar,
banjo, melodeon and whistle.
An ex-Director of the Society for Storytelling,
he also edited the Society magazine Storylines for several
years, and has written and presented numerous radio and TV programmes
on the art of storytelling.
His 1970s radio series Folktales, an eight
part introduction to the traditional folktale, and storytelling,
in the British Isles, presented by Toni Arthur, is now available
on a set of CDs. (information from Storyart@aol.com)
. A new series of themed storytelling CDs by Dave will be available
Two of his stories appear in 'English Folktales' ed. Keding and Douglas. Libraries Unlimted 2005
‘The shortest distance between
a human being and truth is a story’
TELLING MOMENTS…….take a voyage into the imagination
with Dave Arthur, teller of Traditional Tales for all ages.
Experience the magical world of giants, heroes, heroines, fabulous
animals, magical artefacts, witches, goblins, creation myths,
modern urban legends, Jack Tales, balladry and music.
Dave offers school, club, library, museum, theatre and festival
audiences the chance to experience and share some of the enthralling,
humorous and inspirational folk tales, myths, fables and legends
that encourage hope, wonder and celebration of life.
Recent storytelling bookings have included: The Festival at the
Edge; Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival; Birmingham
Rep Theatre; Warehouse Theatre, Croydon; Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge
Wells; Little Angel Theatre, London; Storytelling Café,
Farnham Maltings; Society for Storytelling National Gathering;
The Maltings, St Albans; Moving On, Festival of Traveller Culture,
Dover, Toulouse International School, Isle of Wight Festival, Whitby Folk Festival, Broadstairs Folk Festival.
‘A storyteller does not take the
journey alone. The story must be a shared creation between teller
‘My sincere thanks for the wonderful summer storytelling
event, it was superb. The children loved every minute of your
performance. They were enthralled with its mixture of story and
song, I was greatly impressed with your storytelling skills, and
the way in which you managed to weave the children’s ideas
and experiences into your tales. I look forward to your return
Colin McClure. Librarian, London Borough of Havering
‘Thank you for giving the children and staff such a wonderful
experience with your stories, puppets and songs. We eagerly look
forward to your return.’
The Headteacher, Froxfield School, Hampshire.
‘I wish to thank and congratulate you for your wonderful
and meritorious performance in my school.’
H. Agbelia, Kpandu Secondary School, Ghana.
‘It was marvellous, and just what we wanted.’
Patsy Anderson, The Piccolos, Teddington.
‘An inspiration to all our pupils lucky enough to have
attended your storytelling sessions. Your relaxed, amusing, yet
authoritative storytelling technique captured the imagination
of students and staff alike, and has provided us all with much
food for thought, and new ways of looking at many of our subject
areas. There will always be a welcome for you here.’
Canadian International School, Hong Kong.
‘They all enjoyed themselves and you were able to encourage
even the quietest ones. We did a follow-up the next day by popular
Jane Aldred, Cavendish Secondary School, Eastbourne.
‘Traditional oral tales are a powerful source of
inspiration in the classroom, and can lead to children realising
their story responses in writing, music, painting and drama.’
Teresa Grainger – Traditional Storytelling In the Primary
School storytelling workshops and performances are designed not
only to entertain but also to support development in reading,
creative writing, imagination, visualisation, and knowledge of
story structure, and are an ideal way to implement the 2003 Government
educational pronouncement on the need to develop listening and
Thematic and curriculum specific programmes can help fulfil requirements
for English Key Stages 1 and 2, and can be adapted for Key Stages
3 and 4. They are especially effective in stimulating discussion
about the nature of oral traditions and their roles in literature,
drama, and the wider fabric of society – family history,
Dave teaching a Broomdance at
Dover workshop on Gypsy music and dance
Teachers’ storytelling workshop.
Dave runs widely acclaimed workshops for teachers and librarians
on the art and technique of storytelling (without the book!).
The workshops cover such things as: finding the stories, recorded
and literary resources, techniques for remembering the stories,
performance (voice, eye contact, body language, etc.), types of
performance, story beginnings and endings, what makes a good story?
What makes a good storyteller? Storytelling and literacy.
British folktales – An Introduction
A look at the types of the folktale, and regional styles of telling,
from around the British Isles, using Dave’s own, and archive,
recordings of the cream of traditional British storytellers, many
of whom are now dead.
Witchcraft and superstition in folktale
A history of witchcraft ancient and modern, ghosts, and things
that go bump in the night, illustrated with archive folktale recordings,
live telling and sung ballads.
Fairy lore and belief in the British Isles
A look at Fairy belief from the Western Isles of Scotland, Ireland,
and down through England to Cornwall, illustrated with field recordings.
English Gypsy folktales, song, music and dance.
An introduction to Southern English Traveller culture through folktales/stories, songs(by and about travellers), instrumental music on melodeon, guitar, banjo, spoons, bones, harmonica, tambourine, whistle, also Broom-dancing.
are available, if required, on storytelling and literacy.
The teacher’s pack was prepared by Dave as part of the
course material for his Storytelling and Literacy course for
teachers, run by the Education Department of the Trinity Theatre,
Printed notes and costume designs are also available for school
Mumming Plays, Dancing Dolls, and Broom Dancing.
Back to top
Home - Music - Storytelling
- Writing - Events
- Dave's Biog - Links