7.30pm, Brigsteer Village Hall


Jan Blake

Don’t be beguiled by that harmless looking exterior – those twinkly eyes, the gap toothed smile, and the quaint old ways – you should never mess with a little old woman. 

Jan Blake gets right down to the business of what happens when we misjudge our elders. Meet the old women who aren’t so much aged, as ageless, and with the superpowers to match. Be so foolish as to underestimate them and you’ll get everything you deserve.  Expect a dose of powerful geriatric magic, transformation and a good serving of comeuppance. 

Jan will transport you, taunt you, seduce you, wrap you in the rhythm of her words, shock you, hold you in the hearts holy places and bring you safely home”  These tales will bring a tear to your eye, a smile and your lips, and put a spring in your step.

As one of the leading storytellers, Jan Blake has been performing worldwide for over twenty-five years. Specialising in stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and Arabia, she has a well-earned reputation for dynamic and generous storytelling. Recent highlights include Hay Festival, where she was storyteller in-residence, the Viljandi Harvest Festival in Estonia and TEDx Warsaw.

As well as performing at all the major storytelling festivals both nationally and internationally, she works regularly with the British Council, leads storytelling workshops for emerging storytellers, and gives masterclasses for teachers, brands, and businesses. She also regularly captivates school children with mesmerising stories.

In 2011, she was the recipient of the biannual Thüringer Märchen Preis, awarded to scholars or performers who have devoted their lives to the service of storytelling. As part of the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012, she was the curator for Shakespeare’s Stories, a landmark exhibition that explored themes of journey and identity, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

In 2013, The Old Woman, The Buffalo, and The Lion of Manding created and performed with musicians Kouame and Raymond Sereba toured to acclaim winning a British Awards for Storytelling Excellence (BASE).