Stephen Rowley is an experienced public speaker and storyteller.
In addition to conference and academic presentations he provides entertaining talks for festivals and organisations.
In Comes I – History of Mummers Plays. From the C14th royal disguisings, through Greek drama to the re-invention of St George. With audience participation and lots of fun.
Spangles & Bells – The History of Morris Dancing. The fascinating story of an English tradition with high status origins that descended to rural cadging.
Charley Wheatstone’s Clever Tricks – Gloucester born inventor of the Electric Telegraph and the concertina (Costumed talk).
Instruments I Have to Explain – What do these have in common? The horn of a chamois, a pig-nosed psalter and a sack of groans. Just a few of the musical instruments from Stephen’s collection. Hear what kind of music they make and the stories behind them.
Turn Right When the Butter Melts – An epic tale of adventure. Crossing the Atlantic on a schooner with a cargo of apples and a recalcitrant crew.
Aboriginal stories and story-painting – Dreamtime stories go back further than any tales that we know. They have survived in oral tradition and art.
Dragons, Jackdaws and Giants – The traditions of the Spanish Fiesta that give us a glimpse into pre-reformation England.
Gloucestershire Folk Tales – Stories that you would have told the children before the brothers Grimm monopolised the market.
Wassail, wassail – We sing the Gloucestershire Wassail at Christmas. We look back over 1000 years of Wassailing. What does it mean? Where does it come from? And why are there no apples in the song?
Whittle ‘n’ Dub – The history of the pipe and tabor – ancient English musical instrument that evolved from ancient bone pipes and survived into C20th Cotswolds. A talk that takes us on parallel routes through Europe to South and Central America.