Awning Tents

July 20th - 26th 2020

What's it all about?


To the first family friendly UK children's storytelling festival!

The Magic Story Carpet festival is online and free to attend!

Over a weekend our ten fabulous talented and brilliant Storytellers and Storymakers will tell you some excellent stories, sing silly songs and run fun family activities for all to enjoy!

There will be puppets and pictures, story books and bags of tricks, guitars and rattles and of course some great stories.

You'll hear of cheeky animals and clever kids, fairy wishes and  adventures with monsters! Jump on the magic story carpet and come on an adventure into the world of stories with us!

See below for programme and details.

So, this is how it will work!

From Monday July 20th - Friday July 24th at 11am and 2pm every day there will be special stories for you to see, listen to and enjoy. 

These will be posted on The Magic Story Carpet You Tube channel here:

Also amanda will post a link on twitter - check out: 



for a direct link.

Then we go festival-live at the weekend! 

From 11am - 3pm Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 July there will be a different storyteller every thirty minutes - with a variety of stories, storytelling and making. There will be lots of ways to participate and join in.

Amanda will be your host and will introduce everyone - see the programme below!

There is something for children of all ages!


You need to register, so you can get your free Zoom link sent to your email inbox. The link will be valid over the two days so you can use it to pop in over the whole magic festival

Please do that here:

Programme - what to expect! (UK Times - GMT)

11.00 Amanda Smith - Mini beasts and music

11.30 Graham Langley -Stories and a puppet

12.00 Mike o' Leary - Funny stories and funny instruments

12.30 Jenn Lunn - Story Making #1

13.00 Michael Loader - Fairies and magic

13.30 Wilf Mertens - Wild stories and story cards

14.00 Helen Appleton - Eco stories

14.30 Steve Lally - Irish folk and fairy tales

15.00 Jen Lunn - Story making from Wales #2

15.30pm - finish



11.00 Adele Moss - Finger puppet stories

11.30 Wilf Mertens - Surprise surprise!

12.00 Amanda Smith - Stories to make you strong

12.30 Steve Lally  - Irish stories and songs

13.00 Graham Langley - Funny stories

13.30 Helen Appleton - Clever kids and adventures

14.00 Michael Loader - stories from the story carpet

14.30 Adele Moss - Cheeky Animals

15.00 Mike o' Leary 'Boo' to you!

15.30pm - finish

Your storytellers:-

Adele Moss

Adele has a story to tell..or two!  Whether she’s to be found taking children on flying adventures from their hospital beds, or perhaps enthralling audiences at the One World festival in the Ashmolean Museum. Why not follow her down the virtual rabbit hole to see her folk tales for the Hamilton Trust, or her latest forest tales for Somerset Story Fest?


Want more? Contact Adele to find out about her Jewish-Muslim collaborations, school events and intergenerational projects.


More  of Adele at Hamilton Trust: Sleeping Beauty, Snow White

Facebook event for 4 Communities 3 Trees 1 Hill Green Arts Wellbeing

Amanda Smith

Is a traditional storyteller based in Nottingham. She works in schools and children's hospitals and loves telling fun and exciting stories, with lots of opportunities to join in, as well as telling change stories and stories with a meaning as part of her digital ' Story-Journeys project. These are the sort of tales that help us think, adapt and work out how we feel in order to build resilience.

In the past you may have seen her at festivals, libraries and in museums and around campfires as well as telling live online stories to children in Shanghai schools and lockdown gatherings. She's also worked for Nottingham University's Lakeside Arts Centre and other organisations developing workshops for reluctant readers as well as Nottingham's city and county councils leading story based activities and performances.

Amanda runs story walks around Nottingham's City and County parks and produces storytelling training videos, most recently with Nottinghm's Real Creative Futures Digital/New Arts Exchange gallery.

Magic Story Carpet is being hosted by Amanda's website www.amandasmithstorytelling so further info can be found here. She can be contacted on

Gerry Durkin

Gerry is based in Glasgow and works across the UK. He began storytelling in 1995 while heworked with south Lanarkshire libraries. In 2002 he became a full time storyteller working mainly in schools and nurseries. he was appointed storyteller in residence at Crookston Castle from 2004 till 2007 and then storyteller in residence for Scottish Museums in 2009.

he worked with the Yehudi Menhuin foundation on several projects in Europe and now he work with Read for Good, visiting children's hospitals telling stories and singing songs.

Graham Langley

Graham first told stories in his early 20s when he ran a folk club in Birmingham. His energy and enthusiasm for traditional stories has led him to become a much sort after storyteller in England and overseas. The Times described him as “a storyteller for the 21st century.”  He is a director of the Traditional Arts Team and is a major promoter of storytelling events in the UK. He has a lovely open style with children and alsways makes them feel at home. he has a bright, enthusastic telling style and always brings the party when the party is needed! He is an excellent storytelling teacher and his pupils have gone on the run clubs across the West and East Midlands and Staffordshire. We call him thr Godfather of Storytelling, though he doesn't really appreciate it! AS well as wider event production he is the director of a Storytelling Club in Birmingham which he co-runs with his trainees at The Storytellers Studio. /

Helen Appleton

 Jenn Lunn 

Jennifer Lunn tells stories, makes theatre and runs live events. She’s worked with children and young people for over twenty five years devising and delivering creative programmes to inspire, enthuse and amuse! Story is at the heart of everything she does and she believes that we are all storytellers so much of her work involves gathering stories told to her by the brilliant young people she meets! 

