A new generation of emerging migrant storytellers are being championed by an innovative national training programme to transform the way stories are told under the topical theme of ‘Otherness and Hospitality’.

Nine talented candidates, selected from over 40 applicants, are to be developed by TellYours 2018, led by production agency FiloticoArts, one of the only professional storytelling training programmes in the UK.

Working with world-leading storyteller Daniel Morden, award-winning theatre director Jennifer Tang and arts producers Renaissance One and Counterpoint Arts, the storytellers will be encouraged to combine the language of myth and migration at a politically-charged time. A driver for the programme is to revitalise this powerful but underused, and under-resourced, art form.

The programme, which will run for five months, will provide:

  • workshops centred on the craft of storytelling, voice work and theatre production
  • professional development sessions on career sustainability, directing, business development and marketing
  • mentoring by industry leaders
  • two live showcases featuring the storytellers

Covering England, Scotland and Wales, and reflecting the cultural traditions of countries such as Nigeria, Iran, Hong Kong and Cyprus, the storytellers will reimagine and perform not only myths, folklore and fairy tales, but also ghost stories, epics, fantasy and sci-fi narratives from around the world.

Some of the writers on the programme include:

  • JC – Drawing on African and Celtic folklore, JC uses story as a way to ignite a reconnection to the beauty and magic in our everyday lives.
  • Jordan Campbell – has a knack for performing with music and creating empathy through stories. He’s interested in working with different audience and communities.
  • Stephanie Josephs – is interested in oral traditions, past cultures and travel she believes in the power of story to bring people together. Loves accents, home cooked meals and happiest when creating, eating or sleeping.
  • Phil Okwedy – Born in Cardiff to a Welsh mother and a Nigerian father, left teaching in 2017 to become a full-time storyteller.

Livia Filotico, founder of FiloticoArts, said: “A year after Brexit, racial and religious hate crime rose by 23 percent. Migrants and other communities are experiencing increasing abuse and ostracism. Against this backdrop, the word migrant is more than just moving ‘from one place to another’. Race, class, fear and cultural hegemony are all playing a part in the mainstream narrative and must be challenged. TellYours 2018 intends to interrogate these terms to find answers through new and original stories.”

The storytellers will also have access to theatre spaces such as Battersea Arts Centre and The Albany, where industry professionals will help them develop their overall performance to attract more diverse audiences.

The nine TellYours 2018 storytellers will perform original work at two showcases at Canada Water culture space and Battersea Arts Centre in June 2018.

Find out more here.