Performance Storytelling

By Leslie Melville

Reviewed by Quentin Reynolds

The cover of the book promises to be, ĎAn Invaluable Source for Mystery Entertainers, Storytellers and Magiciansí.

Leslie Melville has the enviable knack of taking a simple, puzzle, trick or story and turning into a full performance piece, one that people will remember and talk about. This 110 page A5 book is crammed with examples. Take the Ferrymanís Tale which Iíve been using for the past seven years since Leslie first showed it to me and gave me permission to use. Basically, a simple puzzle. Yet, if out for dinner or with a small group, I always use it to start a short magical performance. It intrigues people and gets them involved. The presentation hooks them in. Thatís only one of many examples in this treasure trove of usable material.

If youíre a childrenís entertainer, you might be stuck and need to fill in extra time. Thereís stories here a plenty, all with gags, timing and presentational tips. Thereís even a section on using puppets, complete with a full routine. Another section on stories for the under 5ís. And this is not filler material. It all stands solidly on its own two feet.

Storytellers who may already be familiar with some of the stories will find hints, tips and pointers on how to make each story more fun and memorable. Many of the stories lend themselves to educational purposes, perfect for school presentations.

The book is not just for storytellers or magicians, it is for anyone who entertains or performs for the public. Does it live up to its promise on its cover? Definitely!

Highly recommended.


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© Quentin Reynolds, March 2023