Simon Heywood

storyteller, songwriter, composer, folklorist

June News

Ha, bet you weren’t expecting a monthly update. They, er, haven’t been very monthly of late.

I’m just finishing off an exploratory research project on traditional Jewish storytelling with Shonaleigh – documenting her family repertoire. The repertoire is bi-i-i-g – many hundreds of interlinked legends and wondertales, stretching back through Jewish history and scripture. It feels like we’ve only just started scratching the surface so we want to keep going once this project is over. The blog is here.

I’ve got a contract for South Yorkshire Folktales with the History Press, due to hit the stands later in 2015 – in the meantime I’m polishing the stories and talking to some fantastic artists about images. One or two other small publications pending.

I’ve been satisyfing a long-nursed curiosity by learning and telling tales from the Matter of Britain – the tales of Arthur and related kings, going back in legend as far as the Trojan War. ‘Strange Majesty’ is the title. It’s on at Stubbings Wharf in Hebden Bridge this Friday (30th May).

I’m researching and creating a new piece on Conscientious Objectors in the Great War – this has been commissioned by Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival (St Donats, 4 – 6 July) and will be called ‘Out of the Silence.’

Also there’s a couple of festivals coming up (Freedom to Tell Tales in Hull; Whitby Folk Week; Towersey Festival); the Full English Conference “From Archives to Action” for EFDSS in Birmingham; and the monthly storytelling nights at Strip the Willow in Sheffield (next up: 11th June), and Dragon’s Breath at the White Swan, Dronfield, alternate first Wednesdays (4th June is the next, then our second all-day picnic/storywalk event on Saturday 2nd August.)

Contact me for details …