Award winning storyteller Michele O’Brien is sharing Sunday bedtime stories with Lighthouse Facebook visitors.
Havng started last week with ‘The Big Noses’ from Monty Python star Terry Jones’s Fairy Tales and Fantastic Stories, Michele hopes the stories will enchant children and grown-ups alike.
“Somehow I’ve converted our little extension at home into a makeshift studio so I can dress up on a set and record these stories,” says the Poole-based actor.
“I started with Terry Jones because that was the book my hand reached for on the shelf and his stories are so magical. My great niece and nephew are six and nine and both of them were wrapped up in it. Like Monty Python I think it appeals to people of all ages who love to play, I’m into playfulness, particularly at this time.”
Like many artists Michele is having to reinvent what she does in line with the restrictions we are living with for the safety and protection of us all.
This summer she had been planning to tour her new family show, The Ark and Dove to venues including Lighthouse. Based on the story of two ships that left Cowes on 22 November 1633 bound for the New World, it draws parallels between stories of migration from 17th century England and those we see played out in today’s world.
“I’ve had to pack that show away in the garage and look forward to the time when I can bring it out, but I feel so privileged to have been able to make it at all. I worked with some hugely talented people on the show and I’m sure it will be seen. There are a lot of artists and performers who haven’t been so fortunate and are facing incredibly uncertain times as we can’t plan, and we don’t know what will happen with funding.”
This Sunday, Michele will perform a Native American tale from The Ark and Dove that will give a taste of what we can expect when she performs the show in full.
“It’s a beautiful story about a star that falls in love with a human – in the indigenous culture they believed the stars hold the spirits of the departed. I’m really looking forward to being able to show at last a part of The Ark and Dove to an audience.”
Michele’s is also considering a video project in which she’ll revisit some of the historical characters she has played, from Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria to a volunteer nurse from World War 1 or Granny Cousins who hosts the ghost walks of Old Poole.
“I like the idea that people might be able to ask questions online and I could respond to them in Facebook videos.”
Meanwhile, Michele can be seen in the Babigloo: Music for Babies project on Facebook. The sessions deliver therapeutic music-led sessions to parents and babies up to 12 months old. All sessions are non-verbal, using vocal and musical rhythms combined with classical music and theatre.
Find it at https://www.facebook.com/babigloomusic.
The Bedtime Stories stories will go live on Lighthouse Facebook page at 7pm on Sundays as part of #SundayFunday.
Picture shows Michele O'Brien as Mary in The Ark and Dove praying below deck. Photo by Joel Phillimore.