Stories & Art- a free event for the community

A Magical compilation of story, art, song, performance and music on community event May 9th

We did it!

On 4th May 2015 we successfully raised £3,044 of £3,000 target with 29 supporters in 35 days

Project aim

We want to take the local community on an uplifting, magical and thought provoking parade through the streets and onto Tooting bec Common for a dramatic story telling performance of the Pied Piper, plus a day long and into the evening arts extravaganza! Tooting Common comes alive on May 9th with carnivalesque parades, imaginative stories, art, live music, dances, performances and workshops, circus skills, debates, magic shows, drumming circles, a steel pan band, local choirs and fire-eating.......Two weeks before hand there will be an abundance of story and art making workshops so join in the Tales of the Pied Piper Fesival.

About the project

Before I moved to where I live now I thought that anything to do with ‘community’ would be a bit naff and a bit woolly. But I got involved with a pop up art gallery here and was asked to do a story and art project with a local school. With no idea of how to run such a project I just threw myself in and found that I loved it. We had no money, I had to ask favours all the time but people helped, they wanted to help, they got excited  and creative too. I was working really hard but having a ball.It was fabulous.

I now know how great it can be living and working in a community of like-minded people that are supportive and generous and not suspicious of each other. That is what community is about. The story projects have got more complex with more people involved but the essence is the same it is about creating a community event with the people of that community and it is still the great thing of talking to people, problem solving together, being creative and making things happen that is such a buzz. This is a brilliant place to live. I don’t think I could have started these story walks anywhere else but the concept of them can be taken to other places.

 How you can get involved...

There are loads of ways you can help us create this event so it's really amazing and be part of the growing community. You can join in with the main event on May 9th, the 2-weeks of community workshops before the event, supporting us through volunteering or the pledges to the right on this page - including your chance to win 1-week in a delightful self catering cottage in Wales!

Where's RATTY? Pledge on the right and we will tell you where he is- as well as a fun and refreashing reward!

What's happening on May 9th.....

A parade will start at 11:15am from Bodeans in Balham and Sprout Gallery on Moyser Road- you can join which ever you like. The Bodean start will be accompanied by the Chestnut Grove Academy samba band and dancers who will shimmy the Pied Piper dance to Tooting bec Common. The Sprout parade, will be carrying amazing props, costumes and scenery to bring the storytelling part of the day to life. Then onto the common at noon, for a day of packed fun. Here's a sample: Our incredible stilt walker will be teaching you circus skills, Kojo  will run drumming circles, Chestnut Grove Academy will lead a dance studio, debates and a drama, Transition Town Tooting will run activities about a sustainable future. The Bedford Pub will transport contemporary folk bands to play, after more samba and steel pans. Our lovely local choirs- The Great Gustos and Young Voices will entertain you, and the children can dance around a traditional May Pole. With The Bedford beer tent, craft stalls and yummy food, there will be something for everyone!

Hard to follow that- but we can! Jamie Crawford, story teller, is well known for giving dramatic performances of traditional stories. Those of you who came last year will remember his rendition, with the lovely June Peters, of a medieval tale which they told on our stunning common. Jamie will be performing a new version of the Pied Piper this year,  with you helping us bring it to life! Some of you will be wearing costumes, holding scenery or props and objects, or just watching and listening and some will be volunteering to help us run the event.

And if thats not all, Chalk the Sun will lead a story competition finale from 7PM, so thats your chance to sit back with a refreshment and listen to folk spinning a yarn!

 Join in the 2- weeks of imaginative workshops in the community to help shape the event.....

 Kicks off on the 25th & 26th April with Jamie Crawford's Tell Your Stories Live: 

Ever wanted to sparkle in social situations? Wished you had the confidence to hold people’s Attention? This weekend workshop with Jamie Crawford will help you learn how to tell a funny, moving or even tragic true story well. Learn how to find and tell the story, hone your skills and enthrall your audience. Experienced storyteller Jamie Crawford will gently guide you through the steps to do this at a weekend workshop at the Bedford Pub in Balham, with an opportunity to tell it on the 9th May at the Tales of the Pied Piper Event.
Booking essential at

Then until May 8th, you can join in loads of different workshops scattered around Tooting and Balham to help make all sorts of wonderful things that we will use to make the day come alive! Workshops include making RAT scultures, masks and the Pied Pipers Pipe, telling your story well with Jamie Crawford, learning the Pied Piper shimmy dance, making scenery and banners and joining writing story workshops. For full listings please see our web site.














