• Hercules Editions

Trickster on the Road

Updated: Apr 22

Nancy Charley, author of The Gospel of Trickster, is taking her show on the road, firstly in Margate this Saturday, and then wherever the road, and Trickster, takes her...



This Saturday (15th June), The Gospel of Trickster will be performed at the Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate (link here). It is a place I love. It is such a quirky theatre which through the years has been owned by different, but all very generous, hosts. I hold it in great affection because it is one venue where I first took some tentative steps in poetry-telling, thanks to Emily Hennessey and the opportunities she gave at her storytelling Scandalnights.


Drawing by Alison Gill for The Gospel of Trickster

Since those days I’ve been gaining skills, serving my apprenticeship. I’ve picked up different elements from spoken word, theatre, and storytelling. And I’ve honed skills at open mic nights, festival events and creating one-woman shows. In traditional times, once an apprenticeship was complete, the person became a journey(wo)man. They hadn’t yet reached the status of master craftsman but were capable of taking their skills on the road to bring to different communities.


‘On the road’ is where the metaphors of Journeyman and Trickster collide. Trickster is not a slob-in-front-of-the-TV kind of guy nor a 9-to-5, pay-my-mortgage kind either. He likes to get by on his wits, on the open road, bumping into people at crossroads, pointing out and crossing over boundaries. He "passes through…when there is a moment of silence, and he enlivens…" [1] Unlike Journeyman, Trickster doesn’t want to put time and effort into learning a craft. But you can be sure, when Journeyman is on the road, Trickster will turn up to challenge, create mischief, and push Journeyman to use his skills more creatively.




Writing The Gospel of Trickster was certainly a creative challenge. How could I bring alive an old story in a new way, format poetry in a different style, imagine how Trickster and Jesus might interact? Once written, the making of the show was another creative encounter - how to lift the words off the page and inhabit all the various characters? I am very grateful to theatre director, Tamar Saphra, who helped so much with this.


But I am also keen to take on another Trickster ‘challenge’. I have previously created poetry-telling shows for my collections. These I have performed, generally in London and east Kent, where I am based. But with perhaps my apprenticeship ending, I feel challenged to become a Journeywoman and take this show further afield.



Now it is not really practical, to just start wandering and hope that I might find a place to perform. It’s possible, but not highly probable, that I would get an audience. So, I need to ask for help. I’m looking for people and venues that are keen on some ‘enlivening’. I’ve performed before in living rooms, yurts, coffee shops, pubs, village and church halls... The possibilities of venues are numerous; anywhere where people can, and do, gather.


So…

  • If you have a living room, that could host half a dozen or more people, or a village hall that could host 100, and the idea of Trickster appeals…

  • If you can offer me a bed, or settee, for the night and I can charge a fiver for a ticket, or pass Trickster’s hat round at the end of the show...

  • If you run a youth or church group and fancy the idea of using The Gospel of Trickster as a starting point for a discussion…

  • If you’ve something to celebrate and would like a show as part of that...

  • If you fancy a bit of fun one evening…

  • Or if you just want to know more details, please, please, PLEASE, get in touch.

I am willing to come (almost) anywhere, to see how my craft can be honed still further as a journeywoman. You can contact me either through this website or directly at nancycharley@hotmail.com.



[1] Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes the World: How Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture, Canongate (2008), p.6

Hercules Editions is an independent press combining poetry and prose with art and archival material, to create beautiful small books and prints. We’re based in Lambeth, the site of artist-poet William Blake’s last home and printing works in Hercules Road.

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