Catspaw Authentic Entertainment - v ery special entertainment for special events. Check out our workshops - especially the range of story workshops. Or make your party an event to go down in history with one of our shows from the Dark Ages, Medieval, Viking, Elizabethan periods. Our wedding listings offer something a little different for stag and hen and wedding entertainments.
A number of our performers/artists offer workshops. Our workshops are popular with Festivals, schools, community groups, museums and some of the historic ones have even been booked by English Heritage.
Our workshops are suitable for various ages, some are best for kids, others for adults, many for all ages; but whatever the age we don't believe in just talking at people, all workshops require some degree of involvement by participants. If you don't obviously fall into categories we've named - don't worry - we would still love to provide you with a workshop if you have a suitable venue and the participants. If you have the funding we can even be commissioned to add new workshops to the list. For more workshop information and teachers information click here
When booking please let us know location, venue, age range and numbers of participants and number of workshops you would like.
We have broken the list of workshops into three groups -
Historic, Creative (including the range of story workshops) and Technical.
Medieval Feasting and Festivities!
Feasts, or banquets, were an important part of medieval life. Based around an the format of a typical epic multi-course feast many elements of medieval life are covered. From medicine and the humours, to hunting; from ceremonies such as the lavering of hands and the role of the church in daily diet, to art, music and entertainment. We also explore the different levels of society and how feasting was important to them all. Discover the origins of phrases such as "the upper crust" and "below the salt" but above all we aim to make history educational and fun! Available with delivery team of two - or a team of four if you add two extra medieval musicians. Also occasionally available with additional medieval dance instruction. (english, history and with musicians - music, with dance - PE) (Does not include actual food and prop-foodstuffs used are representative and not necessarily historically accurate). Teachers notes provide links, information and further projects for the class.
Medieval Life and Music.
Our two highly skilled musicians (one a music teacher, the other an instrument maker, both professional historic performers) will take you through families of instruments exploring who would have played which instruments where in medieval times, and how this reflected on class and other factors of medieval society. Meet the ancestors of the guitar, violin and recorder and understand how they developed to where they are now. Including such typically medieval instruments as shawms, pipes, pibgorms and more... Delivery team of two musicians
Medieval Music and Stories
As above with the addition of typical medieval stories helping to tie the information into medieval society even more. Delivery team of three - two musicians and a storyteller. (english, history and music)
Tunes and Tales from Tudor Times
There's much more to Tudor music than Greensleeves! Learn rounds from the time, see and hear the authentic instruments and sing along with our songstress. Typical Tudor tales complete a compellling historic workshop. Delivery team of two musicians and one storyteller.
Viking music and stories
Meet traditional scandanavian instruments such as the no holes flute and the kantele - traditionally made in a house when someone dies. Hear haunting music and then be awed by the heroic Norse Myths from The Travelling Talesman. Delivery team of three - two musicians and one storyteller.
Viking Life and Music
Including the same wonderful selection of viking instruments. See and hear them played, discover the history and traditions of the instruments, including more elaboration on Viking Life and society.
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Let The Travelling Talesman captivate you with his Northern European tales, and then use them to explore the essential elements of good storytelling. Focusing on details, building characters and crafting tales with over a dozen years experience. With longer sessions storybones give everyone a chance to create their own stories, in shorter session a story is created as a group. Three different storyworkshops each with worksheets available. Available for adults or children. Fantastically inspiring for all - just bring your imagination. Delivery team of one (can be two).
We have worked closely with The Travelling Talesman to create three distinct story offerings suitable for different age ranges, sizes of groups and lengths of workshops - everything from short 1 hour sessions for younger children to full day's adult workshops. Click here for details
Storytelling for Parents
Build confidence in your storytelling to make bedtime with your kids a fun event they look forward to! Click here for further details.
Storytelling and drumming
Engage everyone's attention fully with this lively and noisy workshop. Taking a traditional story participants select elements which are then transposed into rhythms and combined to create an original piece of music. Great for young and old alike as all ages can delight in having created their own original and unique composition - an experience that can free the mind to explore participants own potential further. Also explore a story with it's own rhythmic chorus. If you don't already have drums available we may be able to arrange their hire for a reasonable additional fee. Delivery team of two.
Can you hear the one beat? Learn simple rhythms and weave them together. Learn to listen as well as play so you play better together. A straightforward workshop suitable for all ages and abilities. Drum hire available. Delivery team of one or two.
Play pans, drone on a drainpipe and beat a bin! Junk percussion makes music accessible even to those without instruments. Including many elements of a straightforward drum workshop but with fun, familiar instruments. You'll never look at your kitchen the same way again! Selection of junk percussion provided as part of the workshop. For full day bookings available alongside/alternating with drumming workshops at reduced rates.
Drumming of different cultures
Run by two professional drummers - one with Gambian rhythms and one bringing the beats of India and the Middle East. Bring the the pulse of continents together in this fantastic workshop. Djembe and darabuka hire can be provided if you do not already have suitable drums.
Junior Circus skills
A great workshop for younger people - suitable for parties, fetes, festivals etc Mostly involving discovering what you can do with the various pieces of kit Elvio brings with him - diablos, mini-stilts on string, walking peddles, juggling kit etc. Gentle guidance is provided but it's mainly a fun exploratory session.
Older circus skills and developing confidence
Delivered by a street theatre group including full sized stilts and other challenges. Great for older kids or young adults to develop confidence and explore new skills.
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Introduction to sound tech
Suitable for colleges or groups putting on their own shows, in a stage or theatre style, with or without live musicians. Learn how the kit works and how to get the best out of it, ensure all your performers are heard and get effects right. A day (or possibly half day)'s talk and demonstration with your own kit to improve confidence for novices come performance night.
Live sound engineering for musicians
Learn about getting levels right, how to handle kit so it lasts, the most common failures and how to avoid them. Understand how the sound works and how to get the sound you like best for your band, and importantly how to communicate this to sound engineers easily in future to ensure your band always sounds it's best. A full day's workshop with PA provided. Each course is tailored to the band, or bands, booking the service - you are welcome to also include your own sound engineer in the participants. Bring your own instruments! (and make sure we know what they are in advance). Delivered by a professional live sound engineer and musician with over 20 years experience this workshop can only improve your band's sound, image and make live gigs an even more positive experience for you all.
Sound for video
Many film-making courses gloss over sound, however it is an essential part of any successful film. Learn how and why good sound works. Pick up some of the tricks of the trade and practice different approaches/techniques. A two day course delivered by a working professional sound recordist and boom swinger. Suitable for cameramen, directors and trainee sound recordists. Some kit will be provided but please bring whatever you would usually work with.
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email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and bookings remembering to mention which workshops you are interested in, location, venue, age range and numbers of audience and number of workshops you would like.