An archive of performance storytelling
The archive is a historical document of interest to anyone studying the
nature of the public performative aspect of oral storytelling in Britain; its re-creation
and re-development as a contemporary performance art; the events that
have taken place; the artists participating in them, and the material
being told, from the early 1980s to 2007.
The content of the archive
The archive documents the revival, re-development and re-creation of
performance storytelling in the UK, and the international influences
that have shaped and informed it.
The archive contains over 900 individual recordings. It features around
220 voices, and spans a period from 1983 to 2007. Most of the material in
the archive was collected on an ad hoc basis, with little strategic or
long-term view to either its preservation or dissemination. As a study of a
reviving art-form, the material included ranges from the raw and experimental,
to the polished and formally presented.
The aim was to create an archive of storytelling 'performances': events
where either the audience paid to see the storyteller, and/or the
storyteller was paid to perform. Not every recording in the archive strictly
fits this definition and the archive also includes talks, interviews and
discussions, which may not be considered 'performances', but which relate to
the art-form. As storytelling is often associated with poetry (having been
considered a branch of Literature by the English funding system since 1984),
and with music and song, these too have been documented to convey the experience
of the audience and give a comprehensive record of the events.
The material was almost exclusively recorded in the UK. A small amount
of material has been removed from the archive by artists who would
prefer it not to be placed in the public domain. Due to the limited
resources of the project, there are also known sources of further
recordings which have not been archived.
Who created the archive?
The archive project was initiated and undertaken by the London Centre for
International Storytelling, with the financial support of the Heritage
Lottery Fund. Material was generously donated by organisations who promote and
programme storytelling, and by individual storytellers and enthusiasts
of the art-form. Contributors include Beyond the Border International
Storytelling Festival; The Crick Crack Club; The Barbican Centre; A
Word in Edgeways; The West London Storytelling Unit; The Company of Storytellers;
A Spell in Time, and individuals Hugh Lupton, Ben Haggarty, Sally Pomme Clayton,
Marion Oughton, Nick Hennessey, Marc Jobst and Sharon Jacksties.
The London Centre for International Storytelling is a charitable company
limited by guarantee.
Registered in England. Company registration no. 5264780. Charity
registration no. 1109510.
5 Summit Road, Northolt, London, UB5 5HJ 0208 841 9098
© The London Centre for International Storytelling:
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