Sting in the Tale festival launched
TO launch the 10th year of The Sting in the Tale Festival of Stories, guests made their way to the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne. There, by the atmospheric light of a blazing fire in the Longhouse, Tracy Cooper welcomed everyone on behalf of EDALE (Eastern Dorset leisure and entertainment forum) and thanked partners, sponsors, supporters and volunteers who worked so hard for the festival. With the Mayor of Wimborne Councillor Andrew Hampton and the chairman of East Dorset District Council Councillor Malcolm Birr plus other visitors looking on, Tracy acknowledged the contributions made by so many and spoke warmly of the invitation by the ATC, which she described as: "The flagship of all our venues", to have the premier event of the 2013 programme in the Earthouse."
What a perfect setting for an evening of storytelling in the circular wooden building, lit only by lamps and the flames of the central fire, as Tony Horitz and Michele O'Brien gave a taster of Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods. Lots of audience participation from all ages as the duo tempted their listeners to go to a forest to hear the little wooden man speak but that pleasure had to wait as Daniel Morden, storyteller par excellence, began his tales of The Flickering Tongue. Using only a melodious voice with a gentle burr of Welsh accent to weave a spell, he used the magic of the spoken word to enthral and enchant the audience. No microphones, no props save a curved horn on which to sound a fine note, the only sound effects coming from the crackling of the logs and adding to the atmosphere. The story of the mysterious Green Man held everyone spellbound and then there were visits to heaven and hell to meet saints and sinners, extraordinary creatures and supernatural characters.
Seeking to reach out to audiences of all ages in creative, cultural and fun events, the Sting in the Tale festival of stories goes to favourite, familiar venues and is trying out new ventures in some of East Dorset's most atmospheric settings. There are storytellers from far and wide with tales from fact and fantasy, to transport the listener through time and space. At the ruined medieval Knowlton church at Cranborne there is a guided walk and talk on Saturday 24th August, certain to explore the mysteries of the pre-historic monument in which the church lies. On the same day, at Moors Valley Country Park close to Ringwood, there are Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods with songs, music and magic and Sunday 25th has open-air theatre with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Edmondsham House and Garden, Wimborne. Monday 26th August features the traditional tale of Pinocchio at Walford Mill's Italy Day, fun for all. Every event is listed in the booklet available from Christchurch and Wimborne Tourist Information Centres or on the website www.stinginthetale.org.uk
Report and photo by Pat Scott
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