About

I am a storyteller, writer and folk singer, based in London. Press coverage here.

Recently I’ve been creating and performing shows which use story and folk music to explore migration. Human Cargo charts the experiences of people aboard slave ships, emigration boats and transportation vessels. The Transports links a true tale of poor folk transported to Australia in the 1780s with wider, more modern stories of exile and migration.

My Parallel Lives project charts true tales of migration across Britain, partnering with over 50 local refugee support groups from places I have performed.

In a new project, I tell stories alongside classical pianist Olga Jegunova.

I recently created a new show Living By the Sea for Sidmouth and Whitby folk festivals, together with Paul Sartin and Faustus.

My latest book is Human Cargo, stories & songs of emigration, slavery & transportation, on which the show is based. My other books include The Trebor Story, a history of the sweet firm, and Tales from the Angler’s Retreat, a book of fishing stories from the Western Isles of Scotland. My publishing company Muddler Books also reprints classic books I love such as Seventy Years a Showman.

I can often be found in folk clubs, performing traditional songs, monologues and music hall classics. Very occasionally, you can endure my comic double-act with David Eagle of The Young’uns, called Muddling Through. I also perform music hall and singalong in care homes – and I’ve recently started storytelling in schools.

Among previous careers, I have worked as a speechwriter in London and Hong Kong, the administrator of an association of film producers, a dramaturg at The Old Vic theatre, a masseur and a finance director. My awards include Hebridean Fish of the Year 2008.

Here’s me singing with the much-missed Jan North.

Picture credits

Home page & Concerts page, James Fagan. About page, Elly Lucas. The Transports page, Mike Ainscoe. Human Cargo portrait with Jeff Warner, Tim Chipping.