- 3rd April 2018
Dear Friends of Storytelling in Hope,
It is my sad duty to inform you, following months of efforts and discussions, that as of Easter 2018, Storytelling in Hope
will no longer be an active group in London. With seriously dwindling numbers at our weekly meetings and a continuing struggle to build up audiences at group performances, it was decided at the recent AGM to close the club. It has had a wonderful presence in South East London for 25 years, helping so many storytellers to develop their craft, enjoy friendships and experience group storytelling in an encouraging atmosphere. I have been privileged enough to be chairperson over the last few years and have appreciated the help and support of our regular members, to keep the club going during sparse times.
Sources for dream stories
- 9th May 2017
Leanne told Dream Bread
, (folktale type 1626), where the three protagonists use the marvellousness of their dreams to compete for a single loaf of bread. According to Katherine Briggs this is a widely spread folktale with: "42 Irish versions, Lithuanian, Icelandic, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, American etc". She places it in the Jocular Tales section of her Dictionary of British Folk Tales
. Leanne told a version from the Middle East. Here is a link
to folktales of this type, collected by D L Ashliman.
Pennie told Snake of Dreams
, where a wise snake helps a farmer to interpret the king's dreams, that she first heard told by Sef Townsend
. Originally a story from Georgia, Hugh Lupton
brought it into the British repertoire. Here is a link
to his version.
Anne told The Storyteller at Fault
about the day the king's storyteller couldn't think of a story. This is in the Joseph Jacobs collection of Celtic Fairy Tales
and can be seen here
on the Sacred Texts website.
National Storytelling Week
- 29th January 2015
National Storytelling Week, run by the Society for Storytelling is a great time to introduce storytelling to new audiences - the people who still think storytelling means reading the Three Bears to children; who haven't discovered that the pleasure of sinking into 'Once Upon A Time...' never goes away!
This year we are going to Shaftesbury Court, a supported living residence for elders in Beckton in the morning - more details under Other Events
- for a mixture of legend, memory and poem.
In the evening our weekly story sharing circle is inviting anyone who would like to find out more about storytelling for adults to pop in and see what it's all about. More details under Circle
National Storytelling Week runs from Saturday 31st January to Saturday 7th February this year. For more information and to find events in your area click here
- 2nd July 2014
We are taking a summer break from the weekly circle. The last Tuesday will be 8th July and we start again on 9th September. We will not be meeting on Tuesday 15th July, as previously advertised.
This is because several of us are supporting Ben Haggarty in his performance for Forest with the Big Hill for the Sydenham Arts Festival. See Other Events
for more details.
Winter is when ...
- 27th January 2014
Winter is when ….
Short days, cold and dark;
Icy rain freezes your face.
Trees are naked,
I can see and enjoy the shape of the
Trees against the sky.
Days become short and dreary.
Trees become sketches against the sky.
I can’t get my car down the drive
Because it is icy.
Snow falls softly; Christmas comes;
I swim in an icy cold pond on Hampstead Heath and
I get up and go to work in the dark and
Come home again IN THE DARK;
Finger burning, nose running
Bike rides to work.
I double dig my allotment.
Winter was good where I watched snow;
But now I am old, not like it so much.
I remember the frost on the inside of my bedroom windows,
The holes in our shoes and
Drying our socks on the school radiators;
But I still feel a bit of excitement when I see
The first snowflake,
The ice-ferns clad the window panes.
Chilblains throb and itch mightily.
I shovel snow.
Everything wants to be asleep,
The homeless die.
Stalin ate apples.
Winter is when ….
I find my hot water bottle,
Feed the birds, clear the snow.
Robins sing and snow sparkles but
It’s cold, cold, cold and
Better to be inside.
I sit by the fire;
The nights draw in and in olden times
We sat by the fire and told stories
And we could look forward to Christmas.
We gather together around the fire,
Warm our hands, share stories and
Watch sparks fly.
I love a bowl (or two) of thick, chunky, steaming soup.
I make a good homemade soup.
