Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival 2022

Beyond the Border, as part of our Mycelium Storytelling Hub programme will be involved in this year’s Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival from 2-4 September.

In collaboration with Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Beyond the Border and the Mycelium Storytelling Hub will be working together to ensure that the festival can remain an exciting annual event, developing storytelling for artists and audiences, while keeping it unique to Aberystwyth.

Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival is the vision of Peter Stevenson, Storyteller, folklorist, illustrator, artist – a unique festival which merges his eclectic career and interests delivering a festival which merges exhibition, performance, literature, and film.

Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival programme 2022 will include Daniel Morden & Hugh Lupton, Cath Little & Chandrika Joshi, Michael Harvey & Pauline Down, Phil Okwedy, Fiona Collins, Frances Roberts Reilly, Ffion Philips, Deb Winter & Gillian Stevens, Carl Gough, local storytellers Milly Jackdaw, Halo Quin, Ailsa Mair Fox and local musicians Georgia Ruth and Iwan Huws. The visual and oral storytelling workshops will be delivered by Ruth Koffer, Peter Stevenson, Valeriane Leblond and Maria Hayes.

A weekend ticket for the festival is £50, individual tickets are available for all storytelling and music performances in Theatr Y Werin and all the cinema programme in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Tickets are available from Aberystwyth Arts Centre Box Office on:

01970 623232

Here’s more about the festival and programme for Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival 2022:


4.45pm  The Green Knight

The Green Knight is a 2021 fantasy film directed by David Lowery, and adapted from the 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, so beloved of storytellers. The film stars Dev Patel as Gawain, a nephew of King Arthur, who sets out on an epic quest to face the Green Knight.

Individual ticket £7


5pm  Astromythology from Ancient Sumer: Queen of Earth and Heaven by Fiona Collins

The planet Venus is both the Morning and the Evening Star. In Ancient Sumer it was associated with the goddess Inanna, Queen of Earth and Heaven. Here are some fragments of Inanna’s stories.

Scholars are still translating and interpreting Sumerian legends from clay tablets scattered in museums around the world. Who knows how many more myths and legends still lie hidden in the desert lands of Iraq?

Individual ticket £8


6pm  Spinning Tales

Come and yarn at this informal story and craft circle: bring a short tale and your own craft project to work on whilst listening (we have limited time, but you are encouraged to continue in the bar afterwards!)…


7pm  Stars and their Consolations by Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton

Lupton and Morden are known for their lucid retellings of Ovid and Homer. Tonight they share with us haunting myths of the constellations that shimmer above us in the night sky, including Orion, the Pleiades and Pegasus.

Trigger warning – contains images of sexual violence. Suitable for anyone over 16.

Individual ticket £10


9pm  Spirit of Water, Heart of Stone by Deb Winter & Gillian Stevens

Creation myth and climate change were stirred together in the cauldron and the boiling liquid spat these two stories out. United by a deep love of nature, storyteller Deb Winter and musician Gill Stevens share two powerful stories with passion, urgency and insight into the human condition. Deb’s inventiveness with words is matched by Gill’s creativity on the viola da gamba to give you an immersive experience that speaks to the heart, challenges borders and embraces ‘the other’.

Individual ticket £8


10pm  The Hammons Family of West Virginia

Ben McManus, Appalachian Welsh fiddler and banjo player and organiser of events at Aber’s new venue the Bank Vault, tells the extraordinary story of the Hammons Family of West Virginia through music and words.


9am  Live International Hybrid Storytelling
Kapiti Storytelling Live from New Zealand

On the west coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand lies Kapiti Island, and the mainland settlements of Pukerua Bay, Paekakariki and Porirua. During lockdown the local storytelling group, In the Belly of the Whale, began meeting monthly online, organised by Judith Frost-Evans. The festival eavesdrops on one of their gatherings, at 9am Welsh time, 8pm in Kapiti.


10am  Project India Wales

India Wales is cross cultural project supported by the British Council and ACW that helps children in Aberystwyth and Bangalore to understand how they can express how they feel about climate change through understanding techniques of animation, oral storytelling, book illustration, ‘zines, graphic novels, mythology and visual storytelling. Run by animators Charlie Carter and Anwaar Alam, and illustrators Ekta Bharti and Peter Stevenson.


