FRANCIS MAXEY

                                   Hoja, Me

                                                                                 The Hodja and Me, Bukhara 2012

 

For 31 years I worked as a circus clown and performed one of the most skilful and comic slack rope routines in the country.  I have appeared in Britain and Europe; in theatres, hotels and tents, at festivals and city centres.

Recently due to the ageing process I have left the extreme circus skills to younger performers but I’m still clowning.  You can stop walking ropes but you can’t stop being a clown.

For the last 21 years I have been performing as a contemporary storyteller. I was a founder member of 'Beyond the Border Storytelling Company' and have performed at the Beyond the Border Festival.  I have told tales in solo and joint shows across the country and abroad at various venues to numerous to mention.

Over the last ten years I have taught several large educational projects for various local authorities. This has involved using storytelling to encourage pupils to read and teaching secondary school pupils to tell stories to their feeder schools.

As a storyteller my main work is in schools; encouraging children to explore what it is to be human through story, running creative writing projects and teaching storytelling. My joy though is to enter a primary or secondary school and tell stories.  Children’s understanding of narrative is broadened and their imagination and emotions are brought to life.  We should never underestimate the value of a well-structured and well-performed storytelling show.  For some young people it is their first experience of a live performance and can have a lasting effect.  I use traditional tales to explore the richness of emotions and truths that old stories carry for people today.

I have also work with other storytellers and musicians creating shows and concerts throughout the country.  It is in these shows that the richness of traditional material can be brought to life for more challenging and enjoyable shows for adults.

I've discovering that the skills I have learnt as a performer in other disciplines are relevant and add depth to storytelling. It’s as if I've served a 30 year apprenticeship and I’m still learning.

 

A list of current storytelling shows available for theatres, club and festival venues can be viewed here.

Since 2010 after the death of my Kate I have taken up adventure motor biking. I've travelled solo toCairo and back across Syria and Jordan.  I have also ridden across Central Asia,Mongolia and Siberia. If anyone wants to hear talks on these adventure let me know. Monies raised from these talks will go to cancer related charity.

 Mountains Afganistan

The mountains of Afganistan 2012. 

I am now concentrating on exploring storytelling and working with musicians.

I have public liability insurance, have full CRB disclosure and am a member of Equity.

 

Whether at festivals, theatres or schools a good story well told is a joy.

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