Public performances

Last Wednesday evening, the snow having largely one from our roads, I drove to the village of Butterton in North Staffordshire, the south-western end of the Peak District, to accept an invitation to deliver an evening’s storytelling. There were more than forty people in the audience, a tribute to the organising powers of the chair of the local History Society, Maggie Risby, who MC’d the session with a light rein. I started telling local folktales at about ten past seven; after an hour we stopped for tea and biscuits; and then I got some members of the audience to recall stories and responded by suggesting variants that might be heard elsewhere. Feedback on the evening was gratifying, and the lovely people of Butterton will surely be a great support if our film project gets off the ground.

Next Tuesday (13th March, 7.30 p.m.) I’m scheduled for another gig in Dove Holes, a village near Buxton. If it goes as well as the Butterton evening I’ll be very well pleased!

It’s been some time since Margaret Holbrook, Pamela Turton and I did a “Meet the Authors” evening, but we’ll be offering one a week today (Friday 16th, 7 p.m.) at the Lymefield Art and Craft Centre in Broadbottom. Maxine, who runs the Centre, is selling tickets for £5 – including wine (or soft drink) and nibbles – and when I spoke to her a couple of hours ago she still had tickets left. Margaret and Pamela will read excerpts from their published books, and I’ll tell one or two Peak District folktales and elicit healthy groans by reciting excerpts from Cruel and Unusual Punnishments.

Margaret and Pamela and I (not to mention Maxine) will be delighted to see as many familiar and unfamiliar faces as can be fitted – with bodies attached – into the space available. I understand the Centre can accommodate thirty people, provided they’re not too big.

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