STORYTELLING

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The Independent Culture
The ancient art of storytelling is making a comeback. Sitting round a campfire regaling strangers with fairy tales, or listening to some bardic bore recite the Mabinogion has always been up there with folk dancing and incest on my list of things to be avoided if at all possible, but apparently it's not all Celtic mumbo-jumbo. The Crick-Crack Club, operating from mystic North London, is at the forefront of the movement. Their Beyond The Border festival is, however, taking place in the rather more numinous surroundings of 12th-century St Donat's castle in Wales.

From June 25 to 29, traditional music and tales from round the world are promised, plus "strange and fabulous beasts, midnight fires, shamanic singing and an earthquake band ... colourful and flamboyant personalities ... while all around acrobats tumble in the terraced gardens." Or perhaps you fancy getting "A Word in Edge Ways" (fat chance, from the sound of it) at Bradwell Abbey near Milton Keynes on July 8-9, with a similarly eclectic programme. Then there's the Rising Sun festival in Newcastle on June 25, or the Word is Out festival in Brum featuring the irresistible- sounding Turkish Belly Face Storytellers (July 7). Suddenly folk dancing seems strangely alluring ...

Details of all the above available from the Crick-Crack Club, 0171 284 4367.

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