“Our children were inspired ... You have given us
fabulous starting points for our literacy work this
(Dee Mann, Hurst Hill Primary School, Dudley)
John Edgar has been entertaining people in a variety of guises (actor, cabaret performer, writer and storyteller) since 1975, both as a member of several professional theatre companies across the country and as a solo practitioner. He has also taught extensively in further education and is a regular visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton.
John has been working as a storyteller-in-schools since 1990, following the success of two plays for national BBC Radio 4. Additionally, he has undertaken a number of commissions for original scripts from schools and youth theatre groups, and has established a repertoire of plays suitable for production by young people.
"In the courtyard story teller John Edgar captivated
his young audience with his tales"
A regular visitor to schools and colleges across the UK and beyond, John blends workshops on storytelling and creative writing with performances of his own work to encourage young people to create their own stories through writing, oral storytelling and performance-based narrative. He has also presented a range of programmes on the life, times and work of William Shakespeare, John's own favourite storyteller. Most popular, however, is his workshop presentation on storytelling which, after an introduction to the role of storytelling in history, quickly involves the whole group in actively creating their own stories from a variety of stimuli.
John has also been commissioned to devise and present a number of programmes in local primary schools, around the areas of storytelling, performance poetry and Shakespeare, to tie in with Literacy Hour activities. In addition, he has undertaken several script commissions, including three for Gazebo Theatre in Education Company in the West Midlands and one for Mouthpiece Theatre in Worcestershire.
As part of a storytelling day in a school, John also offers a performance of his own work in a special assembly, which could also incorporate pupils presenting original work. John is also available for inset programmes for teachers wishing to enhance their own storytelling work.
"Youngsters of all ages were spellbound" (Express & Star)
Here’s John talking about his work on Big Centre TV’s news programme, The Midland:
“We had the
pleasure of John’s company today and it was absolutely
captivating. I was particularly impressed because he
managed to entertain the whole primary school age range in
a fantastic half hour assembly. The children can
hardly wait to hear themselves on the CD that will soon be
arriving. We want to see you
Louise Everist, Woodlands Academy of Learning,
"A fabulous day at school and a wonderful opportunity to work with such a talent. Thank you again, the children got so much out of the whole day and you and your story tellers were fabulous!" - Alison Bishop, Shackleton School, Germany
"John was an inspiration and captivated all our children with his vivid imagination and exciting approach to both telling and planning stories. Two very enjoyable days that stimulated some wonderful work on designing and creating characters." - Sarah Blower, Wednesfield Village Primary School, Wolverhampton
“Many thanks for your wonderful storytelling performances. You captured the children's imaginations and they were totally engaged and focused from Foundation to Year 6.” - Lesley Moores, Trinity CE Primary School, Wolverhampton
"Thank you for the work you did at Blue Coat Junior School recently, both in Year 4 and Year 6. All staff much appreciated your input and the children got a lot out of it. The end products of the storytelling were particularly well received by the year 6 children." - Peter Prasadam, The Blue Coat Junior School, Walsall
“He brings a range of skills to his audience in a lively, entertaining and informative way that engages young people in a style which is never patronising but always relevant and original” – Kate Asbury, Head of English, Pool Hayes Community School, Walsall
"He always connects with young people by working from their perspective and identifying with relevant issues." – Hilary King, Subject Inspector - English, Wolverhampton LEA
“Children and staff alike enjoyed the vivacity of your performance and the quality of your material. Wolverhampton Libraries look forward to working with you again (and again) in the future ... The best storytelling performance I have ever seen” – Marion Cockin, Wolverhampton Library Service
“It was just what I had hoped for: an innovative, memorable, interactive way of understanding a topic.” - Lucy Shepherd, City of Bristol College
“Our grateful thanks for a truly wonderful day” – Sarah Morris, The Drive School, Tettenhall
“You worked really hard on their behalf and your energy and enthusiasm made our morning really something to remember.” - Zoe Wylde, Withymoor Primary School, Brierley Hill
“I have had some wonderful feedback from some very excited students and thought you ought to know how well your work has been received.” - Julie Rose, St Peter’s School, Wolverhampton
“You did a fantastic job in our school and had a huge impact on the children!” - Helen Herman, Abbey Hulton Primary School, Stoke-on-Trent
“Enthralled our students … brought a new enthusiasm to studying Shakespeare” - Julie Hall, Coppice High School, Wolverhampton
“A 'MUST BOOK' learning opportunity. John has the rare quality of being both highly entertaining and highly informative, bringing Shakespeare’s times to life for pupils. Wonderful” - Chris Rowley, Aston Manor School, Birmingham
“John engaged the audience from the very beginning. An excellent insight into Shakespeare's theatre” - Mia Clark, St Edmund's RC School, Wolverhampton
enhanced disclosure certificate)
Check out John’s availability on the diary page.