Sunday, 12 February


Choose your own Story Interactive Storytelling with Mark Borthwick. 

All ages, everyone welcome. In English.

Digital Storyteller Mark Borthwick presents an innovative show, inviting hundreds of people into a Zoom call. Join us for an entertaining evening where the audience will fill a story with characters, locations and actions, and ultimately vote together to decide upon the fate of our hero. It’s a “Choose your own story!” interactive event for all ages. 

Mark Borthwick is a storyteller from the Lake District who discovered the potential for interactive online storytelling experiences during the pandemic.  

To fully engage with this show you need to be able to vote, so you need to watch on a computer or tablet and have your smartphone handy. If you are watching from a smartphone, make sure that you can vote using a different smartphone.


Persian Myths and Poetry

+8 years old – in Farsi with English subtitles.

Zahra Afsah – Born and raised in Tehran, Zahra is a storyteller who crafts the ancient Persian stories she tells with precision and passion. She studied Persian Painting and Transcultural Visuality, examining the links between oral storytelling and Persian miniature painting exploring the direct influences of the oral tradition.

Zahra has run workshops, performed and told stories in schools, museums, festivals, exhibitions as well as informal settings.

The Mouse with the Missing TaleA Journey from the World of Darkness to the World of Lightness
The tale of a little mouse’s journey to sew its tale back into place – and the people it meets.We go back to ancient Persia, where someone keeps stealing from the King. His sons, while trying to find the thief, enter into a world of darkness…

You can find all the stories in our YouTube Library: Digital Festival of Storytelling 2023.

Indian Mythological Tales

+8 years old – in English with subtitles.

Chandrika Joshi – Came as a refugee to the UK from Uganda. With her mother telling stories of powerful women in folk tales, Chandrika feels she has stories in her blood. Her strong belief in equality for women in all spheres of life made her follow in her father’s footsteps and became a Hindu priestess (still a rarity) which she ties in with her work as a professional storyteller. ​She tells Indian mythological tales as well as folk tales.

Jakhs of KutchSamudra Manthan, the churning of the ocean
Jakhs of Kutch Chandrika Joshi – YouTubeSamudra Manthan Chandrika Joshi – YouTube
Come to the Kutch region, India, and you will see lots of temples devoted to various gods and goddesses. However, there is one which is devoted to mysterious horse riders called Jakhs… who were they?
When the Devas lost their powers, they fled away from heaven to save their lives. They went to Brahma to seek help, who in turn sent them to Vishnu…

You can find all the stories in our YouTube Library: Digital Festival of Storytelling 2023.

Folktales of the World

+8 years old – in English with subtitles.

Giles Abbott – Became a storyteller in 2000 after sudden and serious, but no total, sight loss in 1998. Now registered blind, this literature graduate who could no longer read plunged into the world of traditional storytelling. Giles has now amassed a larger repertoire of traditional stories from Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, France, North Africa and Arabia, India, West Africa and First Nation America (and more).

The man who had to mind the houseStory of Kasim
The Man Who Had To Mind The House Giles Abbott – YouTubeStory Of Kasim Giles Abbott – YouTube
What would happen if, for one day, a husband would exchange places with his wife at the house?
Young Kasim wanders the streets of Cairo playing his flute – he has a gift for music. But music isn’t the gift he desires…

You can find all the stories in our YouTube Library: Digital Festival of Storytelling 2023.

Migration, ancestors & identity

+12 years old – in English with subtitles.

Anna Mudeka – Anna is a musician and theatre maker of music and stories rooted in the continent of Africa.

As part of a five-year project, Anna hopes to create conscious theatre pieces that challenge the minds and also start up conversations which help to inform and educate all age groups within the UK about the Zimbabwean culture.

Kure Kure – Faraway
Kure Kure Farayway Anna Mudeka – YouTube
Using her personal experience, Anna speaks of the challenges and opportunities of starting a new life in a different country, and tackles issues facing the world today, posing important questions around migration, cultural identity and changing belief systems.

You can find all the stories in our YouTube Library: Digital Festival of Storytelling 2023.