Carl Merry Talespinner

Carl's Tales

Work in Education

Carl brings his many years of experience as a teacher to all his work in education and his tellings in schools has always generated praise from both pupils and teaching staff. As well as storytelling sessions, Carl offers English work linked to his visit and storytelling workshops for both pupils and teachers. Visits can be structured to fit in with themes already being explored in the curriculum, or project work undertaken.

As well as many bookings during the normal school year, Carl has contributed to numerous Summer Literacy Schools. For each he devised challenging programmes for the students to work on. He has contributed to courses for teachers in Essex, and workshops for playgroup workers and families as part of reading and literacy projects.

There are many lessons to be learned from Carl's extensive selection of educational stories and tales. Stories can be used to deter bullying and racism, and support many areas of the curriculum. His stories are often accompanied by workshops that help to improve the speaking and listening skills of students. He has visited many schools all over the East Anglian region with great success.

Adult Tellings

“Everyone was happy and admired your vocal range and relaxed manner.” Cambridge Storytellers Club

Carl has told in theatres, country parks, village halls, schools and churches to adult and family audiences and has been a featured storyteller as part of The Essex Book Festival. In recent years he has also told stories as part of a series of Medieval re-enactment days and weekends.

There is a popular misconception about storytelling. People believe that it is simple, and that anyone with a voice is up to the job. This couldn't be further from the truth. It is an ancient tradition that requires vast amounts of skill, technique, and presence, which is why there are only a few hundred storytellers left in the UK. As someone who has honed their craft over many years, Carl is able to perform without a book. Carl has at hand a repertoire of  around 200 tales from the oral tradition which entertian my adult audiences. Telling them orally, without the barrier of having a book, adds an aura of authenticity to his work.

As a member of Essex Storytellers, he has been involved in creating a number of adult tellings based around the folklore and history of Essex. (The Battle of Maldon, Essex Islands, Tales across the Colne.) “Scratching the Surface”, an adult telling was performed in theatres and Arts Centres around East Anglia during 2005, and in 2007 "A Green Mist rising", the story of the Essex witch trials of 1645 was performed in museums and schools all over Essex.

What People Have Said

“Lots of‘tricks of the trade’were shared and a great deal of cooperative learning and work resulted.”  Essex Primary Head teacher

“Thank you seems inadequate; the children loved your sessions.” Year 9 teacher

“The funniest stories I ever heard.” Adam Year 3

“…..even the less attentive children in classes were listening carefully.” Essex Head teacher

“An excellent programme …. I liked the beautiful, gently sad mood, leavened with humour.” Audience member (Into the Shadowlands)

“Everyone was happy and admired your vocal range and relaxed manner.” Cambridge Storytellers Club