This week the Lights presents a dazzling performance of completely original stories – created by children, for children!
Following the success of last year’s hit show A Bird In Your Ear, which was shortlisted for the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence 2012, the storytellers at Snail Tales are visiting Andover with their fun-filled magic for the whole family – this time with the support of Grants for the Arts, and West Lindsey District Council.
A Pinch of Pickle, a Whisk of Wise (or PoPWoW for short) is another colourful collection of stories, told with a highly participatory style that is rapidly making Snail Tales stand out from the crowd as family-pleasing entertainment. The show includes brand new creations from Old Enough to Know Better Puppets, illusions provided by the Junior Magic Circle’s Stage Magic champion of 2010, and special projection and smoke effects that transform any venue into a storytelling wonderland.
But what makes Snail Tales’ performances really unique is that every story they tell was created by children from UK primary schools. In adapting these stories for the stage, Snail Tales have guaranteed that their show will be original, wacky and fun.
Thanks to the investment of the Arts Council and West Lindsey, families can expect PoPWoW to be an even more exciting and immersive production. At least one story in every performance will be improvised entirely from audience suggestion – and subsequently turned into a video blog, reminiscent of Snail Tales’ work with the enormously popular Oxford Reading Tree (viewable at www.snailtales.org/videos).
Improvising an entire tale live can be a risky business, but Snail Tales have developed a means of doing so that led to no less than 7 theatres and rural touring schemes from around the UK writing letters of support to the Arts Council to see further work from the group. Ian Scott, the Executive Director of Artsreach, commented: “I was very impressed with their skills and their rapport with all who came to see and take part in the show… I was keen immediately to rebook the company.”
With zombie butterflies, time travel, teleporting snails and a whole army of exploding ogres, the bizarre world of the young imagination is sure to enthrall all ages from 3 upwards.
Snail Tales run storytelling residencies in schools around the UK. By the end of each one, children are creating their very own strong, fun and cohesive stories from scratch – without any input from their teachers, parents or the storyteller. Snail Tales then has a very hard time picking the best ones to adapt for the stage! Some instantly lend themselves to ballads, while others inspire the design of original puppets. But all those picked present a wonderful insight into the imagination of the modern child – it’s sometimes moral, sometimes plain wacky, but always colourful, curious and fun.
Snail Tales’ workshops were initially developed with Arts Council funding and have since been supported by the John Thaw Foundation, the British Council, and countless schools and local education authorities.
About Snail Tales
Snail Tales was founded in 2007 by ex-teacher Amy Robinson and film consultant Chip Colquhoun, with help from US best-selling children’s author Bob Hartman. After meeting over 10,000 children in their first year alone, Chip and Amy realised that some of the best stories they’d heard in that time had come back to them from the children themselves. Not wanting to let these stories fade out of existence, Chip and Amy secured an Arts Council grant to develop their storytelling residencies – and their first production based on children’s creations, A Little Bird Told Me.
Snail Tales continues to visit nearly 100 schools every year, as well as performing at theatre and rural venues all over the country – many for return visits.
Praise for A Pinch of Pickle, a Whisk of Wise
“The youngsters sat on the edge of their seats, enthralled as the tales unfolded, with plenty volunteering to go on stage and join in… This lively blend of stories brought to life by a team full of improvisation and imagination is highly recommended – a real must for unique and enjoyable kids’ entertainment.”
Local Secrets, February 2014
Praise for A Bird In Your Ear
“Snail Tales were gifted storytellers, acting out tales written by children ranging from age 4 to 11 years old, all of them brilliant in their own way. With dancing, singing, and even some puppetry, this was a show that left their young audience enthralled from start to finish… Light-hearted, humorous, and with a moral compass, this is a production not to be missed.”
Raring 2 Go, April 2012
Praise for A Little Bird Told Me
“The inventive and wondrous childish mind is delightfully brought to life.”
The Stage, October 2010