A Fox & A Fire Drum: capturing the intensity of #TheTelling

This series of photographs taken by Rod Jackson captures something of the intensity of Mr Fox and The Telling

Make sure you don’t miss part two!

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Towards #TheTelling Part 2!

A big thank you to everyone who braved the weather to attend last night’s planning meeting…. we were a refreshingly diverse bunch which included the very talented fine art photographer, Mr Rod Jackson who took the picture of Phlegm‘s Horn featured in this post.

If last night is anything to go by it looks like part two is going to be even more amazing than the first… watch this space! 😉

#TheTelling Pt2: A Better Way…

A Better Way; that’s the theme we have for part two of The Telling, coming to the wonderful courtyard of Church View, Doncaster in February.

We’ll have more fire-lit feasting, music, merriment, performance, poetry, dance and, of course, storytelling… but this time there will be a host of debates and practical workshops (covering everything from permaculture to maker culture) to help fire up the imagination and get people working together towards shaping a better, braver world.

The first planning meeting is tonight; so if you want to help build A Better Way then why not join us! 🙂

#TheTelling – What You Told Us – #DoncasterIsGreat

On the table at the entrance to The Telling was a large piece of paper where people could leave feedback on their way out. There were some great – mostly positive – comments, including things like “I forgot I was in the centre of Donny for a while!”; which is really heartwarming because one of our objectives was to create a space with a feeling of otherness where the imagination was aloud to roam free… job done! 😉

The ‘negative’ (for want of a better word) comments were constructive and will be of definite help during Monday’s open planning meeting (I hope all those who left a comment are able to attend). We shared the concerns about waste and recycling and will be suggesting that people BYO glasses/tankards next time. The lantern concerns were more worrying, while the lanterns we used were bamboo rather than wire and the time of year made secondary fires far less likely there are always going to be problems with control – or lack thereof (one to bear in mind for the next event). One comment quite rightly mentions publicity; this was a weak point which needs addressing; we did send detailed press releases to all local papers and radio stations, but the only mention I saw was a couple of lines in the Free Press. We have photos of the first event to show people next time, so hopefully the press will be more interested; and if you enjoyed The Telling then let people know… Tweets helped with the first event. There was also talk of more ‘structure’, as a grassroots, DIY event that depends mostly on the people who get involved… SO GET INVOLVED! 😀

Thank you once again for all your great comments! 🙂

Get involved with #TheTelling Pt 2 – #DoncasterIsGreat

Part two of The Telling is scheduled for the first week in February. This time it will be a weekend long event with more music, feasting, storytelling and performance and with added practical workshops. As with the first even this is a collectively produced, grass-roots event which you can help to create. So if you like the look of this…

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…and would like to help weave some wonders for the next event then get yourself to Church View (the old art college near the minster) at 6pm on Monday 26th November. We’ll be introducing the theme of the next The Telling, having a chat, sharing ideas, slurping some tea and then it’s probably off to the pub 😉

Click here to download and share a PDF of our planning meeting poster.

#TheTelling Pt 1: Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

What does a single solitary British Pound get you in these oh so modern times? A ‘special offer’ bar of chocolate which is even smaller than last month’s ‘special offer’ bar of chocolate? A download of the next Christmas #1 as decided by the producers of a blatantly manipulated television ‘talent show’? Less than a third of a pint in some cloned gastro/theme-pub which is so samey it could be anywhere on earth, but feels like nowhere in particular?

Well at Church View in Doncaster last Saturday night (Nov 10th) £1 bought you a ticket to wonderland!…

The evening began – as it does for so many people in our glitteringly reclusive age – with a spot of television. But this was no ordinary TV; this was a super-sized, super-super-Hi-Def (seriously, you couldn’t ask for a more realistic picture) beast of a machine created by Carruthers Inc. Fist we watched the news read by Tim Lee. This was followed by a party political broadcast from The Last Politician  (who looked remarkably like a dapper version of the very talented Mr Ian Walker 😉 ). But then something terrifying happened.

Amid reports of riots and the breakdown of civilisation, the lights finally went out for good (not really surprising given the amount of power which that big TV set was wasting). And out of the darkness, from the chaos of collapse, despair and disorder, emerged long-forgotten potential…

A strange tribe of Foxes brought with them light, and fire, and smoke, and drumming, and pipes, and dance, and the promise of the unfamiliar.

As the audience entered the post-apocalyptic courtyard of Church View they caught their first glimpse of a world turned upside-down.

A world which was home to a magical Pixie Yurt and filled with artworks created by Phlegm, Abi Nielsen and Ria Doyle.

And in this world new and forgotten voices could be heard…

To begin with there was educationally entertaining music from Ian Walker and then Tim Lee – finally free from the confines of his television career – spoke of paranoia from an ancient parchment.

