In a few short weeks, I will again have the luxury of telling stories at a House Concert.
This time my hosts will be Di and Stuart from Countrywide Cottages, Bambra. They have been very busy letting the local community know that I will be heading down from the Big Smoke to tell a yarn or two. From all I have heard from Di, it sounds like I will be made very welcome by some generous country hospitality.
Telling stories at a House Concert is very intimate and makes me think of days gone by, before television and the internet, when people often gathered in pubs, or homes, around a fire to hear a story. For the audience, the cosy comfort of being in someone’s home adds to the magic unfolding, by giving them a relaxing environment to let go of the wider world and tune in to the world of the stories. For me, as a storyteller, it feels very personal and immediate to be able to see the face of each listener and to ask direct questions or simply engage them with a raised eyebrow. Everything is magnified in such close quarters. Something large and full of energy seems even larger, but at the same time the smallest, subtlest thing can be gently shared and still clearly seen.
This particular concert is a fund-raiser for my upcoming trip to tell stories in Ireland. So, the program will be bursting with ancient tales from Ireland, woven together with stories of my own Irish ancestors.
Having done several House Concerts now, I’m very much looking forward to this one! Do get in contact if you are interested in hosting one yourself.
Image: Niki na Meadhra telling stories with Clare Coburn, at Enchanted Evening, in the Bishop’s Parlour at Abbotsford Convent. Photo c. Charlie Sublet.