Welcome to my storyteller blog...
As a true-life storyteller, I’ve been involved with a wide variety of shows and open-mic performances in the West Midlands over the past few years – appearing in theatres, art galleries, libraries, bookshops and cafes…anywhere that people can gather to hear stories.
In a lot of my early work, I learned the craft of true-life telling from the popular storyteller and author Cat Weatherill who invited me to join a troupe of performers she gathered from a run of her successful Tell Me On A Sunday shows at The Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. With Flashlight Storytellers (2014 – 2016) we appeared in a variety of true-storytelling events around the Midlands region, modelling our work on The Moth in New York – which celebrates the craft of “true stories told live”. It’s captivating stuff…see here
In addition, Arts Council funded projects have included my time as Writer/Storyteller in Residence for the Voices from the Ashes project in Birmingham 2014 (see here) and as project assistant to Cat Weatherill – appearing as a regular Guest Storyteller and Host for her monthly Mee Club at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.
I am now regularly invited to perform in Spoken Word & Storytelling gigs, as a guest storyteller, and have a repertoire of stories that lasts between 7 – 10 mins. For details of my most recent shows in the West Midlands, please see below…
Story Vibes – The Pongo’s Dream
Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham – 29 May 2018
A new kind of storytelling and spoken word fusion – Story Vibes – has come to town.
The brainchild of storyteller Sharon Carr, it had its first launch at The Kitchen Garden Cafe – well-known for storytelling & music in Birmingham, so it was great to be invited to tell one of my favourite true-life stories… The Lion, the Wolf & The Cornershop.
“Jane, I found your story very engaging, powerful and thought provoking… there was a tear in my eye during your telling and I’m sure I was not alone.” Simon Martin – storyteller
I performed alongside other invited wordsmiths from the Midlands, plus international storyteller Sef Townsend who presented The Pongo’s Dream featuring talented musician Inigo Barrade with evocative tales from Latin America.
True Life Storytelling @ Kenilworth Books
Live & Local Touring – April 2018
Having learned so much through watching & performing with author/storyteller Cat Weatherill, it was a pleasure to join her at the end of an all-day workshop @ Kenilworth Books, Warwickshire.
Tucked in amongst the books, I helped Cat deliver another true-life storytelling show, with contributions from attendees at the workshop, trying their 7-min stories out for the first time.
“I stood in front of those chairs and I told my true life story.
Jane Campion Hoye and Cat, you captured your audience I am truly grateful for that experience.”
(Sharon Roberts – audience member & workshop participant)
Truth & Truffles – Stoke Golding
Centre Stage Touring – April 2018
It was a chance to perform a set of my true-life stories in a 2-hander 90-min show with Cat who also sang. We had a great audience who gave us a warm reception.
‘What a joy! Two excellent storytellers, so different in style, who complimented each other perfectly.’
We told a variety of true-life stories designed to amuse, entertain and move. And there were free chocolates too! Although one audience member later wrote..
‘I was so enraptured, I didn’t unwrap my truffle!’
The Mee Club Party
@ the Herbert Art Gallery – Sept 2016
20 Sep – it was good to see new storytellers share their stories with us at The Mee Club party, after joining us for a spring & summer season of workshops and open-mic performances at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.
As we joined together in the Studio Theatre, to celebrate the season, there was a real party atmosphere…and cake!!
Guest Storyteller @ Waterstones on the Mic
Waterstones, Birmingham – July 2016
I was invited to tell my story The Lion, the Wolf & the Cornershop in the special guest slot of this regular open-mic gig at Waterstones. It was a warm, sultry evening and the audience were very responsive. Always rewarding when you get that.
The Mee Club @Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry
March – Sept 2016
The Mee Club ran a series of open-mic evenings of true-life storytelling – that were up and running once a month on Fridays @ 8pm at Coventry’s iconic Herbert Art Gallery – as part of their exhibition nights at the museum – Herbert Lates
I worked as project assistant and guest storyteller with international storyteller and author Cat Weatherill who headed up this Arts Council funded project.
Just like The Moth in America on which the model is based, we celebrated both the seasoned storyteller and storytelling novice, inviting people to share their own true-life stories.
