GIANTS came about when Svend-Erik was recovering from a life saving operation after collapsing with an aortic dissection in 2016. The doctors suggested that the weakness in his aorta could be the result of a medical condition which affects very tall people. Discussion about what it means to be tall followed this. Alice and Svend-Erik, both very tall storytellers, began sharing their experiences of being unusually tall in the world. As storytellers they wanted to explore their ideas through myth and folktale, and the stories of giants.
Who were these great beings once said to roam the earth? How did they live? How did they love? Why were they feared? Why did they disappear?
GIANTS storytelling project was born.
In January 2017 we went to Mairi Campbell’s studio on the Isle of Lismore to begin our research and development.
In March 2017 we launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of the project. We raised nearly £3500 which helped us pay for publicity and marketing, research materials, rehearsal space, costumes, and enabled us to work with great musicians and teachers while developing the piece.
Our storytelling mentor Jan Blake, skilfully guided and supported us through our development process, helping us craft the piece and giving us invaluable coaching with our storytelling.
In April 2017 we performed GIANTS for the first time at The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh Scotland, with local musician Nicky Haire.
In June 2017 we piloted our children’s version of the show along with a workshop at Lawfield Primary School, Mayfield, Midlothian where the children had a fantastic time exploring the stories. Read a testimonial from Avril Roger, Lawfield Primary School.
Later in June 2017 GIANTS visited Kelburn Garden Party, where we told more of the GIANT stories for children.
In September 2017 we were part of TapRoot, Lismore’s Music and Literature Festival, where we performed our full length show for adults and our children’s show for pupils at Lismore Primary School. We also led a full day workshop with the children where we explored the story of Thor and his journey to meet the giants in Utgard.
In October 2017 we took our GIANT stories to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival where we performed them in the Royal Botanic Gardens as part of the Enchanted Garden Event.
We even created a GIANTS birthday party, filled with GIANT stories and GIANT party games.
In January 2018 we launched GIANTS International at Hvalsoe School in Denmark. A specially crafted version of GIANTS for English language learners which includes a performance and storytelling workshop in English.
Our work continues with plans to perform at TradFest 2018, and visits to schools in Tenerife, Spain in May.
We will be bringing the project to festivals, schools and businesses in the UK and around the world and spreading the joy of GIANTS wherever we go.