Apple Tree Man comes alive

Jamie Crawford

At Apple Day 2013, storyteller Jamie Crawford enthralled listeners of all ages with his dramatic version of a magical English folk tale.

Through the turning of the seasons, "The Apple Tree Man" charts the fall and rise of a dispossessed son whose luck changes when an old hen wife makes him a herbal poultice to heal his ailing farm animals. His deepening reconnection to the land culminates with a Christmas Eve wassail offering of cider to an ancient apple tree, out of which a fertility spirit, the eponymous Apple Tree Man, appears to reveal the whereabouts of hidden gold.

In Jamie's retelling, listeners became immersed in the performance, using sound effects and props to stimulate the five senses.

Jamie said of the show, "I really enjoyed taking part in Apple Day this year. The festive atmosphere and the Stanmer orchard provided the perfect setting for one of my favourite English stories. While The Apple Tree Man is witty and lighthearted, it embodies values such as listening, sharing, interdependence, compassion, care of the earth and a deep reverence for the sources of life. Like so many of these old stories it is a fable for our times."

Jamie added, "Storytelling is the ultimate sustainable art form. It has a negligible carbon footprint; it favours grassroots, face-to-face, local participation, and in the passing on of traditional stories, it uses almost exclusively recycled materials. So it was a special pleasure to collaborate with Brighton Permaculture Trust on this occasion."

Jamie will be performing "The Apple Tree Man" again at this year's Apple Day.

Known for his dynamic reworking of traditional tales, Jamie Crawford has performed for such world-class organisations as the British Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, BBC Learning and The National Trust. He has a wide repertoire of lively interactive stories for children and a number of powerful one-man shows for adult audiences. For more information, visit his website: www.jamiecrawford.co.uk