This month, The Canterbury Tales launches a weekly programme of twilight storytelling events. The Campfire Tales will embrace the city’s ancient storytelling traditions; every Thursday evening from May to August, audiences will gather around a crackling campfire in our Medieval Story Garden where a storyteller will recount tales by the fireside.
In preparation for these exciting new events, we sat down with storyteller Russell Fielding to learn a little more about what The Campfire Tales has to offer.
Hi Russell, can you tell us a little about what we can expect from a Campfire Tales event?
The Campfire Tales are outdoor storytelling performances around a campfire. We open up our Medieval Story Garden to the public every summer for family activities during the daytime but this is the first time that we’re opening our gates for regular evening events. There is something very special about gathering around a fire to listen to stories and our secluded garden creates the perfect atmosphere for it.
What sort of tales will you be telling?
You’ll hear tales of knights, lovers, trickery and maybe even a bit of magic – all of the things you’d expect from a good story. The great thing about these events is that we encourage audience interaction so everyone around the fire will help to shape the stories. No two tales will ever be the same!
Is this just kid’s stuff?
No, it’s for everyone! Adult storytelling is very popular these days and I’m expecting these to be really popular with grown up audiences. Basically, anyone over the age of five is welcome. The storytellers will naturally adapt their stories for whoever the audience is – whether they’re a cheeky bunch or whether they’re a group who want a bit of action or romance! We welcome groups to book but there will never be more than about 30 people around the fire as we want to keep the performances intimate.
How do you find performing outdoors?
I love it! The surroundings make it a really immersive experience. I’ll be in my medieval outfit and the fire will be crackling away – which all adds to the atmosphere. I would encourage people to wrap up warm as the temperatures do drop as the evening draws in. We will be selling hot drinks too.
Why should people come along to The Campfire Tales?
Because there’s nothing else like it in Canterbury. It’ll be something new for many people and gets you outdoors and away from the telly! I’d encourage everyone to book. Come along to experience something a bit different and play your part in shaping a different story every night.
The Campfire Tales is at The Canterbury Tales every Thursday evening from 17th May to 30th August 7pm – 8.30pm (gates open at 6.30pm).