Perhaps you’ve heard about Jack and the Beanstalk, but did you know there are lots of tales about Jacks and lots of tales about Giants. There are stories about Arthur and the round table; stories about the origin of the world; stories about the King of the Cats. What in fact does lie east of the sun and west of the moon? Maybe you’ve heard the stories about Uncle Coyote? Or the naughty Japanese Badgers? Stories, riddles, songs, monologues and epics like these have been passed from generation-to-generation throughout time, person-to-person by word-of-mouth. There are an endless number of stories out there in the wild to entertain, haunt, enthral, and inform. The Art of Storytelling is about finding them, embellishing them, performing them, gifting them and using them to pass on news and folklore from people to people.

Helen Stewart visited us at HQ. Helen is a professional storyteller, erstwhile co-host at Manchester’s Word Of Mouth storytelling and organiser at Festival at the Edge. She introduced the group to this performance art form, telling us a story or two and having a look into one of our oldest English stories, BÄ“owulf, which incidentally is a epic tale where in the beginning of the story, our hero Beowulf vanquishes a giant monster (called Grendel).

Various depictions of the monster giant Grendel; as imagined and drawn by 23rd Manchester Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
How our group imagined Grendel the monster giant and Beowulf’s arch-enemy.

Photos by Mowgli.