Curtains are drawn, fires lit
Silence – a good book – solitude.
Cosy nights/closed curtains and hot water bottles,
The bedroom is musty with drying clothes.
Santa comes. Roaring fires foster love and
My hairs and nipples stand on end.
I celebrate my birthday! I was supposed to be a
Christmas baby but hung on for a month overdue
So as to fool them, to be an Aquarian,
And to celebrate twice.
It is a bonus when the sun comes out;
Growing things and planning when it will be safe to come out;
It is a good idea to tuck up with a book.
Lovely sunsets and crisp air, blue skies
And looking forward to spring and
Planning for the year ahead.
Winter is when …
Summer is waiting behind the scenes.
- 27th May 2013
Last week we clarified dates and themes until the end of 'term'.
Please note the rehearsal for the Woman of Steel on 4 June and the pre-performance one on Sat 8 June at Claire and Jude's. The usual plea stands to try and encourage audience friends for the performance.
Tuesday 11 June : Flowers
Tuesday 18 June: Forgiveness
Tuesday 25 June: Hope
Tuesday 2 July: Weather
Sat 6 July : Party in the Park - we are hoping that June and Bernard will be using us as guinea-pigs on a try-out of their new Seat Perilous performance.
Tuesday 9 July: Laziness
We shall break until September - the first Tuesday at St Mary's is 10 September.
Hope to see you all on Tuesday week - no meeting this week.
The Year Ahead
- 12th March 2013
The AGM last month showed that our finances were healthy enough for us to be a little more adventurous this year, and add some guest performances to our other events. So look out for newcomers Abbie Palanche and Cindylou Turner-Taylor in May. There will be another professional slot in the autumn too.
Added to this, we have three Open Houses planned, next month in Forest Hill, where our annual Party in the Park will also be held in July, and then we're back down to Rochester in September.
We are taking our most recent group performance: 'Of the Dreaming' to the Gillingham Club in April, and we are beginning to work on Mongolian and Tuvan texts for the next group performance in June. We are also building links with an emerging storytelling group: The Forest With the Big Hill, in Forest Hill, and hope to take a group performance to them later this year.
We also hope to revisit the care home in Charlton in November, and are open to requests for other visits from a group of us to care homes or hospitals.
Finally, our weekly storytelling circle continues every Tuesday during termtime. With an average of 8-10 people a week, it is lively and varied but still small enough to be supportive to beginners.
- 19th February 2013
Happy Birthday to Hope! A club for the rest of us to aspire to.
Yes, Happy birthday from me too. Have a wonderful time and wish I could be there
I send you 1001 and mythical, legendary and storyfilled wishes as you enter your third decade of amazing work!
Congratulations to one and all!
That arduous, mystifying and even elusive journey to Eltham was always rendered glorious by the reception there. May tributes and accoladepour upon the trio, Tony, June and Fiona - and others who followed and helped in organising, and also to all the spirited teacher trainees in the audience who, I'm sure, took a respect for storytellers and storytelling away with them and into their work as they spread from the South East right over the island.
= 100% Fab club
Have fun tonight
Yes. Please do send birthday wishes from me. I got to their 10th birthday but can’t make this one.
A very happy birthday to "the Hope" when the history of storytelling is recorded 'it will say
One of the bedrock's of our movement was "The Hope" a place where they encouraged the new, spent time on the good and helped many people !!
and just as important, it was run by a bunch of just extremely nice people
Happy Birthday from me!
Hope you have lots of nice cake and stories.
Sorry I'll be on t'other side of country...
Storytelling in Hope gave me my first chance to perform at a story club when I came to join a group performance of Greek myths back in 1997 (I think) and also my first chance to help plan another group evening a few years later. I am so grateful to Fiona, June and Tony for giving me those experiences and also for assembling warm, enthusiastic audiences for later performances at the club. Wonderful news that the club is 20 years old - good luck for the next 20 years!
