Storytelling is at the heart of Stafford theatre event

By Jordan Reynolds | Stafford | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

A festival of storytelling will be held in Stafford later this year.

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is embarking on a programme of community involvement this year that will include hosting a writer in residence, as well as a festival of storytelling.

Over March to May 2020 the Gatehouse Theatre will have its very own Writer in Residence: Martin Sketchley.

Through the residency Martin will seek stories from local people about the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford, and the surrounding area.

Martin will be on site at the Gatehouse one day a week to listen to and write up the stories from our local community, or offer advice on creative writing in one-to-one writing surgeries.

There will also be workshops from local writers William Gallagher, Fiona Joseph, and Maria Whatton.

Martin grew up in Tamworth and now lives in Birmingham. He is a published writer of novels, short stories and drama scripts, the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Aston University, and the West Midlands' Representative for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.

The Writer in Residence programme at the Gatehouse is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

This year will also see the Gatehouse host The Knot Festival – a storytelling festival featuring professional artists from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.


Festival organiser and local professional storyteller Ana Lines has arranged an line-up of events and workshops for adults, children, and families, including Celtic Tales from Ireland and Wales, a workshop on visual stories, and an opening Gala Night performance.

Gatehouse Theatre manager Mark Farley said: “We are passionate about our community, and are pleased to be able to help in adding to the vibrancy of the arts scene in Stafford. Both the Writer in Residence programme and The Knot Festival are chances for people and groups to come together and share stories, history, and inspiration, and strengthen the bonds that we have as a community”.

The Writer in residence programme runs from March to 4 May 4. For further information about the workshops and opportunities to meet with Martin, contact him on or visit the Gatehouse website.

The Knot Festival will be held from 1 to 2. A full schedule of events will be on the Gatehouse website and the Festival Facebook page from next week. A festival pass is available for purchase until March 30, after which tickets to individual events will be available.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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