Storytelling and the Body with Michael Harvey

6th – 9th September 2021

Storytelling is all about the words but when we perform we have to drag our bodies on stage with us. We are highly self-conscious of how we look and our own body image and it can be challenging and awkward to stand in the gaze of the audience and be ourselves.

The good news is that it is just this openness that makes storytelling compelling. In this weekend workshop you will learn and apply a number of simple and effective techniques and skills that will allow you to embody your story with your own unique style and tell with authenticity and joy.

This workshop will introduce you to a number of clear, practical and doable techniques to help you have a better experience of being in your body which will in turn help you become more present, playful, clear, confident and authentic in your storytelling. The work is based on the kind of movements we do everyday and when we are telling stories – no back-flips or other challenging moves!

I will be using a combination of Franklin Method as well as other techniques I have picked up along the way, particularly from my time with the Labo experimental storytelling group at La Maison du Conte in Paris, led by Abbi Patrix and in training with with Miranda Tufnell. I have trained as a Franklin Method educator and adapt the exercises and apply them to storytelling. You can find out more about the Franklin Method here.

Once you start to feel freer and more alive in your body you have more freedom to make interesting decisions about how you tell. We will be getting down to the nitty-gritty of storytelling including looking at information/descriptive/action/dialogue and comment; using gaze; audience contact as well as other important storytelling tools in tandem with the body work

Like the rest of my workshops this one has a very practical focus. I will lead certain aspects of the work and, because this workshop is for those who are already telling, there will be lots of opportunity to try things out with the group. There will be a mixture of whole group, pair, small group and solo exercises.

A fine group of storytelling bodies!

I’ve been on my fair share of storytelling training, and often it can feel like the same small pool of storytelling exercises, passed back and forth endlessly between workshop leaders. Or else it’s a related field – clowning say – at which I learn a lot of new things, but have to spend quite some energy working out how to apply them to my own practice.

Michael Harvey managed to straddle both arenas, providing exercises and a whole approach that was both new and radical to me, whilst ensuring everything was continuously relevant to the craft of performance storytelling.

Tim Ralphs – professional storyteller

I loved that we were able to celebrate our individuality and our many and varied ways of telling a tale. You created a safe place to experiment, to be ourselves and to play – what a treat.

Participant Feedback

The difference… In just two days your facilitation and teaching re-focussed my practice and moved me to the next level…Over these two days you led me to a far deeper understanding and appreciation of both where stories sit in my body and how my body and the stories work together in a telling.

I thought the course was excellent- a revelation in raising awareness of how we use our bodies and inspirational in helping participants think creatively about their storytelling. It was superbly facilitated to create an environment that was safe to experiment and participants could learn from each other…the course really enriched my understanding of what’s possible, and has also helped me to feel more grounded and embodied.

Participant Feedback