Jamie Crawford: Storyteller


‘Great stories, wonderfully told’

June Peters, Greenwich Storytelling Company

Jamie Crawford

Jane Bown

About me

I have been telling traditional stories to people of all ages at schools, theatres, festivals, museums and conservation sites for over twenty years. I offer storytelling programmes of performances and workshops.

Together with my audience, I dramatize the stories: each telling is new, exciting and unique. My style is lively and interactive, using elements of poetry, clowning, stand-up, dance and film.



Recent and Current Projects




                                                                                                    Paul Seligman


Free Stories

To read some of the stories I tell click here.


Or Else You Are Mine

An updated retelling of Grimm stories for adult audiences.

'An awesome modern interpretation.' Cat Weatherill, storyteller & author

For details of this and the shows mentioned below, see my Shows page.

King Arthur

This founding myth of Britain has always fascinated me and I have spent the last few years developing the story as a one man show for adults. It is now a well seasoned piece, having toured extensively, but even so, every time I tell it, it changes a little bit more!



a brand new blog.

Last summer I was artist in residence alongside Cluster, a site-specific commission by UK basket maker Annemarie O’Sullivan for the innovative Fabrica gallery in Brighton. Prompted by the exhibition, my role was to research, explore and tell stories in the gallery. At loopholestories you will be able to follow my process of enquiry into the value and purposes of storytelling today. Two questions I explore in this blog as a result of my time with Fabrica are:

What place is there for the old stories today?

How might those stories best be told?

I shall be adding to the blog as and when time affords!



A collection of stories from around the world for children with music by my friend and fellow performer Paul Nieman, whose jazz-based arrangements move around the spoken word with mellifluous ease. (For more details click on the link at the foot of this page.)





'A story told is the rebirth of something nearly gone, and like a spring tree after winter, slightly different each time but still there.' Ian Walthew


For many people today it is not at all obvious why storytelling, which is commonly regarded as a form of entertainment for children, should have any appeal or significance for adults. I believe that storytelling is as powerful as any other adult art form, with its own particular capacities to delight, surprise, provoke, enchant and move us. At its most intense, a well told story involves teller and listener in a profound and revelatory shared emotional journey.

What follows is a collection of thoughts from myself and others on what the art of story is and why it still matters.

By story, I mean two things.

Firstly, I mean traditional tales of all kinds that have been generated and passed down by word of mouth. Although most traditional stories have now been recorded in writing, for storytellers and their audiences it is important that they remain in essence copyright-free and available for anyone to tell, for they are our common birthright. Most of these stories were, and in some cultures still are, told primarily for adults, often as forms of teaching or initiation from elder to younger. From even the briefest examination of such narratives it soon becomes clear that in their scale and sophistication they cannot have been intended mainly for children. Think of the Bible, the Qur’an, the Torah, the Ramayana, the Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf (to name but a few), all originally oral compositions. Story has always been a vital means of transmitting ancestral wisdom and it is from this that it draws its voice as a stimulating, resonant, affecting, subtle and complex art form.

Secondly, I mean the act of telling those stories before a live audience. This is what the stories were originally shaped for and this is by and large how they work best. While good storytellers have always been sensitive to the spirit of the age, in an increasingly mechanized and digitalised culture such as our own story provides a form of direct, intimate, meaningful performance that operates independent of any external technology. The unplugged, eye-to-eye nature of storytelling gives it its edge, making it open to interaction and improvisation. With nothing between performer and audience, anything is possible. This is why story remains one of the most accessible, sustainable, universal and flexible art forms.

In sum, the art of story is distinctive in its ability to convey the greatest emotional truth with the greatest economy of means. 


'Stories, particularly the traditional folk-tales, fairytales, myths and legends, embody the collective unconscious of a people, express the spirit of a country, echo and re-affirm the numinous memories and character of a landscape.' Michael Dacre. www.raventales.co.uk


'Storytelling is the oldest and most immediate form of theatre. The economy of the human voice evokes worlds in the listener’s imagination. No two tellings are the same. The listener’s response feeds the teller’s creativitity. This intimate and vital exchange continuously renews the story.' Sally Pomme Clayton. www.sallypommeclayton.com


'The function of myth is to tell the truth. Not the everyday truth that is the opposite of lying, but the truth that can’t be told any other way. Countless intelligences have precipitated the stories. Countless voices have worked on them, shaping them and adjusting them and refining them, clothing them in the picture language that lodges in our memories. They are as durable and resilient as the words that carry them. They are a gift from the past, but they are only worth anything if they can speak to the present. Our job is to retell and reinterpret them, to let them lead us into the questions and mysteries and silences that words can only point towards.' Hugh Lupton



'The stance of the storyteller is one of poise between two worlds, the 'here and now' of the event and the world of the story. The storyteller is a mediator of ancestral imagination.'

'Storytelling... is surrounded with attitudes of profound generosity that challenge concepts of capital ownership. According to mediaeval Sufi tradition, the ideal of any artistic endeavour can be summarised thus - "While I am making it, it belongs to me; when it is finished it belongs to you." ' Ben Haggarty. www.crickcrackclub.com