The art of storytelling – how to tell a spellbinding tale

Cornwall has a rich heritage of storytelling. Traditional tales and folklore are celebrated and kept alive at festivals and gatherings, especially during the winter months.

There’s something compelling about gathering around a fire as darkness falls. The scent of wood smoke drifts through the air and anticipation grows. As the storyteller begins to weave their magic, children and adults alike fall under their spell.

Storytelling by the fire

So how do you tell a compelling story? We asked Rogue Theatre, our Modern Creatives for this month, for some pointers. Now, if you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin.

Top storytelling tips from Rogue Theatre

I’m Ollie from Rogue Theatre, and I’m also secretly Old Man Winter. My top tip for storytelling would be to really visualise the story you’re telling. Really put yourself in the atmosphere and let it flow through you. If you’re staying something is icy cold, imagine the texture of ice as you say ice, and it will lead you into that world quite naturally.

Storytelling with Rogue Theatre - Ollie Oakenshield as Old Man Winter

As people come through my door here, the other thing that fascinates me about storytelling is how we overlay reality with imagination. People are walking through Tehidy Wood, yet there’s a door here that leads to another world.

Door in the woods

As people walk through the door I like to say to them, ‘You are the stories you tell about yourselves, so make them good ones, really good. I think you’ll find the world will be exactly as you describe it.’