POEMS AND STORIES
Paul’s storytelling abilities are like no one else you’ve heard – they are also like nothing else you’ve seen! He created a wonderfully different story for each class that he spent time with. The children absolutely LOVED their stories. Squeals and peals of laughter were like a backing track to Paul’s unique stories! When the teachers in the classroom are laughing as hard as the children then you know you’re onto a winner. Very few people can walk into a classroom, start talking and have the whole room enthralled within two minutes. Each story was unique and Paul tailored it to suit the dynamics of the children in the room. His ability to ad lib and “wing it” was incredible – and it was hard to believe that he was adjusting his ideas as he went along. The children talked about Paul’s visit a long time after he left the building! He also inspired them to write their own stories. The long and the short of it is that Paul’s storytelling is an art form in itself – it’s like a story and physical theatre wrapped up together – and it has to be heard (and seen) to be believed.'
- Elaine MacManus, Class Teacher, Saint Ciarán's National School, Castlejordan, Coounty Offaly
Here I am performing stories for children in Tullamore Library on Culture Day 2015.
I have performed stories and poems for people of all ages. sometimes I recite stories that i have written, edited, memorised, choreographed and rehearsed. I very much enjoy this type of telling, and the recordings featured below are all of that ilk.
Another storytelling style that I employ tends to be much more improvised, interactive and unpredictable. I begin with a structure in mind, which can alter in accordance with suggestions, contributions, ideas and other sounds communicated by the audience and environment.
I often combine creative activities and storytelling together, so that people make objects, drawings, characters and props, which we then use to create unique, spontaneous-improvised-interactive tales and experiences.
I can also tell traditional stories - mythical or historical - in character or as myself. If you are organising an event and need a performance based around a particular story, character or theme... or require a customised experience for a specialised audience, then please do get in touch.
RECENT EVENTS AND RECORDINGS
I have illustrated some of my stories and poems and turned them into printed books.
'Paul i s a gifted, talented and exciting storyteller who never fails to leave his audience calling out for more. His performance at our recent intergenerational storytelling event was the high point of the day. We were very glad to have Paul end the show. To be honest, he would have been a terribly hard act to follow. paul is a pleasure to work with. We very much look forward to having him perform with us again in the near future.' - Brenda Quigley, Age Action, North Dublin
I performed with children from The LauraLynn Children's Hospice at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin. I wrote a story titled THE MAGICAL CAKE MAKING MACHINE especially for the show. The premise was that myself and the children were demonstrating how to create a fantastical cake. (I'm using a giant whisk to mix ingredients in the photo). We included usual items - such as eggs and flour... but also added some of the children's favourite memories and experiences, so that if you were eating a slice, it would not only taste delicious, but you might suddenly feel the sensation of being at a beach on a sunny day, or receiving a massage from your favourite family member. The cake was temporarily stolen by a scraggly crow, but after an intense chase scene, it was won back. The, then apologetic crow, and forgiving children, became good friends.
I was excited to be part of an amazingly talented and kindhearted lineup, which included John Sheahan of Dubliners fame and Lisa Lambe, on the RTE Radio Arena Christmas Eve Special in 2015. These very low resolution images are of me performing PAT THE BUG (which I have since made into an illustrated story book) and some of the other guests with presenter Sean Rocks.
Click the PLAY button to hear PAT THE BUG on the show. (Duration - 4 mins 30 secs)
Not always one for taking snaps during life's more significant moments, I have used a bit of drawing, googling and image editing (over the single photograph that I did actually take at the soundcheck) to recreate the moment that I performed a new poem titled JIM for the opening of RTE's Cruinniú na Cásca Festival, which was broadcast live, in front of an outdoor audience, at Stephen's Green in 2017.
Click the PLAY button to hear JIM on the show. (Duration - 5 mins)
I don't usually set about making poems and stories with any particular age group in mind. I mainly like to follow along with whatever ideas feel most enticing, and then work to allow those ideas to express themselves using the language that seems most right. I have performed for people of all ages, and I love performing and workshopping with families and intergenerational groups. There are certain stories, poems and themes that children would neither understand nor appreciate, and I keep poems such as ME FRIEND WANTS TO SHIFT YOU for older audiences. This poem was originally aired on RTE's Arena, but got a second broadcast amongst that week's radio highlights on Playback.
Click the PLAY button to hear ME FRIEND WANTS TO SHIFT YOU on the show. (Duration - 1 min 30 secs)
And here is a more romantic (sort of) animated poem titled LOVE ME OR I WILL KILL YOU that was recorded at a Spoken Word Show in Dublin.
Click the PLAY button to watch LOVE ME OR I WILL KILL YOU. (Duration - 1 min 45 secs)
I do quite a bit of Storytelling whilst in character. In the pictures above I am dressed as A Sixteenth Century Monk and a British Army Officer for meeting with groups of American and Canadian tourists at different junctures on the HISTORICAL/HYSTERICAL TOUR OF MULLINGAR TOWN.
'Paul Timoney's storytelling goes far beyond simple stories. He weaves so many elements of language, expression, emotion, humour, silliness, seriousness and narrative that it is dazzling. He reaches all elements of the audience and engages the listener actively. You can't help but suspend reality for a time and join in his world of story when he spins the yarn. I have enjoyed collaborating with him while I was in Ireland as a Fulbright Scholar and seeing him in action several times with several audiences. The surface simplicity of his tales is deceiving in a way as there is a depth that touches universal themes and emotions - but he is never heavy handed in delivery. Sensitive to his audience, he incorporates environmental cues, random sounds, mishaps and other events into the festive path his stories take. If you've never seen him perform, be prepared to be surprised and enthralled.'
- Joan Phillips, PhD, LMFT, LPC,ATR-BC, ATCS, Fulbright Scholar, Art Therapist
When I perform for young people at schools and libraries, stories tend to be quite interactive. I often intermingle creative activities and storytelling. Participants may have to make an object or drawing which they will use in a story. I may get people to make suggestions or become characters on a journey beset with a variety of interesting obstacles and issues. I write more about incorporating storytelling and art making in the section on WORKSHOPS. I think it can be very beneficial and enjoyable for people to participate in imaginative, improvised story-based play.
'Booking Paul Timoney, Story teller, was a great addition to the recent LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice Family Camp. He delivered a unique and special story for all the families who attended camp. Paul is able to masterfully bring stories to life with great wit and an energy that fills the room, he can put a smile on anyone’s face. Due to the children’s complex needs families often rarely get opportunity for things like this. Paul is able to adapt the stories to make them special to everyone, no matter the background, age or medical fragility. All the families were able to fully relax and immerse themselves in enjoying this experience together providing family memories that will be cherished now and for the future.'
- Anna Brown, Senior Occupational Therapist, LauraLynn Children's Hospice