Tudor Folk Tales

In Tudor times the ‘common sort’ were no different from us, laughing together, mocking each other and sharing bawdy tales in tavern yards, marketplaces and anywhere else that people came together. These stories were later collected in the cheap print of the period, and professional storyteller Dave Tonge will tell some of his pages featuring smooth-talking tricksters, lusty knaves, wayward youths and stories of the eternal struggle to wear the breeches in the family, for a sometimes coarse but often comic telling of the everyday ups and downs in Tudor life.  Amongst other stories on offer this night you will hear tell a tragic tale of a beloved gyr falcon, a comic tale of a dagger worth nowt and a plain and simple radish that was worth one hundred gold coins…

Dave will also be telling of some of the real early modern people who are also mentioned within the pages of his book. Men and women whose experiences reflect those of the characters in the folk tales that he’ll be telling. People like the trickster and con man, John Venn who was whipped for making men believe that he could find things that were lost. The woman with no hands who given permission to perform ‘wonderous feats with her feet’, on the market place and Agnes Leaman who was shamed, by being processed about the streets of the city on a cart, before being ducked in the river. What say you?


Dave Tonge is both an author and storyteller, he has written three books: Tudor Tales (2015) Norfolk Folk Tales for Children (2018) and Medieval Folk Tales for Children (2019) and is working on a forth, Trickster Tales From Many Lands. He has been telling tales since 1999, both as one half of Past -Imagined and now as the Yarnsmith of Norwich. He travels all over the UK telling stories at storytelling clubs, museums, heritage sites, fairs, festivals and in schools. He is always happy to travel anywhere, however far.

Dave specialises in tales from from Saxon and Viking through to Tudor and Jacobean times, although he will be the first to tell you that we storytellers grow new corn from old fields and that many of the tales we now claim for our own were brought over by sailors, soldiers and merchants from far away lands, long ago. Dave is then a teller of world tales and as such he does offer sets of tales from specific regions and places as well as from different times.

don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day

Dec 10th 2023 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm

£5 - £10 & By Donation

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