Tell Tales Are Flying!

Tell Tales Are Flying is a sea-borne storytelling project, initiated by Beyond The Border Storytelling Festival as part of Wales’ 2018 Year of The Sea.


The project involves a boatload of six European professional performers (storytellers and musicians from Belgium, Norway, Italy and Wales) setting sail from Cardiff Bay bound for Swansea Waterfront Museum, where they will give free storytelling and music performances for school pupils on Thursday 7th June.

The Stories will include Norse myths and Viking sagas, tales of Italian adventurers and French gypsies, and incredible but true stories of famous pirates, including the notorious cross-dressing female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

The Performers are:

  • Paola Balbi (Italy) Actress, storyteller, and transatlantic yachtswoman, Paola is founder and co-artistic director with Davide Bardi of leading Italian storytelling company Raccontamiunastoria and Rome International Storytelling Festival. She performs at international festivals throughout Europe, in Canada and Singapore, and is currently involved in storytelling projects in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Davide Bardi (Italy) is a storyteller who accompanies his storytelling with improvised original live music. He has travelled all over the world with his repertoire of musical stories and is also a sought-after voiceover artist in film and TV in Italy.
  • Torgrim Mellum Stene (Norway). Educated in The Art of Storytelling at the University College of Oslo, he’s worked as a professional storyteller since 2006 and now performs internationally. His repertoire includes Viking and Norse sagas, stories of voyages filled with danger, high seas, betrayal, brotherhood and revelry, which also become voyages of self-discovery and understanding.
  • Steve Killick (Wales) Storyteller, sailor and Clinical Psychologist Steve Killick has a long interest in storytelling in health and education, and was a key speaker in the Conference on Health and Storytelling held in Swansea in 2017. Current projects include ‘Feelings are Funny Things’ for schools with Phil Okwedy; and ‘Home Truths: The Values of Family Storytelling’ with Taffy Thomas. He also hosts Kemi’s Storytelling Suppers in Cardiff and is Visiting Fellow at The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales.
  • Myrddin de Cauter (Belgium) The youngest in a family of professional musicians, Belgian guitarist Myrddin was inspired at an early age by flamenco and gypsy jazz, and is now recognised as the leading flamenco guitar player in Belgium. He will be performing a programme based on the true stories of French gypsies with Flemish storyteller JOE BAELE.
  • Joe Baele (Belgium) This itinerant Belgian former clown first came to Wales at the invitation of Beyond The Border Storytelling Festival in 2007, arriving with his very own 1930’s gypsy caravan bought from a family of horse dealers in the North of England. Now Joe returns to Wales, this time travelling by boat, and carrying a fantastic collection of true life stories of French Roma families, – a real insight into life on the road – all performed with fellow Belgian, flamenco guitarist Myrddin de Cauter.

The Tell Tale performers are all taking part in Beyond The Border Storytelling Festival 2018 at St Donats Castle, Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th June 2018.


Tell Tales Are Flying is a project of Beyond The Border Storytelling Festival as part of Wales’ 2018 Year of The Sea, and supported by FEST (The Federation of European Storytelling) with funds from Creative Europe.

Visit for more information…..

Q: What is a Tell Tale and why are they flying?

A: The Tell Tale is the piece of wool or cotton  thread sailors tie to their masts to tell them when they are making best use of their sails.   When the Tell Tales are flying, the sail is set for optimum efficiency to catch the wind!

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