RICK WILSON AND HELEN EAST
Entertainment

Apart from its obvious abilities to educate and bring diverse peoples together, storytelling can be, at root, great - and possibly the oldest form of - entertainment.

Helen and Rick have developed a very personal and informal style that transports the listener from the everyday world to those of the unseen and the impossile - requesting comment and reaction throughout the journey - Together they effect a subtle interplay of words, rhythm, movement and music. Drums pace the narrative, melody instruments deepen the atmosphere, and song winds in and out of both.
"A SEAMLESS MIX OF NARRATIVE AND DRUM RHYTHM, MELODY AND MEANING"
(Jane Knight, Arts Officer)

ADULTS - Whether it is Helen working solo or with Rick, programmes are always devised for their specific occasion. These are sometimes themed, either loosely or more closely. Some of these have included - Betrayals of Trust, Unrequited love, The Devil , Women every which Way, Winter Seeds, and The Hidden Folk………………..
Such sessions have been conducted for the general public as well as for teachers' groups and educational conferences and last from 1 to ½ hours. An ideal audience size would only be limited by the projection of an unamplified voice !

"mythmaking…may even be one of the greatest of arts… it is in some ways more akin to music.. it goes beyond the expression of things we have already felt…arouses in us sensations…as though we had broken out of our normal mode of consciousness…It gets under our skin, hits us at a level deeper than our thoughts " CS Lewis


CHILDREN - Programmes take account of the mixed age ranges that attend public performances and try to give something special to everyone. Drawing on a very wide store of tales from all over the world, such programes often feature many animal stories.
Sessions are liberally spiced with music, are great fun and highly participative. Depending on the performance space, 80 - 100 is an optimum audience size.
"I am very sure everyone enjoyed you." (Child, Barbican Arts Centre)

"You were the best day ever."(Child, school.)

FAMILY GROUPS - These sessions combine all the elements of adult and children's performances, allowing subtle shifts of emphasis between the two. Here, children particularly can feel a sense of security which can sometimes allow the unfolding of stories and ideas usually directed towards older age groups. Such sessions have been particularly successful at both large festivals, such as The Big Chill and Solfest, and in more formal Museum settings.
"I wasn't going to stay, but I was as rivetted as the children -maybe more so" (Grandparent, Science Museum.)

TV /RADIO - Helen has been a featured storyteller on BBC's Zig-Zag, and By Word of Mouth, and on Granada and cable tv. She also wrote all the 17 stories for the World Service series Everday Science and has been a guest on Talk Radio speaking about Easter Customs, BBC Radio London on folktales of London, BBC Radio Shropshire, talking about folklore and cattle cures, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire talking about truth and story, and many local radio stations.

Apart from many radio interviews throughout Europe whilst touring as a rock musician, Rick composed, performed and recorded original music for the Radio 4 play White Horse Hill and has also presented Record of the Week for the World Service.

MIXED MEDIA - Both Helen and Rick have devised and performed in a variety of presentations - using story, music, shadow play, and dance in One Helluva Day -a Millenium Commission - (Shropshire), A Giant Party (London), Under Standing Stones(Garden Festival Wales), The Poothan (London), Journey of Tales (Tyneside),The Ramayana (Shropshire) and The Trodden Path (Surrey) .Rick was both musical director and musician for the Unicorn Theatre's Rama and Sita Path of Flames.
Helen also created a Story,Food and Taste installation in Battersea park in collaboration with the Apples and Snakes poetry organisation.

SITE SPECIFIC - Helen has undertaken many different projects in this area including work for the National Trust at Ancient Sites, Halloween events in woods and forests and a narrative interpretation for the Toledo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.She also told stories from her book London Folktales at the particular locations of the tales in question and, similarly, told Islington stories, both in performance and on story walks around that London borough as part of their Festival of the Word.

Rick has worked with Glydebourne Opera Education on the Walking the Downs project which culminated in a large scale community presentation at Newhaven Fort. As part of Red Earth's Enclosure,he was a featured musician in a vast fire and ritual piece at Hambledon Hill Iron Age fort in Dorset. He also played solo on a small boat amongst a fire and light spectacular as part of the River Severn project. His commissioned installation - 3 Amazonian Stories- resides at Mythstories Museum, Shropshire amongst appropriate flora and fauna.He was both Sound Designer and performer for Theatre Rites other worldly Finders Keepers and was the solo musician within the large maze of books at Shrewsbury's Rememberance Park Installation, devised by Wren Miller and Ray Jacobs.

ONE-OFF SPECTACULARS - Many of the above fall into this category as well as street events and carnivals where Helen and Rick have had creative input.


Wenffrwd, Llansilin, nr. Oswestry SY10 7PZ
or 56 Westgate road, London SE25 4LZ
Phone: 01691 791333 or 0208 662 0736
e-mail: suitablelanguage@gmail.com