I’m working with the fine pianist Olga Jegunova on an interesting new form of storytelling for both adults and children. I tell traditional stories (well, my version of them) while Olga improvises around classical themes. We’ve developed a fantastic version of The Flaming Firebird, plus that old favourite Peter and the Wolf, and we’re now working on some other stories. Here’s a video of how we work.
We showcase our project on Thursday 24 January at London’s LSE. It’s a special lunchtime concert, and it’s free! If you would like to book us, do read the notes below.
Here’s what one teacher said of a recent performance:
‘The children were enthralled – to have 110 children engaged for 45 minutes is no mean feat! It is important they are exposed to high quality musical experiences that are appropriate to their age. This ticked so many boxes. It appealed to their love of stories and was so entertainingly told. Thank you so much.’ Lynne Godfrey, Park Mead School, Surrey
This is what the children felt:
‘I liked the way the pace of the piano kept up with the storytelling’ Theo
‘The music and storytelling made it easy to imagine a picture in your head’ Will
‘I liked the way the piano music matched the mood of the stories’ Christian
And here’s how what an audience member said after a recent show for adults:
‘Last night was just brilliant and sparkled all the way through. Original and clever. Thank you. Next stop Radio 4!!’ Alan Kerr
Booking Olga & Matthew
- Our shows work best for people aged nine upwards. While it’s perfectly possible to mix audiences of children and adults, we can also focus the material on either. For example, we can include Prokofieff’s Peter & the Wolf for children – our version broadens the story to work with the single piano.
- Concerts usually include some solo piano from Olga and solo storytelling or singing from Matthew. The interplay of words and music is central to our work.
- We always have grown-ups telling us, ‘I’d forgotten how magical it is to listen to a story. I felt like a child again.’ Storytelling is at the heart of popular entertainment – where would Netflix be without stories? – yet people are surprised, and delighted, to re-discover it in its purest form.
- If you would like to chat about what might be possible, do send us an email via the contact page.