Jibber Jabber

A Series of Happenings : All Telling a Story


Some clips from the Jibber Jabber project

“Working with Liam on projects such as Jibber Jabber creates opportunities for individuals and communities to work in new and innovative ways, connect with a wider network of arts and cultural groups and reach wider audiences.”

Mike Dodsworth, Essex Storytelling Laureate

A Series of Happenings

During the festival an array of accomplished storytellers told local legends, folk tales, ghostly rumours and enchanting tales for adults, families and children, all with the aim of enjoying the magic of storytelling.

Performers, musicians and artists shared their tales along with some of the country’s great names in storytelling.

The Jibber Jabber logo

Essex Storytelling Laureate Mike Dodsworth launched the series of happenings.

Activities included workshops and talks, a live hip-hop and immersive sound performance, a ‘hidden history’ trail across the town, a shop window performance by local students, actors spreading ghostly rumours, a tragic-comic guided tour of girlfriends past, puppet storytelling, a marathon reading of Homer’s Iliad, a surprising live art installation the local library, radio broadcasts and an interactive mobile phone application celebrating gay culture.

Children’s literature expert Nikki Gamble hosted storyteller and illustrator James Mayhew. During his performance, one of his most famous characters was revealed as he painted and shared his stories with the Jibber Jabber audience.

All Telling a Story

Overall, there were more than 30 performances and activities throughout the day spread across the city centre.

Later on, adults got the opportunity to indulge in tales not suitable for the younger audience – for example a live hip-hop and immersive sound performance in an empty office block.

Through the simple power of the spoken word, the Jibber Jabber Storytelling Festival brought together people from all across the local community.

Others involved in the telling of Jibber Jabber stories included Hetty Burton, David Mapp, Elaine Tribley, Ashley French, Vicki Weitz, Lee Richardson, Rob Godman, Nastassia Page, James Waudby, Andrew McClaine, Kieran Sheehan, DOT Productions, Peter Turrall, Carl Merry, Darryl Webber and more.


Jibber Jabber animation by Zinc

The Plot Thickens

Storytelling is the oldest form of community activity and the oldest communal performing art.

We are surrounded by stories and participate in them every single day – some are dull but many are fascinating…

Stories can speak of the past, present and future, highlight truths, hopes and fears, teach sense and nonsense, define good and evil and span the worlds of reality and imagination.

Stories invite participants to think along, speak along, and then share or re-shape what they have witnessed – and these can all be powerful, memorable human experiences that Jibber Jabber aimed to explore.

The Storytelling Teepee
Mike Dodsworth, Essex Storytelling Laureate
The cover for the Jibber Jabber programme of events
Some tree dressing

Jibber Jabber Gallery