Well, hasn’t this year been a real mixed bag, with moments of light shining through the many challenges everyone has been facing. And whilst we’ve all been forging our way through, we’ve yet again found stories, both traditional and the everyday, continuing to connect and sustain us.
Following another year without live touring, we are truly delighted to share first news with you that we will be working with the fabulous Welsh storyteller, Phil Okwedy for his first national tour of Wales in 2022. His compelling one-person performance, The Gods Are All Here, was a clear highlight at this year’s Beyond the Border Festival and we’re grateful for support from Arts Council Wales and Theatrau Sir Gar to bring this to audiences in 2022.
Staying in Wales, we’ll also be supporting Gwilym Morus-Baird’s Fifth Tale to Save the World, The Aberystwyth Wall, with dates soon to be confirmed!
So, before we get there, here’s a brief round-up of how 2021 was for Adverse Camber, a year when we produced our first audio box set, broadcast live from a Norwegian log cabin, made new connections in Derbyshire communities, worked with partners to create an important and extensive archive of young people’s creative outpourings, and began exploring exciting new paths for digital technology and live storytelling.
Kicking off 2021 with an online storytelling game…
2021 began with a night of otherworldly tales with Tim Ralphs and Sarah-Liisa Wilkinson, in tribute to the Edo period Japanese game of candles and supernatural tales. The Game of Seven Candles brought truly wonderful storytelling from Tim and Sarah-Liisa, and as everyone’s rooms gradually got darker and darker, and candles were collectively blown out, the effect was simply magical. It was a genuine shared experience, journeying together into the ghostly shadows!
4 Tales to Save the World Sound World Experience
Although the pandemic sadly put paid to touring Gwilym Morus-Baird’s 4 Tales to Save the World, the team created a personal and immersive alternative, a box set of downloadable stories packaged up with exclusive postcards, and the chance to come together with the artist and writers online. Each of the four tales imagined a different future following climate crisis, and the project created space for people to talk about climate change in a supportive and creative environment. The feedback we received from audience members was heartwarming and really confirmed that people needed to hear and talk about these stories.
“Thank you for these four stories and the beauty within them on such a saddening topic. Thank you for giving us hope.”
“What a lovely thing of beauty, sound, voice, and talent you’ve created.”
If you didn’t get the chance to take part in this sound world experience, you can catch up with it on Gwilym’s website.
Gwilym is currently working on a fifth tale, The Aberystwyth Wall, with live dates in Wales soon to be announced!
VÅR goes digital – a feminist tale for our times
In the summer we were thrilled to premiere VÅR: the story of Hervor as part of Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival’s online festival.
Broadcast live from a Norwegian laftehus (log cabin), the one hour online blend of autobiography and mythology from storyteller, Heidi Dahlsveen and composer / musician Kristin Bolstad, was part of a 2 hour immersive storytelling experience connecting high calibre artists and audiences at a time when international travel was almost impossible..
Working with Director Paula Crutchlow and an amazing technical team we discovered even more creative solutions to creating high quality online experiences, bringing this almost forgotten story of a Viking warrior woman, interwoven with contemporary stories, right back into focus.
We are plannning another livestream soon, so do keep your eyes peeled for more news of VÅR!
Gathering, making & telling stories at Tapton Lock
The autumn saw us working with leading Derbyshire participatory arts organisation, Junction Arts for the first time as they invited us to gather, make, tell and share stories with visitors to their annual Tapton Lock Festival.
It was such a pleasure to bring the wonderful trio of tellers – Pyn Stockman, Nell Phoenix and Rachel Murray with their tales of woodlands, water and the many creatures you might find by the canal. The festival goers had a fabulous appetite for stories!
More recently, we’ve been bringing late night story walks to Bolsover for the town’s Christmas shopping events with Peter Chand, Pyn Stockman and Rachel Murray. It’s been such fun to follow the Bolsover Dragonfly Sculpture Trail, visit the magnificent Bolsover Castle and share stories and hot drinks with people of all ages from the town. We have plans to be back in Bolsover in the Spring of 2022 and are really enjoying sharing stories with this community.
Jan Blake’s work in progress in Nottingham
In October we finally met live audiences again, at Lakeside Arts in Nottingham!
A select audience grabbed their front row seat for Jan Blake’s work in progress sharing of Exile, Magic & Power as she worked with digital artist Gary Stewart to explore how storytelling and digital technology can enhance the audience experience. Students from the University joined Jan for a singing workshop and they later shared the stage. The evening ended with a Q&A full of brilliant conversations.
We’re looking ahead to further progress and to take this piece out to audiences in the UK just as soon as we can.
Moments in Time archive goes live!
A project which was launched as ‘Moon Stories’ in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landings, working with young people from Derbyshire Virtual School to record memories and be inspired to make creative work, became something equally significant as 2020 unfolded…
Find out more about the archive we’ve created, and stored at the Derbyshire Record Office, which allows these young people’s extraordinary everyday stories to take their place as a part of history.
So despite the year’s many challenges, we’ve been grateful for all the chances we’ve had to make and share stories in all sorts of different ways and, of course, we’ve been making more plans behind the scenes for 2022. We literally can’t wait to get out on the road in Wales with Phil Okwedy’s The Gods Are All Here and have the chance to meet up with some of you then!
And now, all that’s left to say is we wish you all a safe and peaceful festive season and hope you find the time to share some wonderful stories, both epic and everyday with those you hold dear in whatever way you can.
And, we’re looking forward to sharing more news and more stories with you in the coming year!
The Adverse Camber Team