The Pied Piper is about a community that didn’t get it right, they didn’t pay the Piper. They voted in a mayor who only had his eye on the main chance right here right now for himself. He didn’t think about the future and he was a cheat. The town was plagued by hoards of rats that no-one had been able to get rid of try as they might. Then the stranger walked into town with his magic pipe. He could rid the town of its rats for a price but once he had done so the Mayor refused to pay him.

So the piper led the children away. All of them.

 Why should we pay the piper....To hear Jamie talk about why, click below......



It's time to pay the piper Join in our parade on the 9th May and get involved in the process of creating it!


 Why Are We Crowdfunding?

We are crowdfunding to raise funds so that we don’t have to charge people to come to our community event Tales of The Pied Piper. We have been creating these events for three years now on a shoe string with tons of good will and passion. This year it paid off and we have backing from the Arts Council and Wandsworth Council and support from local businesses but, as Belinda says in the video, the project has grown with our excitement and involvement of local people and groups. The grants we got don't cover all those boring but crucial production kind of things like: cables and gaffa tape, generators, technicians, working lights, chairs and tables, professional stewards, first aid and water taps, event police and gaffa- did I mention gaffa already ? You get the picture and of course.....

.....we would like the event to be free for all who come so


come and pick your reward from the menu on the right and get involved



What will the money be spent on?

Dont worry, your money wont be lost as we wont take it if we dont raise the full £3000....

The money from this crowdfunder will cover the cost of essential non- art costs to run the event on May 9th. Wires, cables and technician, a generator,  two first aiders, hire of tables and chairs, 4 stewards/ security people,  Wandsworth event police, steel decks and 2 people to build and take down, lights, barriers, water pipes, litter pickers and again ....loads of gaffa tape!

Who will attend the event?

Last year we had many local families, but also many came from across London as this was such an unusual event. This year as well as families, we are delighted that many young people from local schools and choirs will be joining us. Local artists will be running workshops and drumming sessions, there will be traditional games and a maypole. In the late afternoon, The Bedford Pub is hosting live contemporary folk music and of course a bar. We are also expecting adults and young people to stay for the story performances after 7pm.

How will this specific event benefit attendees?

It will be great fun, with loads of opportunities to meet people through making things together, joining in with some unusual and fun workshops or telling the story to each other.. Audiences are encouraged to join with many aspects of the event, including carrying objects on the parade to the event, wearing costumes to make the story come alive, attend family and participatory workshops, learn how to perform the Pied Piper Dance, learn circus skills, listen to the lovely local children’s choir. You will be able to learn from professional artists to make unique objects related to the story.....


and from professionals who use both the spoken word and musical elements to tell a tale. 

Why use Stories?

Stories are important. They nourish our imagination, fill our dreams, entertain and inspire us. We use stories every day of our lives - every time we see friends, visit the doctor, return something we have bought, explain key facts to employers, teachers, social workers and ticket collectors. Stories are the way we make sense of what has happened and so they are critical to our sense of who we are. Our identities consist in the stories we tell others and ourselves



Thank you for taking the time to read about Tales of The Pied Piper. There are some really cool ways to get involved, so please have a look at the pledges to the right. Thank you so much to local residents Anna and Gywn Jones who wanted to support this project and offered this lovely cottage as a prize. Its great to know the community is with us!

Win 1 Week in a Welsh Cottage for a £45 pledge

The prize winner will win 1 week use of a delightful 3- bedroomed holiday cottage that sleeps 5, in Wales worth £500, in our prize draw. Stay in Cilgerran cottage between September 2015 and March 2016 (not including xmas and new year). It overlooks Cilgerran Gorge with its abundant array of wildlife, fishing and canoeing activities. Just 15 minutes from the North Pembrokeshire coast and its blue flag beaches this area is one of the UKs best kept secrets. Pretty villages, sandy beaches, wild moorland and plenty of activities for all the family.

Each £45 pledge will be put in a hat and the winner drawn at 7pm on May 9th, just before the story SLAM.

About Us

Alison Royce is a performance Storyteller, art and story education project director with many years of designing and co- producing community events. Belinda Sosinowicz is a positive psychology and wellbeing consultant who designs and co- produces arts based projects addressing health and wellbeing. Anna Godsiff is trained in theatre and specialises in event management and production. Jamie Crawford has been telling traditional stories to people of all ages at theatres, festivals, schools and museums for over twenty years.

South London Story telling are a not- for profit community group in South London committed to develop a sustainable network of collaborative artists interested in community story telling.

We use both personal and traditional stories combined with different art forms such as visual art, sculpture, music and dance to develop projects that socially include the local community. Through the use of narrative and story we enable the building of relationships, sharing experiences, developing a sense of identity and helping people find their place in society.

 Follow our work on:

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We are grateful for your support and we look forward seeing you on the 9th May!


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