Performance Intensive Course

Already telling stories? Want to tell them better? This course is for you!

If you know that you can get a lot more out of storytelling but aren’t sure how, or your storytelling has hit a plateau, this course will sort you out. Led by award winning and well-travelled storyteller Michael Harvey we will delve into the nitty-gritty of the practice of storytelling. You will leave with a storytelling toolkit brimming with tried and tested techniques and approaches. If you have a specific project in mind you’ll have a viable and vibrant work-in-progress to take away with you. There are comments from 2019 and other information below…

19th – 22nd August 2021

Thank-you for an amazing and inspiring weekend. It has been liberating and wonderful. Food was brilliant.

Has given me a technical tool box and boosted my confidence
I’m so glad I came. This was perfect for me. It is where I was meant to be.
The encouragement and laughter of like-minded people has given me confidence. The whole weekend felt well-held, safe, stimulating and challenging.

I very much appreciate the encouragement and kindness I received.
Food was excellent, facilities fab.
Michael’s gentle and confident group management. A safe, happy space to work in. Clear guidelines within which to relate to each other in the context of developing our practice.

The setting up a clear rule (or maybe a quality) of not interfering with one another’s work took away all the frustration, angst and need to perform, please or do the right thing.

I had felt bent out of shape by some previous teaching and mentoring. I feel I’ve been given back my own shape. Teaching modelled so generously and wisely – at the right time for me.

Being given the space and time to work and be given clear guidelines, tools and focus to develop storytelling skill. Lovely group – telling my developing story and receiving constructive and very useful feedback in a positive and supportive way from those who heard my tale.

Clarified my direction – where to take my craft/development as a storyteller. Thank-you, Michael. Inspirational and insightful as ever as a facilitator. Also great ability to create a supportive environment to learn in.

I really loved the structure of the course. It gave me the tools I have really needed to work with stories, get in deeper contact with it. I really loved the appreciative way you worked with us. It was 100% worth it to come all the way from Switzerland to Bleddfa!

The course gives me permission/confidence to call myself a storyteller and a clearer understanding of the barriers I put in the way.
Delicious food, some unfeasibly picturesque views and good basic camping facilities. This environment is entirely at one with the course.

Participant Feedback from 2019

More about the intensive course…

This course is for you if you tell regularly and would like to make your performances more vivid, dynamic and varied. We will be working on freeing the body and voice so we can fully inhabit the story we are working on and bring it to life for an audience. You will be given the opportunity to hone and develop some core creative strategies for storytelling as well as consciously develop your own practice as a storyteller.

We will use a clear, effective and storyteller-friendly feedback process and start consciously using physicality, voice and space in order to tell with more ease and spontaneity. The course will expand participants’ technical vocabulary and deepen the practical understanding of your craft.


Bring a story or a part of a story you are working on. You will focus on this material for the duration of the course.

There will be ample time to work in smaller groups and pairs as well as a chance to tell to the whole group at the end of the course (max 15 minutes each).

We will work a morning, afternoon and evening sessions with varied energy and approaches to keep you fresh.

We will start around 4pm on the first day depending on people’s trains etc and will finish with a shared lunch together on the Sunday. In order to get in as much teaching and play as possible it is recommended that participants sign up for evening meals with our marvelous caterers.

final meal intensive course 2016

More Feedback

The three days were well-planned, well-held and lightly handled.
This Storytelling Intensive Performance course has given me the platform I need, the firm ground, from which to launch the next stage of my storytelling career.

Learning how to ‘be in’ the story and not just ‘tell’ it.
Intensive focus juxtaposed with free body expression – very liberating
Asking the story, enquiring of the story, letting the story speak – this is brilliant.
Michael is an excellent, approachable, knowledgable and enabling tutor.

Michael, to echo the comments of others, your leadership style – inclusive and engaging – created a safe space for us all to explore elements of our craft with courage and honesty. Thank-you.
A deep immersion in the practice of storytelling that helps to shine a light on the forgotten or hidden parts of the story.

Really appreciate Michael Harvey’s informal but authoritative approach and that the roots of your practice are so firmly grounded in conversational narrative.

