Tales of the expected

Storytelling festival returns for Midsummer at Martineau.

Storywalks in the woods, campfire tales and family storytelling all day are all on the programme for the sixth Martineau Gardens Storytelling Festival. Community Garden Martineau Gardens and the Traditional Arts Team have joined forces to create the festival, a family-friendly day of storytelling plus arts, music and crafts taking place on Saturday 17 June, 11am – 7pm.

There will be a full programme of storytelling taking place under cover, in hidden corners of the two and half acre leafy community garden, not far from Birmingham city centre. From woodland glades to the sundial lawn, there will be a continuous stream of storytelling performances during the day aimed at everyone from little children right up to adults. There will be stories with food, stories with walks, stories with masks and more. Hear rousing yarns around the pirate ship, and as the festival draws to an end, campfire tales will bring all around the campfire for the finale.

There are a host of storytellers from across the Midlands including leading storytellers, Graham Langley, Catriona Heatherington and Cath Edwards. Storytellers Studio will be there in full force with their high-energy and the continuous Pop-Up storytelling canopy will see the audience listening to one story or staying all day. Tellers from around the region and beyond include Sheffield’s Beth Guiver, Wales’ Bethan Mascarenhas and Nottingham’s Monika Johnson will be mask making as she tells her stories.

Live music will be provided by Moseley Village Band and troubadour Rich Stokes will be singing and telling stories. Festival goers can enjoy an entertaining musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk and listen to stories whilst cooking around the Earth Oven. Juliette Green, the Gardens’ Education Officer, will be running minibeast hunting and wildlife craft activities. There will be storywalks, token gathering, stories and pictures in the Glasshouse gallery and a sparkling light show in the woods.

A festival wouldn’t be a festival without the food – delicious tapas, cakes and salads will be available all day from ChangeKitchen CIC.

Graham Langley, of the Traditional Arts Team said: “Martineau Gardens is the perfect place to experience the magic of storytelling,” Caroline Hutton, Director of Martineau Gardens said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming new faces to Martineau Gardens through this Storytelling Festival.”

Tickets are on sale now. Advance: Adults £7, accompanied children £2, on the gate (subject to availability), £9 adults, £2 accompanied children.

Martineau Gardens is located at 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7UG. Further information at www.martineau-gardens.org.uk, on 0121 440 7430 or twitter@martineau27.