20th Anniversary Messages
- 16th February 2013
Storytelling in Hope
20th Anniversary Messages
Congratulations on the 20th Anniversary. I wish I could be there with you for stories and cake. Sorry for my silence, but I have been following all the storytelling adventures through the yahoo group and it sounds like it's been an exciting time. We are still in Abu Dhabi, with no end in sight at the moment. But now I'm telling stories to 2 boys - Owen was born in November. Have a great time on Saturday and I hope to see you before too long and relate my adventures and new stories.
Lots of Love Sam xxx
I think it is a really lovely idea to have anniversery event and I hope it is a tremendous success. I've certainly enjoyed being in the audience and telling stories over the years. Please give my best wishes to everyone.
Really sorry we can't be with you for the 20th birthday celebrations... if we could be we would probably tell this less than 5 mins tale- little remnant of a now lost people... heres hoping our stories live on...
much much love and a special big hug to Tony Aylwin who I have seen far too little of, and miss (and don't even have an email for)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx from Helen and Rick
[Helen East & Rick Wilson]
Stories and cake – blimey….I’m so gutted I can’t be there!!!
Enjoy the anniversary bash. Hope it goes well.
Love, Rosanna x
Desert Island Stories
- 27th January 2013
In February 1993, the newly retired Tony Aylwin decided to launch storytelling performances by professional storytellers on South East London. Storytelling? For adults?! It was a virtually forgotten artform, but Tony had joined the nascent revival by running a storytelling club for student teachers at Avery Hill College. It was hugely popular with the students; could he do the same with the general public? The new club's first venue was the Bob Hope Theatre bar in Eltham, and so the name: Storytelling in Hope
. And 20 years on, the answer to its success has to be 'yes'!
A year later the Club put on the first of its many group performances, 'The King and the Corpse'
stories from the Indian Katharsaritsagara. Now, over 30 different shows later, we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary as a Club (one of the oldest storytelling clubs in the country), by inviting past performers to tell a story, or part of a story, maybe from one of the shows, or a story that they first heard at the Club, which has stayed with them. This performance will take place on Saturday 16th February
at the Old Bakehouse Theatre Blackheath at 7.30 pm. The show will be MC'd by founding members June Peters and Fiona Collins, with a tale or two of their own to tell.
If you would like to take part, please email
us with the title of your story. We are hoping for an enthusiastic response, so 5 mins max performance time. And if you don't want to tell, please just come along and help us celebrate.
New Season of Storytelling
- 1st October 2012
Good to meet up again at St Mary’s yesterday (11th Sept), welcome back to our new year. Hope to see you all when you can join us on Tuesday evenings.
Pennie showed us the draft for our new website. It is great. Many thanks to Laurie Hedge for his work and to them both for the inspiration.
We agreed dates and themes for the Tuesday evening meetings - but don’t worry if you want to do a story that isn’t linked to that theme.
Sept 18 Win and Lose
Sept 25 Greek myths/stories
Oct 2 Lies
Oct 9 Regrets
Oct 16 Autumn
Oct 23 Harvest (& AGM
Oct 30 No meeting (half term)
Nov 6 Fire
Nov 13 Big and Small
Nov 20 Despair
Nov 27 Hope
Dec 4 Preparations
Dec 11 Celebrations
Break for Christmas: meeting again on Jan 8. Themes to be talked about nearer the end of 2012.
Jan 8 Jan 15 Jan 22 Jan 29
Feb 5 Feb 12 no meeting 19 Feb 26
Mar 5 Mar 12 Mar19
Break for Easter: meeting again on
We agreed as follows:
• Open House at Rochester, Deirdre and Tony’s house, Sat 20 October at 5.30 til 8: The theme is ‘Transition’
• Reminder of the Baba Yaga event at St Alfege on Sat 17 November
• We agreed to hold with our tradition of having a Dec meeting at The Bakehouse. We propose a club evening performance of Australian Stories. Leanne has several books of these and as she spent time back home in Australia in the summer, and Chris has visited there several times, the theme seems a good one. Pennie will approach The Bakehouse to try the availability of Sunday 9 Dec.Deirdre