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Lead Artist: Performance Storyteller Dominic Kelly

Project Manager John Hall

with SirJohn Barrow School,Ulverston.


The children of Sir John Barrow School took to the stage in front of a full house at the Coronation Hall on Saturday July 13th to deliver traditional stories as part of the Furness Tradition festival storytelling programme.

Working over several weeks with internationally renowned storyteller Dominic Kelly, the children have learned a number of traditional tales along with a range of the performance skills that Dominic brings to his own work.

This was the second Storyfair project, and involved a new group of Year 3 children while following up on last years performances by the current Year 4. Rehearsal Sessions took place in school,  at  the Coro, and at the Sir John Barrow Cottage.

Following the event we learned that the school intends to adopt Storyfair as its Arts Award project in 2019-20.


School staff comments include:

We would love our current Year 4 children to take the project forward into Year 5. It would be fantastic to have a rolling programme of storytelling embedded in Years 3, 4 and 5. Oral storytelling is so important in giving children a sense of a story It creates an instinctive understating of how a narrative should progress whether it is spoken or written.  For some children who find writing challenging, taking away the pen and paper has given them freedom to express themselves and it has reactivated their love of English lessons.  This motivation has continued beyond the end of the project.

Samples from the childrens comments..

The past few weeks with you have been amazing...Ive learned lots of new stuff like gesture levels, using actions and confidence. (Billy)

Ive enjoyed performing at the Coronation Hall. I was sort of scared (but not). I want to say something..THANK YOU! You have made me personally very confidant of speaking on stage. Its going to help me be a performer. (Alleah)

My favourite session was when we grabbed our stories and placed  them in Ulverston. I loved it when we performed on saturday. (Lily)

It really helped me with my confidence and to realise storytelling isnt a play where you can only be one character. In storytelling you can be as many characters as you want by zipping in. I love storytelling and I would love to do it again. (Elise)

In year three I would barely read in front of my class but now I can read in front of the entire school. (Joe) 

In 2020 the project was delivered online, with Dominic providing material for a further 10 of our local schools. 

This video tells the story of the project, and was screened at Furness Tradition Festival as part of their  online programme,

In 2021 we returned to the school, working outdoors on projection techniques for a promenade show.

Look out for news on our 2022 project.

There is more from Dominic in the Soft Drive Project book.


Young Storyfair storyteller onstage at t
Young Storyfair storytellers tour the ro