Storytelling with Olga

I’m working with the fine pianist Olga Jegunova on a new form of storytelling for both adults and children. I tell traditional stories 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 other stories. Here’s a video of how we work. And here’s a short video of us in action at Kings Place in London.

On 12 January 2020 we unveil our new adult storytelling show Step Carefully in the Forest for the opening weekend of London Kings Place’s 2020 season Nature Unwrapped. At its heart will be our re-telling of the Greek myth of Diana and Actaeon.

Prior to that, you can catch our children’s show Peter & the Wolf …and other stories at London’s South Ken Kids Festival on 23 November, and a special Mini Maestro concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields on 30 November.

We love working with schools. If you would like to book us, please 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

Concerts

  • We perform for both children and adults. Our specific family concerts aim for audiences aged six upwards – we can, for example, include a version of Prokofieff’s Peter & the Wolf which broadens the story to work with the single piano. Our regular concerts, for mainly adult audiences, are also suitable for older children.
  • Concerts usually include some solo piano from Olga and solo storytelling or singing from Matthew.
  • Grown-ups often tell us, ‘I’d forgotten how magical it is to listen to a story.’ 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 my contact page.

Schools

  • We run workshops based on Peter & the Wolf for students aged six upwards.
  • Fun and interactive, these explore how you can tell story through music.
  • We adapt material for each age group. For example, we progressively introduce musical theory such as major/minor, legato, allegro etc.
  • Our sessions link with other learning in music, story, literature and performance.
  • Want to find out more? Do get in touch via my contact page.