10am  Creative Soundmapping Workshop with Ailsa Mair Fox

What can we hear in our immediate surroundings? How might we tell its story? Join Ailsa for an introduction to the practice of creative soundmapping. An explorative way of documenting and re-sounding things we hear around us to capture special moments from the festival and its surroundings: from the mythic to the mundane. Ailsa began this practice in her ‘Soundmapping Our 5 Square Miles’ project – funded by Arts Council Wales & The National Lottery Stabilisation fund during. Come and play! (Materials provided but feel free to bring your own art supplies)


11am  Hear Us and Hasten by Ffion Phillips and Ailsa Dixon

Hear Us And Hasten is a collaboratively devised storytelling performance deeply rooted in the North Sea and North Welsh landscapes of the performer’s homes. Created with support from the Village Storytelling Festival and Tasgadh by two of Britain’s leading young storytellers, Ffion Phillips and Ailsa Dixon. It is an upfront reckoning with the climate‘s fragility and those narratives, both old and new, which so easily cast young women’s bodies into the jaws of waiting beasts. But, this show is, most importantly, a celebration of being alive, right now. As Ffion and Ailsa say – it’s a triangle; story, people, landscapes, if connection between any of these three is weak we all suffer.

Individual ticket £8


Midday Book Launch and Workshop – Siani Pob Man by Valériane Leblond, with Morfudd Bevan and Peter Stevenson

Hidden in Cardigan Bay, between New Quay and Aberaeron is the charming beach of Cei Bach. In a little cottage, an old lady sits smoking her pipe with clocks on her feet. She is the famous Siani Pob Man. A story about an unusual character, with striking illustrations by talented artist Valériane Leblond.


1pm  Parramisha by Frances Roberts-Reilly,

Frances Roberts-Reilly from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, is of mixed-heritage Welsh Gypsy-English, a descendant of Abram Wood, the notable family of Romany musicians and storytellers. She is also a published poet, writer, memoirist, playwright and storyteller. Frances performs with her harp, the gypsy stories brought by her Romany family to Wales. These are Magical tales rich with the mystery of the Welsh landscape, hailing from another time and place. Frances is in Wales to introduce her book Parramisha, a collection of Romany poetry published by Cinnamon Press in 2020. She writes, ‘What’s written about us by non-Roma is a stereotypical image that’s both romantic and vilified. In writing our own Parramisha-story we are obligated to deconstruct those prevailing narratives readily available in popular culture and that have unjustly treated us. Parramisha challenges the reader to reconstruct a new image as a life affirming narrative of our wholeness as a Romani identity.’


2pm  Storytelling for Welsh Learners with Fiona Collins

Storytelling to help you speak Welsh


2pm  Ports Past and Present Talk by Mary-Ann Constantine

The Irish Sea basin forms a distinct node of histories, economies, and identities. This project considers five very different ports and their communities on either side of the sea: Dublin, Rosslare, Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock.


2.30pm  Official WOW Selection Chwedl Dwr with Seneca Nation films, Native Spirit Foundation Cinema. In association with Planet.

Chwedl Dŵr, dewis swyddogol WOW, gyda Seneca Nation Films, Native Spirit Foundation Cinema. Mewn cydweithrediad â Planet.

Chwedl Dŵr / Fairytale of Water 46 mins

Beneath the west Welsh waters are stories – flood myths – that tell of a time when you could walk across Cardigan Bay to Ireland. Above the sea are forgotten fairytales that tell of dreamers who built utopian lands, old ladies who made love potions with well water, and rivers who were seen as people. Using old methods of visual storytelling that gave rise to the fledgling film industry, filmmaker and sound artist Jacob Whittaker and storyteller and illustrator Peter Stevenson take a journey through time to hear these lost voices in the water. Specially commissioned for WOW.

Terry J Jones and Native Spirit Film Festival.

Gathered Places, an Indian Documentary 19 Mins

In Terry J Jones’s short doc “Gathered Places: An Indian Documentary Film,” when two Indian filmmakers visit each other’s homelands in the USA and India. Terry’s father speaks about Kinzua Dam.

Soup for my Brother 10 mins

Terry J Jones is a film maker from the Seneca Nation and his short film won best documentary at the Liverpool International Film Festival in 2016.

