As The River Tells It

question time

As Thursday afternoon drew to a close, the grey skies loomed…but from the puddled streets came people, flooding in to the theatre with a drink or two and an excited buzz to hear some new stories woven around them.

I was nervous as all hell, both myself and Matt, my puppeteer had been rottenly sick the week before and we had not had a full dress rehearsal for our little friend (seen above during my interview after the show, carefully considering biting the toes of a child). Obviously, I shouldn’t have been bothered with a single lip bite or furrowed brow…our dear puppet charmed the socks off everyone, adding the final charming cherry to the top of a delicious cake.

Here is a review posted online about the event that makes me blush to the tips of my toes with joy.:

On Thursday, Miles and I got to go along to the new and rather fantastic Library At The Docklands to see a storytelling performance by Roslyn Quin. Held as part of Words On The Wind, a wonderful program of stories that we utterly failed to get to, with this exception.
I thought it deserved a review.

It is a sort of secret that Melbourne has a thriving Storytelling community. Having discovered it a couple of years ago I, and my son, have become discerning but enthusiastic fans. And have found it not at all difficult to recruit our friends to come and listen too.
Among the very best of the local Tellers is Roslyn Quin. Heavily inspired by European folklore of monsters and magic. Of the powerful and the clever, she spins a mixture of tales; some are her own while others are traditional tales, but told in a way that highlights perhaps overlooked aspects.

The sense that you get with Roslyn’s work is that the story is not just being related, it is being explored. There is humour and horror, fear and courage…and most of all a very recognisable and relatable humanity among her heroes and her villains. Even the ones covered in scales or fur.

Her presentation is not at all sing-song or overly-polished, and as such it grabs attention. Her delighted willingness to work with props and puppets and inanimate objects that suddenly start growling also adds a level of surprise, though she can hold a crowd just as readily by simply waving a silk scarf to indicate the desperate searching of a spirit looking for companionship.

Roslyn tells audiences that her inspiration was Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, and this is clear in the way her voice moves through the characters of her tales, but while Hensen’s narrator sat in a big chair, Roslyn delivers her stories in a more dynamic way. Pacing and exploring a stage or an audience, using subtle cues in her movements to impart tone. Delivering even her characters screams in a soft voice that rivets the attention of kids and adults alike, so that they do not miss out on anything.

We have seen Roslyn perform her Red Bird And Death show amidst dozens of props and monsters, as a stand-alone teller using nothing but her voice and gesture, and a few points in between. It is very much my intention to see many more of her performances to come, and to see the evolution and expansion of her style and material. I highly recommend you catch one of her performances. Bring friends along. I promise they are not too old for storytime!”

Much thanks to the Docklands Library and the City of Melbourne x

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