Michael O'Leary: Hagstone Story Teller

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"Stories, listening to them and telling them, have been part of my life for as long I can remember."

When in mid-life he became a teacher, the value of sharing these stories became obvious.

He became a professional storyteller almost to his surprise, as if that's what he'd been training for all along. He also found that stories were needed not just by children, but by adults, and that there was a need for a storyteller to "shorten the road" in an incredible variety of situations.

At last, Sussex Folk Tales is out!!! [READ MORE]

With screaming demons in Wealdon copses and dragons lurking in bottomless ponds, the folk tales of Sussex truly represent the diversity of the area. Meet knuckers and willocks, mawkins and marsh monsters, the Piltdown Man, Lord Moon of Amberley Swamp and the princess of the Mixon Hole.

There is also something terrible crawling to Crawley from Gatwick, which develops a degraded appetite in a bin …

From ghosts and madmen to witches and wise women, Michael O’Leary reveals many of the hidden horrors of Sussex – horrors that can be found in the most beautiful places, or that lurk beneath the seemingly mundane. Amid these dark tales are stories of humour and silliness, of love, lust and passion. - See more at: http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Folk Tales by Michael O'Leary

These beautifully told folk tales, brought vividly to life by Marcel O’Leary’s graphic illustrations, have been collected by the author over his years of working as a greenkeeper, gardener, teacher and storyteller in Hampshire. Many are published here for the first time, and others have evolved through countless retellings in Hampshire schools, festivals, fêtes and events. (Book launch December 15th 2011 at a fund-raiser for the Art House Cafe in Southampton)

Featuring dark tales of murderous kings and commoners, wild women, screaming skulls, galloping plague coaches, dragons dancing themselves to death, giants, and wandering corpses, combined with humorous stories and evocative tales of love, lust and passion, this book takes the reader beyond the written page and reveals the wonders that lie within the Hampshire landscape. The future holds "Sussex Folk Tales"

If you live in the Southampton area, tune in to Unity 101 to catchMike telling his two minute stories throughout the day.

Read here Mikes article in the Daily Mail describing storytelling in a Southampton secondary school (storytelling definitely does not just belong in primary schools)

See the page on : http://www.teachingexpertise.com/

"To the average parent, the news that a 'storyteller' is coming to the school won't exactly set the breakfast table alight with expectancy. Such an event is usually seen as a quaint optional extra, doubtless arranged to give the teachers a chance to catch up with their marking. But at Chamberlayne Park School, a 'challenging' inner-city comprehensive in Southampton, the visit of storyteller Michael O'Leary is viewed very differently. There, O'Leary's sessions play a pivotal role in the English department's strategy to tackle children's literacy problems."

Daily Mail 13th February 2007


"Mike was brilliant on the PA... a great story teller....Once again many thanks to everyone for making it a success." Lisa Ward -Sponsorship & PR Manager - Newbury Racecourse (May 2008)


Read about how Mike became a storyteller in his article (PDF here) in Familes - Solent East (they have a website too: www.familiessolenteast.co.uk)


Michael O'Leary is an experienced storyteller and teacher based in the Southampton and Portsmouth area, in the county of Hampshire in the UK.

He shares stories with children, teenagers and adults in homes, gardens, schools (both special and mainstream), colleges, universities, prisons, pubs, clubs, forests, fields, museums, libraries, hospitals and shopping centres.

He has featured on BBC Radio Solent, Radio Bristol, Southern Counties Radio, RTE, Radio Northern Ireland, Radio Art Asia and Unity 24 Community Radio.

Unity 101 Community radio

Mike is working with children from Mountpleasant School in Southampton, so that they can tell their own stories on Unity 101 Community radio. Please see their press release

 


Mike told stories in schools and playgrounds to both children and adults as part of the 2008 "Bringing Stories to Life" project: read about his involvement here (PDF)

"My day with Michal O'Leary was a laugh. He told us two funny stories that got everyone giggling. He especially likes telling stories about dragons. I don't know how but he always had a trick up his sleeve to make us jump......When it was time to go, everyone was sad. We wanted one more story but that was it. Alex"


 

The Circle play area opening ceremony Tuesday 3rd October [here]

Great fun was had by all, especially their special guest Michael O'Leary - The Hagstone Story Teller who had the young (and older!) people enthralled with his unique tales.

The new play area is really popular with local children and is also attracting visitors from further afield, it is in a peaceful location adjoining a green and even has its own car park!

 

Mike is taking part in the BBC RaW campaign. Read about when he was "Centre stage at Cox Green Library"

"Michael O'Leary has travelled the length and breadth of his own back garden, and occasionally as far as the nearest pub, in his search for stories." (more)

"Michael's storytelling style is informal, and he uses an array of interesting sound devices and instruments to add dramatic effect to the stories. Many of the tales he tells are ancient in origin. Spanning the centuries to a distant and misty past, he brings the beliefs, fears, and wishes of a people now gone back to life for a present-day audience." Purbeck Gazette Oct 2005

Click on a link above to learn more!

Listen to him here (choose open) using REALPlayer (download real player here)

Story Telling to Adults (of all ages)

"Students described your session as very enjoyable, useful, brilliant, inspirational and a good de-stressor!"

Michael Curtin,
Lecturer in Occupational Therapy,
University of Southampton

Story Telling to Children (of all ages)

“Children take off their shoes and gather on the silk to be transported into a land of hobgoblins and genies, Old Nan or Green-fingered Jenny. This group were soon spirited away.”

 

Cutting from Alton Gazette and Advertiser 496k

Cutting from Southampton Echo

 A Greetings card from Maytree Nursery!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE (including prices)

Why not attend Mikes Next Public Event......? Click here to find out where it is!


Take a look at Forthcoming Events and Events past for ideas for your own event!


SADLY ALL SOLD OUT: An Audio CD of Mike O'Leary's "Hagstone Stories"

"Michael O'Leary Storyteller" CD £10..90 POSTAGE PAID REST OF THE WORLD:
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"Michael O'Leary Storyteller" CD £9.90 POSTAGE PAID EUROPE ONLY:
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"Michael O'Leary Storyteller" CD £8.50 FREE POSTAGE IN UK:
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