The Stranger's Voice

Once upon a time….
The oral cultures of pre-literate societies were replete with rich traditions of storytelling and the United Kingdom is no exception. In all corners of the realm there are local myths, legends and tales which represent deep unchanging aspects of their regions. Roger Jerome presents this program, using his skills in dramatic presentation and in rendering local dialect. Each story is told in its authentic regional accent, giving an authenticity which would otherwise be missed. The program will be a selection of the following:
  • TAM LIN – Scotland’s most famous folk-tale, from the Lowlands, has themes of lost children, magic and a setting at Hallowe’en;
  • THE HORSE’S EGG – a country v. city tale, this is told twice, once in Sussex dialect and again from the point of view of the Cockney traveler;
  • THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER – set in the dales of Yorkshire, this is a story which describes the making of a geographical feature – Semmerwater.
  • WHERE ARTHUR SLEEPS – the worldwide theme of the dead king who will return is set here in South Wales;
  • THE THREE SILLIES – a tale which is found widely on both sides of the Atlantic, recounted here in rich Devonian accent;
  • THE FARMER AND THE BOGGART – from Lincolnshire, in which a wily farmer bests the violent, threatening creature;
  • ULSTER’S RED HAND – the founding myth of the ‘other’ Ireland, couched in Ian Paisley’s strong upward inflections;
  • THE CLICKING TOAD – more upward inflections with a foolish village in the West Midlands, where Enoch and Eli make an appearance.

The overall theme of the program is that of a stranger in a community. Jerome finds that his own English voice makes him a foreigner wherever he travels in the USA and each story uses the tension and interest occasioned by a person who sounds different.

ADDED BONUS – Jerome teaches the audience a number of traditional British songs, e.g. “On Ilkley Moor Bar T’At”; “Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner”.

FURTHER BONUS – Jerome demonstrates how the flag of the United Kingdom was built and its strange omissions.

Performed since 1993 in schools, colleges, art centers, theatres, retirement communities and libraries, this program has wide appeal, from five to eighty-five year olds.