Through our website www.themeeclub.com there were lots of opportunities to get involved…
Flirt Off @ Old Joint Stock, Birmingham,
April 6th 2016
“FANTASTIC stories tonight. An unexpectedly pungent lover… taking your surgical aid on a hot date… unintentionally leaving your girlfriend on a train then later knocking her unconscious… the lasting trauma of biscuit- related dating … psychology as foreplay… losing your cherry at a PGL camp in the teacher’s dorm… smoking Croatian style… learning to flirt at a weekend workshop… making love in the Amazon rainforest… romance in the snow in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Wonderful performances from Jane Campion Hoye, Gavin William James Young, Tom Phillips, Steve Harrison, Kristina Gavran, Naomi Paul and Jess Law
Hearts & Crosses @ Birmingham Old Rep,
Feb 11th 2016
“Birmingham’s sensational storytelling collective presents an exciting evening of stories straight from the heart, brought to vivid life, full of love and loss (just in time for Valentine’s Day!)”
“Genuinely uplifting” Arts Council England
Burbage Community Arts Festival 2015, Burbage
The programme included stories from local storytellers like myself and national & international storytellers Cat Weatherill, Gauri Raje, Kristina Gavran, Naomi Paul and Kate Walton.
Our host for the evening, was local storyteller, Tom Phillips.
World Book Night 2015 – Crisis, Birmingham
23rd April 2015 …it was exciting to be invited to be Guest Storyteller when Crisis celebrated the world of literature at a Special World Book Night event in Digbeth – the heart of the city of Birmingham.
The event was aimed at those who use the life-changing services of Crisis who help those struggling with homelessness to find pratical, personal and specialist support. It gave service users a great opportunity to join together in readings, drama and storytelling events.
My slot as guest storyteller finished the evening with two of my true-life stories, The Lion, The Wolf and The Cornershop and Slum Songs in the Sun which were very warmly received.
“Thank you again for your wonderful performance at World Book Night. It was very inspiring for our members and captivating for everyone who saw it.”
(Kate Edwards, Skills Tutor)
Storytelling – Yard Talk @ FRICTION ARTS
It was part of Friction Art’s artistic programme aimed at drawing in the community of Birmingham’s Digbeth area. They ran these their regular Yard Talk events with the aim of:
“looking back to look forward through…to see our present with new eyes by examining our shared past. All accompanied by the usual Yard Talk conviviality.”
Short & Sweet – Library of Birmingham,
12th March 2105 – here was the opportunity to present my own prose fiction story Writing West Midlands and the Library of Birmingham’s monthly open mic evening of short fiction performances…at Short and Sweet
“Short and Sweet … powerful snippets of humour, humility and adventure. Prose fiction, imaginatively presented in bite-size seven minute portions.”
The theme for March was ‘Land’ and this fitted well with my short apocalyptic story, set in Indonesia: ‘Saving the Land’.
The whole evening was hosted by Heart FM Presenter, Rachel New.
Love & Chocolate, Thimblemill Library, Bearwood, 2015
Birmingham – 13th February 2015…at this intriguing Art Deco historic building in Bearwood, on the eve of Valentine’s Night, I performed my new 7-minute true-life story about finding love in the snow and the magic of Christmas.
It was part of an evening of storytelling with Flashlight Storytellers – a company of professional performers and storytellers interested in developing the art of storytelling in workshops and performances to invited audiences.
Tell Me on A Sunday Greatest Hits @ The Door Theatre, Birmingham REP 2014
5 October 2014 – We performed this show as part of Birmingham Literature Festival. It was a showcase for the best of the Tell Me on A Sunday season, featuring true-life tales full of wonder, mystery and fun. We had almost a full house so it was a great end to the show which had been a regular fixture at the Ikon Gallery for the past 3 years.
JAM FACE – KITCHEN GARDEN CAFE
Kings Heath, Birmingham 24th September 2014
This was one of our first shows as the Storytelling Troupe Flashlight. Here I joined the group of talented writers, performers and musicians who regularly filled the guest slots at Tell Me on A Sunday to start our own company of true-life story tellers.We told stories set all over the world, that ranged from the tragic to the comic, to the totally unbelievable. Except all these stories were true – it’s in the way you tell them!
TELL ME ON A SUNDAY – IKON GALLERY
Brindley Place, Birmingham (2012 – 2014)
It all started from having a regular slot at the successful Tell Me on A Sunday event which ran monthly at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, hosted by international writer and storyteller Cat Weatherill. These popular events, which were often ” sold out,” were supported by Writing West Midlands who encourage creative writing projects in the region.
You can listen to a sample of some of my audio work, by clicking on the following:
If you would like to book me for a storytelling event or audio recording, you can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org