I have just been signed up by Carmarthenshire County Council to appear at the annual Merlin Festival providing street magic around the town. The event publicises the links of the ancient magicians with the town – he is said to be buried on Merlin’s Hill nearby. Hopes that this year’s festival would be “bigger and better” than before seem to have been dashed for this year as the organisers have left it just a little bit late with their plans. Not their fault – they have been plagued by staff sickness which has taken its toll. However, we have hopes of growing the size of this in years to come – watch this space. In the meantime I hope to see you in Carmarthen town centre on Saturday August 9th between 10 and about 4.30 then with the Creepy Carmarthen tour from 5.
I have been lucky enough to land the final place at the annual Storytelling Week held in the beautiful Bleddfa Centre in Mid-Wales. Tutors Hazel Bradley and Michael Harvey will be helping the course members hone their storytelling skills and increase their repertoire of stories. As part of the project I have to tell a traditional story considered to be at least two hundred years old, so I am beginning to wade through my collection of Celtic myths and Welsh legends to find something suitable. And, of course, being me it has to have a suitably scary element somewhere in the story.
If you’re coming to Carmarthen’s Riverside Festival do keep you eyes peeled for the “character enactors” playing people from the town’s past. I don’t make a habit of it but you’ll find me dressed as a medieval monk patrolling the quayside. I’m getting into the role by praying hard for good weather on the day. We’ve been told that if it rains we’ll get wet! At least I’ll have a hood to keep off the worst of the weather.
Just booked to appear again at the Judge’s Lodging in Presteigne – one of the most amazing places for storytelling. The building (now a wonderful gem of a museum) houses not only the set of rooms used by visiting judges but also a stunning Victorian courtroom and the associated cells below. The audience get to sit in the courtroom while I stand just in front of the dock to deliver some more of my darker stories. There will be a tale or two of Christmas among them – although not the kind of things one would want to tell small children. Tickets are £10 each from the museum – book by calling 01544 260650. The show takes place on Friday 21st November at 7.30pm.
So proud of my son Jake, writer and lyricist for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole which opens at the Leicester Curve next March.
Jake and his co-writer Pippa Cleary seem to have been putting this show together for almost as long as Mr Mole took to complete his best-selling diary. Cannot wait to see the finished version on opening night next year but in the meantime we have months and months of promotional stuff happening in the lead-up to the launch.
See and hear Pippa and Jake, plus their friend and director Luke Sheperd, by watching them on BBC1’s East Midlands Today.
Off to St Donat’s Castle in the morning for the amazing Beyond The Border Festival – a whole weekend’s worth of amazing storytelling in one of the most beautiful locations you can image. Set on the coast near Cardiff, the castle was once owned by William Randolph Hearst the incredibly wealthy newspaper magnet. One of his guests, George Bernard Shaw, said of it: “This is what God would have built if he had the money.”
Hopefully it will not be too wet when we pitch tents tomorrow afternoon. The forecast for Friday looks pretty murky but the rest of the weekend should be sunny with just the outside chance of a shower.