The British Council announces The Art of Storytelling India Tour 2016

british councilThe British Council is delighted to present The Art of Storytelling India tour starting 4 February 2016. The programme aims to showcase UK’s ingenuity and creativity in the area of storytelling to young learners and cultural enthusiasts.

Rob Lynes, Director, British Council India says, “It is our endeavour to promote art forms and share this expertise with India and showcase the contemporary style of storytelling. This vibrant art form has its roots in India dating back to centuries and is indeed a great tool to bridge the knowledge gap, promote learning and knowledge outside the classroom via various art forms.”

British Council has been promoting the ancient, yet revived, art of storytelling in India since 2011 as part of Kathakar – the International Storytellers Festival. Storytelling, an ancient art form that was present in most parts of the world having a tremendous hold and reach in India, underwent a revival in the 80s in the UK. Today, storytelling is used not only in schools but also in galleries, museums, theatres and on radio for both children and adult audiences in the UK.

This is another step by British Council towards its commitment to enhance and further strengthen cultural relations between India and United Kingdom. Over the last three years British Council has hosted Vergine Gulbenkian, Dominic Kelly, Xanthe Gresham, Joanne Blake, storytellers from UK to share experience and tell stories at the festival and through our various centres across the country.

About the performers:

Emily Hennessey (previously Emily Parrish) is a performance storyteller. Playful, imaginative and daring to take risks, Emily tells myths, legends, epics, folktales, fairy tales and fables from around the world, from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana to African Anansi stories. With a Swedish background, Emily also loves to tell Scandinavian folktales and Norse mythology.

Emily’s work is often described as intelligently composed and beautifully performed, while her storytelling style is said to be warm, captivating, bold and witty, delighting audiences of all ages.

Recent performances include a tour of India with the British Council, the Royal Opera House, the Viking Ship Museum in Denmark, Soho TheatreRichmix and Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival.

Tim Ralphs :

Tim Ralphs is a storyteller and active exponent of narrative in art. He also works as a public engagement consultant where he focuses on connecting academic researchers with non-specialists.

His storytelling is rooted in the oral tradition: The craft of a speaker weaving language and gesture to entrance an audience and bring a tale to life.

Tim Ralphs gained much acclaim at “The Young Storyteller of the Year” competition in 2007, and was a British Award for Storytelling Excellence winner in 2012. He has performed everywhere from majestic Teutonic castle at Alden Biesen in Belgium, to the muddy Shropshire fields of The Festival at the Edge, to the sophisticated theatres of Soho and The Barbican. His audiences find him equally captivating whether they are partaking of some cake in a cafe, sitting spellbound around a fire in the woods, or dancing furiously while he lays down his words over a frenzy of experimental rock.

Giles Abbott:

Giles Abbott started storytelling in 1999 in response to sudden and serious, but not total, sight loss in 1998. Giles performs regularly at major storytelling festivals (Festival at the Edge, Beyond the Border, Westcountry Storytelling Festival, Whitby International Folk Week).
Giles was awarded the solo commission (adult) for Edge 2007, for which he composed a new telling of the Irish epic “Deirdre”. He continues to perform in clubs all over England.

Giles was resident storyteller at the Chelsea Community Hospital Schools from 2005-12 and works every week in primary and secondary schools, mostly, but not exclusively, in London. In 2007 he was awarded a British Telecom “Speaking & Listening” Award for a project undertaken for Dubasha Foundation, using storytelling as a mechanism by which children of 3rd generation Guajarati descent were enabled to dramatically increase their confidence, pride and attainment in their bilingual ability.

India programme Schedule:


  Mumbai Delhi Ahmedabad Pune


Emily Hennessey 

Workshop: 13 and 14 February  at British Council, Mumbai

Performance : 15 February at Kalaghoda festival, Mumbai


Performance:  5, 6 and 7 February at Indira Gandhi national centre for Arts (IGNCA) Performance and Workshop: 9 February at The British Library, Ahmedabad


Performance and : 11 February at British Library Pune

Workshop: 12 February at The British Library, Pune

Tim Ralphs Delhi Chennai Bangalore Hyderabad
  Performance : 5 and 6 February at Kathakar festival, at IGNCA, New Delhi  Performance :

9 Feb at British Council , Chennai

Workshop : 10 Feb , at British Council , Chennai

Performance : 11 Feb , at the British Library , Bangalore

Workshop : 12 Feb ,at the British Library

Performance : 7 Feb at The British Library , Hyderabad

Workshop : 8 Feb at The British Library Hyderabad

Giles Abbott Kolkata Delhi Chandigarh  
  Workshop : 3 Feb at British Council , Kolkata

Performance : 4 Feb at Kolkata Book fair


Performance : 6 and 7 Feb at Kathakar festival , IGNCA

Workshop : 8 Feb , at British Council , New Delhi

Performance and Workshop ;

10 and 11 Feb at British Council , Chandigarh




India tour details: 


Giles Abbott in: Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata

Tim Ralphs in: Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad

Emily Hennessey in: Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, science, sport and governance and last year we reached over 128 million people.

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.


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