RACHEL ROSE REID
Description of Work
Dubbed "the Queen of the New Wave of storytellers" by BBC Radio 3, Rachel bridges between folk tradition and contemporary spoken word and, occasionally, re-invented ritual. Since winning UK Young Storyteller of the Year, her eclectic style has led her to write and perform with an equally eclectic range of artists and artmakers from Billy Bragg to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Currently, she is a Writer in Residence for the Dickens 2012 Bicentenary and Creative in Residence for the English Folk Dance and Song Society, where she is exploring the meeting place between her Jewish identity, English folk traditions and urban upbringing.
Rachel lives by the sea for a couple of days a week, spends the rest of her time in London, and co-founded the city's Moishe House. She likes 5 Rhythms, firesides, thai green curry and all those topics of conversation that are meant to be 'taboo' in polite society. Her artistic practice combines story, ritual, theatre, community engagement, spokenword and song, making vibrant reinterpretations of buried history and folk arts. She performs on the UK poetry circuit, and has created commissions for BBC Radio, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Billy Bragg and the Dickens Museum. Recently, she's integrated her community and arts practices. In both types of work she gets great pleasure from dissolving boundaries. Recent works include: 'I'm Hans Christian Andersen': A storytelling show that uncovers bittersweet truths behind Andersen's fairytales and our own modern obsessions with "happily ever after"; 'Willesden Green Wassail': An annual re-appropriation of an ancient English custom. Whereas people normally sing in apple orchards, her 200 or so participants parade through the streets, singing to local shopkeepers, entertained enroute by rappers and traditional storytellers; 'Cena de los Muertos': A collaboration with a Mexican artist. They facilitate a ritual meal that enables people to share memories of people no longer alive, giving them a taste of the vibrant Mexican relationship with love and loss; 'Tree in the Road': New performance and outreach projects, exploring the relationship between traditional stories and folklore experienced by recent immigrants, descendants of immigrants (including Rachel herself!) and long-time Brits, now all living in the urban jungle.
"I'm Hans Christian Andersen"