From a review of a recent performance in the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, May 2016
I love the imagery in Manwaring’s poems: “Words, vibrant as rowan berries” and “horses straight as rain”. He has a powerful storytelling voice. The combination of strong poetry and haunting folk ballads worked effectively to transport the small audience to another place and time. http://createdtoread.com/cheltenham-poetry-festival/
Find out more about storytelling performances with folksinger Chantelle Smith & view video clips here http://taleandsong.wordpress.com/
Marginalia - The Phoenix, Leicester, May 2015
View Kevan performing his epic poem Dragon Dance here
'Really made the festival for me...You brought a smile to our faces!'
Sunrise Celebration 2014
'I really enjoyed the evening in the Atlas bar; your stories were great; you told them very well -
you are clearly professional; excellent poems; and great excerpts from a range of interesting books.'
Between the Lines
'I think you write very good poems, very good stories, speak/ tell them very well and will give everybody an example of what a committed writer - and reader - is all about.'
Bristol Poetry Revue
'I loved your storytelling for I feel it reaches deep within the soul to bring forth a multi-dimensional experience… So wonderful to be engaged in all the senses, listening to your narrative and feeling the story really come alive through the voice and our own imagination – long live the storyteller!’
Metageum, Malta 2007
I can offer a selection of magical tales and verse adaptable to any venue or event - suitable for all ages. I've performed in cinemas, libraries, marquees, museums, art centres, small theatres, bookshops, castles, Iron Age round houses, and at camps, festivals, private parties, weddings, memorial services, medieval banquets, story circles and open mics. I've told stories from around the world, and can find material to fit any curriculum, exhibition or event. I am interested in stories that raise awareness and prompt discussion about environmental issues, and specialise in Celtic material with a bardic approach, weaving in my own poetry, and creating an enchanting atmosphere.
MC for Hire
I can also offer my introducing/hosting/MCing skills to ensure the smooth running of your event. I have over two decades of experience - book launches, spoken word showcases, art events, gatherings, ceremonies, contests, panel discussions, etc.
'MC for the evening is Kevan Manwaring, who manages both the evening and the Awen publishing house, and Kevan is a Romantic Poet of the extremely old school, to a point where it's quite easy to imagine him quaffing brandies and damning Napoleon alongside Keats and Shelley in a Wiltshire roadhouse, while the horses paw at the mud and press gangs lurk in the hedgerows. Performing from memory and only recoursing to his notes during one poem, the tone of the evening was set quite resolutely, and helping to sustain the mood, a stage backdrop of scarlet cloth and empty birdcages.' Tasty review of Garden of Awen: The Thorny Rose, Chapel Arts Centre, Bath 7 February '10
BBC Breakfast TV - Roman Bath special, 2004
BBC1 Songs of Praise 2010
Bath Literature Festival
Big Green Gathering
Royal Armouries Museum
National Waterways Museum
Tyntesfield, National Trust
Compton Verney, National Trust
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
Sting in the Tale Festival
Sunrise Celebration 2014
Metageum '07, Malta
Bonn Central Library, Germany
Castle of the Muses, Scotland
Rhode Island, USA
National Schools Film Week
Embrace Arts, Leicester
View Kevan performing a story on YouTube here
An example of shows include:
Bright Tales for Imbolc (Candlemas/early Spring)
Fearful Symmetry - tales of balance & imbalance for the equinoxes
Dragon Tales - for St George’s Day and other serpentine events!
Midsummer Night’s Dreaming
Tales of the Wine Dark Sea (Greek Myths/Mediterranean verse)
Grim Reapings: bloody tales for harvest tide (Lammas)
Season of Mists & Mellow Fruitfulness (Autumn)
Tales of Fear & Fright for Halloween
Wassail! (Midwinter & Twelfth Night)
Wild Tales - feral stories from the natural world
NEW SHOW***Song of the Windsmith***with James Hollingsworth
Touring Winter/Spring 2012/13
Also, wedding shows a speciality
Contact me with details of what you require (e.g. a 60 minute show) for a quote. Try to have the following information to hand: date, venue, the nature of the event, any theme, approx. audience size and age range, publicity, stewarding, signage, expenses &/or fee available
FEEDBACK FROM 'THE THINNING VEIL' STORYTELLING SHOW, THE BREWHOUSE THEATRE, TAUNTON
'Loved the evening - especially the idea that people can be entertained and attention held with just the voice - no props - and merely a gripping tale to tell. Well done.'
'I really enjoyed the mixture of funny and serious stories to keep everyone entertained. It was excellent, thank you!'
'Loved the stories and atmosphere - already coming to the next.'
'Excellent mix of dark humour and supernatural yarns, thank you.'
Review: The Thinning Veil, Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton
Somerset County Gazette
Monday 1st November 2010
OCTOBER 31 is the time of year when the veil is said to be thinnest between this world and “the other side”. For followers of the Pagan faith, this is a time to remember and honour their ancestors, while other faiths see it as a time when demons and supernatural entities walk the earth to corrupt and influence mortal men.
For Kevan Manwaring and Richard Selby, part of Fire Springs, Storytellers of Bath, Friday, October 29 was the perfect opportunity for a night of dark tales from the far reaches of human experience.
From a traveller accosted by dark and murderous creatures on his journey home to a young man seduced by an otherworldly princess, the two storytellers wove a series of riveting and sinister narratives interlaced with dark humour and Celtic imagery.
Like all good stage performers, Manwaring and Selby draw the audience into their gothic tales by encouraging them to participate in their stories. Whether its providing sound effects for creaking floorboards in a haunted castle or chanting the name of an Irish hero to prevent them from being cursed, the duo know exactly how to make their audience feel as important as any of their own characters.
Creepy, morbid and surprisingly thought provoking, The Thinning Veil left the audience enraptured and on the edge of the seat throughout. And for a Hallowe’en show based entirely around the human voice, that’s a scary achievement.