Supportive, insightful, grounding and informative – secure foundations for performance storytelling
I have taken a number of storytelling workshops and this has certainly been one of the most useful particularly for developing performance skills.
A unique creative space to focus on a story using peer coaching and professional rigour

Participant feedback

Suzanne Thomas came on the Intensive Course and has performed The Elfin Knight & Other Stories with musician Jake Thomas at the Bleddfa Centre. The performance was hatched on an Intensive Performance course at Bleddfa. Here’s what she has to say about the journey…

It was a delight to perform “The Elfin Knight and Other Stories” at The Bleddfa Centre last night. The hawthorn was in bloom and smelling sweet upon the air, and the audience loved it. It was even more delightful for me to tell this story at the place where Auntie first introduced herself. I was on an “Intensive Performance” course with Michael Harvey and Hazel Bradley, and we were asked to bring a story to work on. I did take a story with me, but instead, in every exercise, parts of the Elfin Knight story began to emerge and blend together. I performed a full 10 minute version of the story there, and then took it home to add the music that Jake had been working on to it. The story then began to blend with the music, with new songs blossoming from the scenes, and a whole new story bursting into the middle to add to the origins of the characters. It has been an amazing journey, and we were so glad to perform it where the story was birthed. As a result I would thoroughly recommend anyone who has the slightest interest in storytelling to get to “the Place of Wolves” – Bleddfa, take your place on one or two of these courses and let the stories flow through you.

Suzanne Thomas 19th May 2018

Michael Harvey tells stories and leads workshops all over the world. He was part of the team that created the award winning Hunting the Giant’s Daughter, has been awarded a Major Creative Wales Award that allowed him to work with the Labo group at La Maison du Conte Storytelling Centre in Paris. His directing credits include Dominic Kelly’s The Hero Light and he has toured the Mabinogi based Dreaming the Night Field with Adverse Camber from Llanelli to Sydney.

Feedback from the 2017 course

Although it is a very full weekend (clue’s in the title) there was a feeling of spaciousness and everything seemed to be given enough time. I want to come back next year. The content’s great and will bear even greater fruit with revisiting.

The focus on passion and being truly passionate about the story. Encouragement to stay in difficult places. Opening of huge horizons really rigorous approach to practice very clear and doable introduction to peer feedback.

Brilliant. Loads of moments of insight from peers and course tutors. Amazing to have the chance to learn from skilled facilitators in company of peers who share the same storytelling language

Great exercises and techniques delivered in a relaxed and energized manner in a beautiful space. Enjoyed every moment. Permission to ‘be messy’, make mistakes etc was really useful. Supportive and positive atmosphere.

A great opportunity to put learning into practice and a safe place to feel supported to take risks and make mistakes

the difference…Now I understand the process of and techniques used to bring the character and actions to life. Opened the horizons of the story and also of my storytelling skills. We were given concrete, particular skills to sharpen and focus rehearsal
…telling with the story in my physical body and telling less from the neck up. Greater confidence and enjoyment. Courage, thoughtfulness and passion for story. I have found much greater freedom in my voice and confidence is the product of that freedom. Taught me use of description, action, gaze, gaps.

Some feedback from 2016

Some feedback from 2016

Wonderful friendly atmosphere and artistically liberating all set within a gorgeous setting.

A fantastic, supportive and insightful course, with giggles and fun in abundance.

It does exactly what it says on the tin! The advanced course provides storytelling tools that bring clarity and precision to a process of practice that can be returned to time and time again in order to develop your performance skills.

I found I was able to develop a story I was working on in surprising and interesting ways.

A safe, held place where risks can be taken. Here at Bleddfa my heart opens and new ideas tumble out. A space where I can play, make magical mistakes and grow.

A precious opportunity to explore, share and play with stories to develop practice. The facilitators created a community and space in which we could take risks, play and explore stories with other tellers.

A brilliant course where you can explore and be creative in a positive environment. The opportunity to be immersed in storytelling practices with other storytellers has been enjoyable and invaluable to my development.

Thank-you for a friendly, supportive weekend with time and space to find, develop and enjoy my stories and be transported into a variety of amazing stories from the other storytellers.

Such an amazing, life-changing weekend. A story with soul makes you laugh, makes you cry and makes you jump for joy. Unknown friends united through words.

Words can’t describe the worth of this course for both established and emerging storytellers; and then there is the absolute joy in participating.

A fantastic way to develop one’s storytelling skills and confidence. I loved the whole weekend. It was full of delight and surprise and I learned so much whilst having fun.

Brilliant, nourishing, wonderful group of people.

Information about Accommodation, Food and Travel

Course content inquiries: Michael Harvey Tel 07812 166138