Savage / Future 3 mins

Editing to the soundscape of shaking Iroquois white corn and tapping, Seneca filmmaker Terry Jones uses personal and historic still images to link family and the American Indian Boarding School experience

Individual ticket £7


3pm  Tonfanau Tales by Chandrika Joshi

Fifty years ago Chandrika Joshi fled the country of her birth, Uganda, with her family and came to Wales. She stayed for the first six months at Tonfanau resettlement camp near Tywyn and in 1973 she was housed in Penrhys in the Rhondda Valleys.The show weaves real life drama of escaping Uganda with Hindu mythological tales – stories of loss, resilience, assimilation of cultures and finding home.

Individual ticket £8


4pm  Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton

Q&A about the Stars and their Consolations project


5pm  Mochyn Myrddin by Milly Jackdaw

The tale begins as Myrddin seeks the sanctuary of an apple tree, a remedy for disturbing futuristic visions triggered by battle, where he befriends a wolf and a pig. 2000 years later a single mum begins a quest for the living myth of Myrddin and the primal power of the land. A call to re-evaluate the stories we tell ourselves and to discover codes in ancient tales, hidden till the time is right for revelation.


5pm  Chwedl Meeting

Chwedl is the network in Wales of women storytellers and women who love stories. Chwedl is one of the many Welsh words for ‘story’.

Join Chwedl women in the garden (cafe if wet) on Saturday at 5pm, to hear a story, and maybe tell one, to chat about what what Chwedl does – and could do – and to network with other women in Wales and the wider world. Croeso i chi siarad Cymraeg gyda ni.  There will be a warm welcome to all women and everyone who identifies as a woman.


6pm  Adverse Camber presents The Gods are All Here by Phil Okwedy

“May your shadow never grow less.”

Sparked by the discovery of a series of letters from his father in Nigeria to his mother in Wales, The Gods Are All Here is a compelling, lyrical and warm, one-man performance from first-class storyteller, Phil Okwedy.

This captivating performance storytelling piece skilfully weaves myth, song, folktales and legends of the African diaspora with an astonishing personal story that uncovers Phil’s experiences of growing up as a child of dual heritage in 1960 &70’s Wales.

Charting the time of life when children are said to view their parents as gods, but never having actually lived with them, Phil considers if his parents were, in fact, the gods he had imagined them to be…

Exploring equality, freedom, racism, family and growing up without your birth parents, in a touching, funny and evocative performance, The Gods Are All Here is both timeless and very much a story of now.

“Superb storytelling, combining personal, traditional and reimagined stories in a unique way. Very moving and gripping throughout, you always want to know ‘what happens next’.” Audience member

“This stunning show is spectacularly crafted”
Rufus Mufasa

Created and performed by Phil Okwedy

Directed by Michael Harvey

Funded by Arts Council of Wales sponsored by Welsh Government, Lottery funded.

Supported by Theatrau Sir Gâr

Suitable for ages 12+
Individual tickets £10

This production talks about being brought up with foster parents, there are stories of slavery that include descriptions of violence, and the show contains discriminatory language.


8pm  The Gods are all Here talk

With Phil Okwedy and Shara Atashi

FREE for anyone with a The Gods are all Here ticket


9pm  Georgia Ruth and Iwan Huws

Georgia Ruth is a musician from Aberystwyth. Using folk influences to create a truly unique sound, her debut album Week of Pines won the Welsh Music Prize in 2013 and was nominated for two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Georgia collaborated with The Manic Street Preachers on their 2014 album Futurology before releasing her second album, Fossil Scale in 2016.

Georgia released her third album – Mai – in March 2020 through Bubblewrap Records.

“Her own debut is a wonder, full of longing and melody” MOJO
“One of the British folk discoveries of the year”
The Guardian
“Georgia is finding her own distinct voice”
Q Magazine

Individual tickets £10


9.30pm  Vincent Price: Three Skeleton Key. Collaboration with Abertoir.

Vincent Price was one of the great storytelling voices of cinema history. During the endless lockdowns of 2020, Gaz Bailey, director of Abertoir, and Peter Stevenson, director of Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival, decided to create a hand drawn version of one of Vincent’s most memorable radio plays, Three Skeleton Key, a tale of madness and death set on a remote lighthouse besieged by rats. A place where storytelling meets folk horror.