Then Rachel Horne (co-conspirator in the events of the evening) told – and sang – of being a strike baby. And then the Foxes danced again…

To announce the arrival of the very wonderful (if not a little bossy) Tim Ralphs

Who beguiled us all…

With the tale of brave Sir Gawain & The Green Knight set against the amazing Phlegm mural (a tale which ended with a poignant reminder that even the great and noble Camelot fell into ruin).

And then the Foxes danced again…

And true Romany Teller, Violet Cannon Jnr, recited her apocalyptic fable, while Joie Rachel Carruthers – playing the Gypsy bride – slowing removed her fake tan and make-up as the tale unfolded.

And again and again the Foxes danced…

And as they danced they summoned forth more Tellers who delighted, entertained and enchanted the audience (almost as much as the mulled wine) as Venus shone down into the courtyard; intrigued – as she most certainly was – by the singing, the dancing, the feasting, the drinking (food & drink ably provided by Joie Rachel Caruthers and Michael Price and served by up-and-coming artists Nat & Jo) and the playing, and the merriment of mere mortal flesh. Among those who sang (but who I have yet to be provided photos of!) were the wonderful A ramshackle Affair and the wonderfully terrifying Beast.

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In a crescendo of Telling the Foxes, joined by a stilted crow, danced on the roof of Church View by the light of a marine flare!..

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As the audience lit wish lanterns….

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And watched their wishes – and tales – drift into the night…

And that, dear friends, was The End of the first ever The Telling.

So I ask you now… Can you think of a better way to spend a quid?!?

Photo credits: Martin Pick (who has produced this wonderful portfolio of images for you to download and keep.)

Instagram credits: @MCSmithDN and @chualabear

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The Telling will return in February.

(See below if you’d like to get involved with the next event.)

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The Telling was dreamed by Warren Draper after being enchanted by Tom Hirons, Rima Staines and Dougie Strang. Part One was stitched together by Warren Draper, Rachel Horne, Phlegm, Abi Nielsen, Tim Ralphs, Iona Hine, Ian Walker, Joie Rachel Caruthers, Tim Lee, Mr Fox, The New Fringe, Doncaster Central Development Trust, Say Yes To Arts, PermaFuture, PixieWorks and the Dark Mountain Project.

The Telling is a grassroots, Open Source Arts creation, which means that we’d like you to help shape the next one. If you want to get involved please contact Warren Draper via email – warrendraper[at]gmail[dot]com – or Twitter – @warrendraper
The Telling would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the artists who generously donated their time to make the first ever The Telling such a wonderful event. Big hugs to visual artists – Phlegm, Abi Nielsen, Ria Doyle, Iona Hine and The Pixies. Squeezey bear hugs too to our foodies – Joie Rachel Caruthers (who was also a visual artist and performer!) and Michael Price – and of course to out performers – Tim Ralphs, Rachel Horne, Ian walker, Tim Lee, Violet Cannon Jnr, A Ramshackle Affair, Beast and last but definitely not least the very incredible Mr Fox. Big love to all x

#TheTelling – A Quick Recap

We’re still working on an overview of the night (keep those photos coming in!), but in the meantime here’s a quick recap of the events which led to The Telling…

Once upon a time there was a grand old building which the modern era had all but turned its back upon. And at the heart of that building was a rubble festooned courtyard…

Luckily for Church View, for that was the building’s name (I wonder if you can guess why?), a kindly Trust recognised that true beauty wasn’t confined to the new and sparkling…

And they saved the building from the sorry fate which had already befallen so many of Doncaster’s other gems…

Curse you Lazurus, oh most wretched of wretches!

One day a world renowned artist just happened to be passing by…

And he saw the image that was waiting for him in the wall. And by hook and by crook… and ladder and rope and some scary moments on the roof…

He slowly drew forth a masterpiece…

And the stage for part one of The Telling was finally set (after a lot of rubble shifting, sweeping and raking of course… thanks to everyone who helped with that!)

There is another version of the story which says that Warren Draper, Rachel Horne, Phlegm, Abi Nielsen, Tim Ralphs, Iona Hine, Mr Fox (be they ever so many), Ian Walker, Joie Rachel Carruthers, Tim Lee, Violet Cannon Jnr, the Pixies, A Ramshackle Affair, Beast, Ria Doyle, Micheal Price, the Doncaster Central Development Trust, Fringe Arts, Phase Arts, Dark Mountain and the stewards (be they ever so sexy) collectively brought you a night of wonderment. And many thanks to them all for doing so!

By the light of the silvery moon… and some marine flares!.. Images from #TheTelling

Many thanks to Martin Pick for these fabulous images…

The fabulous Mr Fox

Tim Ralphs tells of brave Sir Gawain as the fire-pit illuminates the Phlegm masterpiece.

There are many more great photos from Martin, but we’re saving them for our write-up of the event. Remember, if you have any photos of the night we can use for the blog could you please leave a comment below or email warrendraper[at]gmail[dot]com.