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In association with the International School of Storytelling, we are thrilled to present internationally acclaimed storyteller, Shonaleigh Cumbers, telling The Opal Forest. 

Shonaleigh is a storyteller who learned her craft from her bubbe (grandmother) from the age of 4 and she sees that tradition as very much alive.

“You hear people talking about the storytelling revival, but in Jewish culture it never died” she explains.

Her bubbe was a storyteller in the drut’syla tradition, who held a body of 12 interlinked cycles of stories each with hundreds of tales, a tradition that all but died out during the Second World War. But Edith Marks, Shonaleigh’s bubbe, survived to pass on the tradition to her granddaughter.

“Once you’ve heard your aged Jewish grandmother – who survived the Holocaust – tell a tale that can make you believe there’s still magic, there’s no going back.”

With a repertoire of over three thousand stories which can be adapted as appropriate for the theme and audience with whom she is working, Shonaleigh is a dedicated and committed storyteller who has actively worked to expand and share her tradition. She’s performed in venues from church halls to London’s Albert Hall, from forests to the Barbican, and at festivals around the U.K. (Hay-on-Wye, Whitby Folk Week, and Festival at the Edge, among many others) and throughout Europe. She also does a great deal of work in schools and among community groups, helping people – teenagers and the immigrant community – find their voices.


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  • Abbie P.

    Ok - We're down to our last 10 tickets. Please ensure that you book in advance to avoid disappointment. We are in a bigger venue, but cannot over fill!

    6 days ago

  • Abbie P.

    Hi folks, please remember to book tickets in advance. Many of you have - thank you :) We still have about 20 tickets left, but when we're full, we're full! Any problems paying online, please for details of how to pay by cheque.

    November 26

  • Abbie P.

    This is going to be seriously awesome folks. We have a bigger venue so there are more tickets available but they are steadily selling. Get tickets in advance to guarantee yourself a seat for this special event. You can pay online or PM me and you can pay by cheque.

    November 23

  • Abbie P.

    Tickets are selling well. Do get in touch if you'd rather pay by cheque and your name will be on the door. Can't wait for this event! Shonaleigh is something else entirely! She started learning these stories when she was a child - as the Drutsyla tradition had been taught for centuries, handed down from grandmother to grandaughter. Now she is sharing these incredible tales for the first time - they are totally magical.

    November 13

  • Abbie P.

    We are very pleased to be presenting this in association with the wonderful International School of Storytelling where Shonaleigh is based AND it's just up the road!

    November 6

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