Hi, I’m Jacqueline Harris. I write, tell and dramatise stories, usually underpinned with folkloric or mythical themes. The rest of the time I run courses and workshops to help and inspire others to work with story and storytelling.
This has taken place in many kinds of venues, from theatres, arts centres, stately homes, museums, galleries, schools and universities to festivals, parks, community centres, hotels and bookshops.
In the last few years, I’ve been working with audio, film and projection. Alone and with partners in crime, I’ve been heading out into local communities to hear and record stories. With the teller’s permission, these may then find themselves interwoven with other tales, on film or as live performance (sometimes both together), exploring particular themes. Recent collaborations have been with wonderfully talented artists: sculptor, Marjan Wouda, film maker Graham Kay, and theatre projectionist and animator Adam York Gregory. Whatever else these pieces may be about, they always explore story and the places where reality and imagination meet.
The eminent fairy-tale scholar, Jack Zipes, speaks eloquently about the importance of story in our lives:
“We shall continue to use story in all walks of life, and the more conscious we become of how we use story and why we do this to narrate our lives, the more we shall be able to cultivate honest speech in impossible times.” (In the Forward to “Storytelling and Theatre: Contemporary Professional Storytellers and their Art” Michael Wilson)
Here are a few links to more recent work:
“In Skriker’s Footsteps”
“In Skriker’s Footsteps” is a multi-media storytelling show that has its heart in Lancashire and the supernatural tales that criss cross its landscape. It has been performed in various venues across the county.
Click Here for a video clip and more information.
“Gathered Tales of Lancashire” : Supernatural stories from Lancashire Past and Present
This short film was made for the touring art exhibition “The King of the Cats”. It’s a collection of contemporary ghost stories, as told to me in pubs, cafes and front rooms across the county, mixed with old tales from Lancashire that resonate with those that I heard.
You can watch it Here.
“Where We Stay”
This is a performance piece that brings together Arran folklore with stories from my time on the island, exploring the crossing points between stories, landscape and our imaginations. It was performed at Litfest, Lancaster in 2015. Here’s a clip of a digression on stars:
Background image: Marjan Wouda