As a playwright her first full length play will be produced by Wales Millennium Centre next summer having been shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award and longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize. 

She lives in Wales with her wife

Mike o' Leary

Mike became a professional storyteller in 1994, due to a mid-life crisis, and the realisation that he couldn’t afford a Harley (he didn’t really want one anyway, he has a bicycle). Of course he’s always been a storyteller, something inspired both by his mother, who used to invent conversations between the tea pot and the cups, and Mr. Bruce, the shepherd on the farm in Fife where Mike lived as a small boy, and who transplanted the stories of Finn McCool to the lowlands. Although Mike’s family moved down to Bristol when he was eight, the magic of that spoken, traditionally based storytelling, never left him.

As an adult, Mike has been a gardener, a greenkeeper, a mature student, a playbus worker, and a primary school teacher, and storytelling seemed to be the only occupation for which all those things provided an apprenticeship.

Mike has lived in Southampton since 1979, and is keen to find the stories that underlie a locality, particularly when that locality, as with inner-city Southampton, is not considered romantic.

Like other storytellers Mike has told tales in a variety of venues, from hospitals to schools, nurseries to prisons, pubs to restaurants and from festivals to up to his neck in a duck pond. He isn’t so used to telling stories whilst staring at a computer screen, so his life has definitely changed during the pandemic.

Mike uses a variety of musical instruments to help a story along, from his trade mark flute stick, to the Northumbrian smallpipes.

He has written five books:

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Folktales, Sussex Folktales, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Ghost Tales, Hampshire Folktales for Children (all for The History Press), and a novel, The Pilgrimage of Piltdown Man (Triarchy Press), but he is primarily a storyteller, and is keen to emphasise the difference.

Michael Loader

Michael Loader is a teacher, storyteller and performer who works with people of all ages from nurseries to elders’ homes.

He works in a variety of settings including, education, mental health, adults with learning disabilities, charity and community projects.

His creative work abroad has involved children’s homes in Romania, street theatre in East Germany, adult workshops in Spain, facilitation with corporations in Switzerland and a British Council project in Palestine and Israel. He will be returned to Palestine/ Israel in April 2019 with a ‘Stories For Change’ project.

More recently he has led a number of intergenerational and multicultural projects in B&NES, Bristol and North Somerset alongside schools and other agencies exploring issues such as immigration, cultural heritage and anti-bullying.

He has been storyteller in residence at St George’s Bristol since 2011, director of Somerset Storyfest from 2012 and a storyteller in children’s hospitals with the Read For Good charity since 2014.



“Michael’s stage presence and engagement with each audience are a delight to witness. His stories are full of drama and he manages to get the balance right between side-splitting humour and straightforward narrative. His positivity is infectious. Highly recommended!!!”

Martin Bridle and Su Eaton Hand to Mouth Theatre 2016


“You know when you’ve got the ‘right’ storyteller!” Holburne Museum Somerset Storyfest 2013


“Michael clearly has storytelling in his soul and his love of people and of engaging the audience in the story is abundantly apparent in all of his wonderful performances”. Simon Hough Recreation Manager National Arboretum 2012


“Michael is a very talented man and draws children and adults to him and his stories in a way that engages and enthralls”. Sophie Bull Bishop’s Palace Learning and Community Manager 2012


“Awesome… A natural oratorical…!”  Shambala Festival 2008


“A true master at work…”

@t Bristol, Bristol Storytelling Festival 2007



It was excellent! Michael brought to life ancient spirits and creatures in the minds of the children. His music created a magical beginning and ending and got everyone into the right 'space' for exploring stories and ideas. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery 2006

Steve Lally

Wilf Mertens

Wilf Merttens is an award-winning storyteller. He does great shows and runs inspiring workshops that help people of all ages and abilities learn what magnificent performers they all are. His book about the urban legends of Bristol is published by The History Press and is out now.



She has launched her new  Covid-adapted digital storytelling business by producing storytelling for business training videos with Nottingham's Real Creative Futures Digital/New Arts Exchange gallery.

She is the organiser of The Magic Story Carpet Family Storytelling festival July 2020.

She will deliver digital storytelling videos for building resilience for children in Summer 2020. They will focussing on how the story itself can gently mirror and present options around tricky subjects e.g. how to adapt to change, use thinking skills to process and adapt to challenges and how to use  the safety and structure of a traditional stories to start a conversation about difficult or scary things

Augut 2020: Amanda plans to run socially distant outdoor performances and story-walks around Nottingham's City and County parks.


Register your interest by emailing her on