10pm  The Company of Wolves

Based on Angela Carter’s 1979 short story in The Bloody Chamber, The Company of Wolves was released in 1984 by director Neil Jordan , where it pulled together elements of classic fairytales of Red Riding Hood and Mr Fox. It contains a star turn by Angela Lansbury as Grandma, who warns us that the worst wolves are those who are hairy on the inside.


10pm  Late Night Storycircle with Hayley Addis

Fables After Dark: Tales of Love and Lust by local tellers.

“Fables after Dark” brings tellers from our monthly Aberystwyth story circle together for tales and songs of an… adult nature… Meet lusty queens, horny fellas, and magical quims!

Dr Halo Quin is an enchantrix, poet, pagan author, goblin wrangler, and host of Fables Storycircle, with an obsession with faeries and a passion for myth and magic…


10am The Fairy Tale of Aberystwyth with Peter Stevenson and Ailsa Mair Fox

Peter Stevenson, visual storyteller, and Ailsa Mair Fox, fairytale cellist, take you on a virtual storywalk of Aberystwyth – a place full of dreams and memories, with the Swan Girl, the Three Sisters, the Welsh Utopia, Giants, Drunken Mermaids and Buffalo Bill.

Storywalks will start from town. Those booked on the walk will be informed of the meeting place.


10am Coed Penglais with Milly Jackdaw and friends

A walk through Aberystwyth’s woodland nature reserve with Milly Kackdaw who will tell the tales the trees tell.


12pm Selkie Faction with Maria Hayes

Maria Hayes will perform a long drawing exploring the facts behind the Selkie myths. Who were the Selkies? Where did they come from? What’s the real story?

Come and watch the drawing being created as layers between myth and history weave themselves into the image.


1pm Okha Haran by Cath Little and Chandrika Joshi

Chandrika Joshi and Cath Little tell and sing the story of Okha Haran in English, Gujerati, Welsh and Sanskrit. Okha Haran is the story of Okha, daughter of the Goddess Parvati, who is cursed to live on earth in the family of the demon king Banasur.  This treasure from the Hindu Puranas has been passed down through Chandrika’s family for generations.

Together Chandrika and Cath have reimagined the story and are looking forward to sharing it with you.

Individual ticket £8


2pm Mystic Chords of Memory + Q&A with director Lauren Everett

In the summer of 2019, artist and film maker Lauren Everett from Portland, Oregon, toured Wales to make a full length film to explore how people experience and maintain connections to their shared past and culture. Told through narratives about place, it features artists, farmers, environmentalists, musicians, writers and storytellers, including Fiona Collins, Gwilym Morus, Owen Shiers, Eric Maddern, Peter Stevenson, and many more.

Individual ticket £7


2pm Something or Nothing – Finding your Nexus

Carl says he formally adopted the title of ‘storyteller’ in 2012, although in reality his initiation into the world of storytelling began in 2005. He has performed across the UK, recorded stories for BBC Wales and completed a tour in China in 2019. Whilst storytelling is his passion, he holds an extraordinary skills set from a diverse career, much of which he thought was in his past until Covid arrived. Significant life events played out with the pandemic as a backdrop, initiating a profound reawakening that transformed the way he now views his work as a storyteller. An experienced workshop facilitator, social enterprise and charity advisor, biologist and environmental educator, Carl now invites you to join him in a workshop as he encourages us to share our stories, to explore and possibly transform the way we see our role in a time of ecological turmoil and climate crisis.


3pm Live Drawing Crankies with Ruth Koffer

Have a glimpse into the fresh visual narrative that emerges in Ruth’s work whilst she draws a storytellers performing with their crankies. The audience are invited to simply observe or to bring sketchbook and draw alongside her.


4pm Taliesin By Michael Harvey and Pauline Down

Michael Harvey storyteller and Pauline Down singer/musician tell ‘Taliesin’ – the story of the Celtic world’s greatest bard. This show stays true to the roots and resonance of the story and adds singing and percussion looped live on stage to bring the transformation and magic of the story vividly to life.

Suitable for adults and children over 7

Individual ticket £10

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