Jesse is a performance storyteller and writer with a background in theatrical arts. Armed with a ukulele and a repertoire of stories from around the world, she uses rhythm, live music and a good helping of audience participation. She loves telling absurd stories and ludicrous moral yarns, but also tells more contemplative stories, often using song and original ballads. Jesse also creates spontaneous tales, improvising stories using fresh ideas from the audience to create deliciously funny yarns.
Jesse is happy to work with all ages and abilities. She has worked across the UK and in France in settings such as schools, hospitals, day-centres, theatres and festivals. She especially loves storytelling with under fives, primary and family audiences. She has developed audience-centered participatory storytelling and storymaking activities. These combine the art of storytelling with wordplay, drama, puppetry and song. Over the past year Jesse has been working collaboratively with several educational, artistic and community organisations creating ‘live’ audio storywalks.
Many of the stories Jesse tells come from friends, family and fellow hucksters. Some are learnt from other storytellers and others, particularly the moral tales in her repertoire, through research.
Brought up in Bristol in the 1970s, Jesse spent her teenage years touring with her Father’s travelling circus. She spent much of her early childhood crooning delightfully morbid nursery rhymes and ballads: for her third birthday, her father presented her with a cassette containing his renditions of traditional tales to comical musical accompaniment, while her Grandfather used to tell Jewish shaggy dog stories. Later at university she studied Creative Writing, then Literature and Drama which has influenced her love of learning, shaping, creating, and telling a good story.
Jesse has engaged audiences with her stories in the far North and the South West at festivals, in theatres and in schools. Her storytelling and education work has led her to work collaboratively with professional musicians, puppeteers and film-makers for a wide variety of organisations. She has worked as a resident story-artist in several Bristol and Highland schools and also at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
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