Isabella's Story Bicycle

by Isabella in Devon

We did it
On 27th October 2015 we successfully raised £1,275 with 47 supporters in 28 days

To cover production costs for a new bicycle storytelling show with a female narrative for Doorstep Art’s, Scratch Festival in Torbay.

by Isabella in Devon

New stretch target

Having extra funding means that I am able to better meet production costs. I can pay fantastic artists to contribute to the new show to be able to reach more people who can experience live, oral storytelling.  

   Please support Isabella Necessity's new Story Bicycle show 

Who is Isabella?

Isabella the Storyteller travels the globe on her Story Bicycle.  Sharing tales from her incredible adventures with whosoever she meets.  She has danced at the palace of the silent empress,  learnt Kung Fu on the mountain of Kunyu and slept in a robin's nest.  

With delightful storytelling,  gorgeous illustrations, a box theatre and unexpected wonders Isabella whisks you away to another world.

Everyone loved your storytelling, the nanas and toddlers were leaning forwards on the edge of their straw bales to hear your every word.  

I was so impressed with Isabella and her Story Bicycle and will book her whenever possible.   She surpassed expectations!  E. Twamley, Skyhigh Promotions. 

Who is Isabella really?

Sara Hurley (that's me) is a storyteller, participatory artist and director of Blazing Tales Ltd.  My projects are often outdoors and over the last few years I've been developing Isabella and her Story Bicycle as an interactive, family friendly street storytelling show.  I often perform around the country as part of Uncle Tacko's Imaginarium.  I enjoy exploring fresh and surprising ways of bringing traditional folk stories to outdoor audiences through the universal appeal of the Story Bicycle.

 The Story Bicycle  

The Story Bicycle is inspired by Kamishibai.  A Japanese style of storytelling using illustrations inside a box theatre on the back of a bicycle.  It has a long history,  but was popular in Japan in the 1920's and '30's (before TV!)  The Kamishibai storyteller cycled from place to place,  stopped on street corners and attracted a crowd before telling stories with the help of the illustrations in the box theatre.  They also sold sweets and trinkets from the bicycle to make money.  Isabella's bicycle is a genuine 1910 model with many original parts.



Women Travellers

  (Harriet Chalmers Adams in the Gobi Desert. 1922)

Isabella the Storyteller is a pioneering adventurist from the 1920's who bicycles around the globe gathering and sharing stories.  She is a woman of the people,  at home in huts and palaces.  A woman in awe at the wonder of our natural world.  The character is inspired by intrepid early women travellers who overrode convention in favour of exploration and respected the people they met.

 Doorstep Arts, Torbay.

Doorstep Theatre and the Scratch Festival is a touring partnership with Torbay and internationally acclaimed producers Battersea Arts Centre.   Through Doorstep Arts the 3 year touring scheme of the Collaborative Touring Network is providing amazing theatre performances in non-traditional theatre spaces.  It also creates opportunities for regional theatre makers,  workshops with artists,  regular offerings for participating in theatre locally and performance platforms for existing theatre groups in Torbay.

Isabella's New Show (yet to be named.) 

'Scratch' is an excellent opportunity to develop new stories,  and in the spirit of Isabella,  I'm choosing to focus on folk stories with a female narrative from around the world.  I want to tell stories of active and courageous girls and women for everyone to experience and remember.   I'm passionate about how storytelling can touch our lives, educate and enrich our cultural life. 

Isabella will be on her Story Bicycle around Torbay on 30th, 31st October and 1st November 

    How you can help

Money raised through this Crowdfunder will help to:

  • Contribute towards production costs for 2 new stories

  • Pay professional artists to create high quality, new work:

    New illustrations and visual surprises

    Costume (she needs some trews and a travelling coat!)

    Theatrical direction

    Musical direction

Thank you

Kerry Deacon for film and photographs,  Hugh Nankivell for allowing me to use his composition, Cara Roxanne and Kamini Gupta for illustrations, Clive PiG for Isabella's opening poem and Tony Lidington for continued support. 

Everywhere I go I am met with kindness. 

People are good, animals are better and the

world is a truly remarkable place. 

Isabella Necessity, somewhere on Dartmoor. 2015.




This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A hearty public thank you on social media

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A signed postcard of Isabella and a thank you on social media

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A hand written poem on a signed postcard, Isabella's bookmark, a thank you on social media

£100 or more

£100 Reward

A print of an illustration, a personal message on a signed Isabella postcard, a thank you on social media

£200 or more

£200 Reward

A Story Workshop. Or, 1 print of an illustration, a hand written poem, a signed postcard, a bookmark, a public thank you. (For workshops outside of south-west UK I will have to ask for travel costs.)

£350 or more

£350 Reward

A bespoke performance of Isabella's new show. Or goodie bundle: 2 prints of illustrations, a hand written poem, a signed postcard, bookmark and public thank you on social media. (performance to be done by August, goodie bundle by end of November.)

£500 or more

£500 Reward

A bespoke performance of Isabella's new show plus a half day workshop. Or goodie bundle: 2 signed prints of illustrations of your choice, a hand written poem, a signed postcard, 3 bookmarks and a public thank you. (shows to be done by August 2016, bundles delivered end of November. Travel costs added to shows outside of south-west UK.)

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Reward

Book Isabella for the day for performance and/or workshop as you choose. Plus: 2 signed prints of a chosen illustration, a hand written poem, a signed postcard with personal message, 6 bookmarks, an enormous thank you on social media - should you care to take it. (Day's booking to be arranged before the end of August 2016.)

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