Dr Sketchy’s non-denominational, secular, enivronmentally conscious winter solstice cabaret special… (gasp for air!) was an excellent wee event, certainly something different! The vagabond has never been called upon to be a life model before. For some reason, stinking, haggard wanderers are not generally considered marketable artistic subject matter… Anyway, great fun was had by all in Aberdeen that day and I even got to try my own hand at drawing. The results were, of course, disastrous.
The title says it all! I was roped in by some good friends to doing some compeering and story-spinning for an event in support of Performers Without Borders (link below.) All in all, a good time was had, the acts involved were all excellent and exactly enough money was raised to send our sponsored performer to Nicaragua – one-way only, of course… 😉
The Vagabond journeyed south, braving the Black Country to tell some Samhain stories and terrifying tales to remind the kids at the Birmingham Centre for the Child that All Hallows Eve isn’t all about sweets and dressing up! I was very privileged to be invited back to perform at the city’s Central Library, as they have cut out nearly all outside entertainers from their programme due to the exciting shift to the new library which opens in 2013. However they loved me so much in April that they were very keen to have me perform again so, naturally, I obliged!
Some quotes from attendees:
“He should be on Ceebeebies!”
“I’m a little bit in love with the Wandering Vagabond after today…”
As part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, the Vagabond was commissioned to wander through the greenwood telling tales of an arboreal nature, The Three Green Women of One Tree Hill, The Nose Tree and The Search for Mabon ap Modron were amongst the tales told on what, thankfully, turned out to be an unusually warm and gloriously sunny day in mid-October! Sadly no photos have emerged, but click the above image to link to the event page on the REBG website!
A jolly good time was had by all as the vagabond duly transformed two large audiences into a cacophony of steam-powered machinery in a retelling of H.G Wells classic tale, ‘The Lord of the Dynamos.’ Click thumbnails to be redirected to the full-size image on photographer Stuart Crawford’s excellent page.
Glasgow by Gaslight – Facebook event link
The Wandering Vagabond, in association with Tall Tales & Short Stories, presented an excellent performance of Beowulf, despite a few disasters on the way! Firstly, the wonderful, early-medieval long-house at Duncarron Fort, in which we were meant to be performing, was not yet ready, however we managed to fill the spoken word tent fuller than it had been all weekend. Unfortunately, five minutes in, the entire site was shut down due to a man hunt for a confused, elderly gentleman! Luckily, despite a continual, soaking rain, we managed to salvage about half of our audience and, with the aid of a large tree and some donated head-torches, we continued our adventure in an even more atmospheric (read – miserable) setting. The rapturous applause we received was more than adequate thanks for our efforts and might I be the first to thank, in turn, all those who stood, sat or squatted in the dank woods to hear the tale of the Bear, the Beast and the Dragon!
Avast ye Landlubbers! Hoist the sails, splice the main-brace, man the cannon and send ’em all to Davy Jones Locker afore ye end up three sheets to the wind! The Vagabond got his sea-legs in his first commissioned show for the Three Harrrbours Arrrts Festival in Cockenzie House. A Fine venue, if a little cramped. Tales of sailors, sea-monsters and swashbuckling shenanigans was the order of the day, and very well received it was too!
The Vagabond wandered the streets of Govanhill , with reference to its Gaelic namesake (‘Gobhann’ – ‘Smith’) telling tales of Smiths, Smithys and Smithying. Streetland is an excellent community-run festival focussed on strengthening community and community facilities in Govanhill, a poor area with a large immigrant population. I was pleased to befriend a group of Roma kids, though I promise I’m not an aspiring Fagin! Click on their logo (right) to visit the site!
Dragons were vanquished, valiant knights and pious saints prevailed, while the dangers of boggarts, bogles, hobbedy-lanterns, hobthrusts, and other strange creatures of English folk lore, were impressed upon children’s imaginations at the ‘Centre for the Child’ in Birmingham City Centre. The Vagabond was most impressed by the attentive audience… but, more especially, surprised that his tender Scottish flesh did not burst into flames at the sight of so many St. George’s Cross’ on this, the most English of days! -W.V.
“We all thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling and were most impressed with the authenticity of his costumes and props. He made it all look effortless, although I would never dream of underestimating the enormous amount of preparation he had done to reach this standard in both presentation and content. His enthusiasm for storytelling is obvious, and he can really engage with an audience; I know those who were here certainly enjoyed the experience, as the verbal feedback I had from parents testifies.” – Jacqui Adams, Birmingham Library’s ‘Centre for the Child.’