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StoryFest 2018 – Programme Booklet

Biographies

Biographies International artists Mara Menzies SCOTLAND/KENYA Mara is a Scottish/Kenyan storyteller with a powerful, dynamic and physical style that captures the imagination of any audience. She has performed and led workshops around the world including Kenya, Singapore, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Cuba, USA and across the UK. She is Storyteller in Residence at Craigroyston Primary School, performs regularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is founder of the Kwale Heritage Trail, a unique platform for sharing and celebrating Kenyan stories through art and performance. Maimouna Jallow NAIROBI Maimouna is a Nairobi-based storyteller, journalist and communications consultant. She is co-founder and director of Positively African, an organisation that brings together a Pan-African network of activists, artists and academics working at the intersection between art and social justice. In 2015, Positively African launched The Nairobi Storytelling Festival. Most recently, Maimouna has adapted and performed novels by African women for the stage as part of a series called ‘Re-Imagined’. She is currently a fellow of the inaugural Ford Foundation African No Filter initiative, and is working on the ‘Re-Imagined Folktales’ children’s book with writers from across Africa and the diaspora. Her work has been featured on the BBC, Forbes Woman Africa, and The East African, amongst others. Dr. Nicola Grove UK Nicola trained as a teacher and speech therapist, specialising in intellectual disability, special educational needs, and sign language. Her doctoral research explored the linguistic and creative status of the manual signing of children with disabilities. She pioneered the use of literature and story in special schools, winning an award for her book on the topic. She set up Openstorytellers, an award winning charity which promotes voice and community empowerment for people with intellectual and communication difficulties. She works with the members on storytelling and advocacy projects. She has given presentations and workshops all over the world, and has written extensively on storytelling and special needs. Currently she holds an honorary lectureship at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent. She believes that everyone has a story that is worth the telling, if only we can find the ways to give it wings. 18

Troels Kirk Ejsing DENMARK Troels is a skilled storyteller, actor and musician. He runs his own company Dunkelblaa which produces storytelling theatre performances for children, youth and adults touring in Denmark and abroad. He is a regular performer at Storytelling Raids and Compulsive Liars Night. He has composed unplugged soundtracks for The Telling Theatre and Dunkelblaa using various unusual instruments such as a watering can, washtub bass, body percussion and Jew’s harp. Jesper la Cour Andersen DENMARK One of Denmark’s renowned storytellers, Jesper has received several awards internationally for his interactive style and unique social focus in storytelling. As founder of The Telling Theatre he is a leading figure in the development of contemporary storytelling and has devised a model for creative storytelling called ‘Story Play’. A trained actor, mime and storyteller he is a recipient of government arts funding since 1996 for his professional work. Jesper has performed in 20 countries across four continents inspiring audiences of all ages. #BeLegendary 19