27 October 10
There’s something enthralling about listening to someone weave stories in such a way that it captures the audience’s imagination. We had an opportunity to hear a professional storyteller at the library today.
Daryll Bellingham is one of Queensland’s best professional storytellers. He tells a mixture of folk tales, adventures, fantasy and improvised stories with help from the audience.
The library had advertised his performance for months beforehand, and it was shame that only nine children were booked in at the Beenleigh library’s performance today. I hope his other performances throughout the Logan Library network were better attended.
I was certainly impressed with Bellingham’s animated performance! He used props freely to give sound effects, sometimes calling things by their wrong names to get a reaction from the kids.
It’s a gift to be able to keep young children entertained. Especially without reverting to cheap gimmicks, bribery or coercion. And Bellingham did this beautifully. He invited audience participation through repetition, questioning, calling for story suggestions, actions and thoughtful verbal interaction with the kids.
Bellingham invited everyone up to have a turn beating on his drum. With my girls having been so silent, I really encouraged them to take a turn. And they loved it.
Calista sat very quietly next to my side the whole time. Sometimes she was interested in the stories. Other times she pulled books off the bookcase behind her and looked at them.
I would gladly chase down another performance of Darryl Bellingham. He’s got a gift. My girls called him “The Playschool Man” — a reference to a popular local children’s television program — because he was so interactive in his performance, just like they are on Playschool!