Shakespeare's Telling Tales: Rob Lloyd Jones

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On Saturday, I went to the Globe Theatre for their ‘Shakespeare’s Telling Tales’ festival. The atmosphere was wonderful and I was very excited to be attending two events. Whilst waiting for the first, I wandered round ‘Bottom’s Book Market’, a lovely area created for people to gather and enjoy sharing stories and watch events like Tudor costuming.

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Tales on Moon Lane were responsible for a bookshop in the middle of Bottom’s Book Market, selling copies of books by the authors appearing at this family storytelling festival. I might have been tempted to buy one or two things..!

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My first event was listening to Rob Lloyd Jones, author of ‘Wild Boy’ and the ‘Jake Atlas’ books. Full of enthusiasm for history and writing, he explained how he didn’t really read as a child- he was a ‘reluctant’ reader- but that he enjoyed telling stories, or ‘lying’ as he put it! People seemed to like the stories he told so he felt that this might be something he would enjoy doing.

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Rob spoke with great enthusiasm about television programmes and the films he enjoyed when he was younger (and now!) and how important he feels they are to storytelling. His parents tapped into this love to encourage him to start reading- and it worked!

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Talking about where his ideas for stories come from, Rob told us about a chance visit he made to the Hunterian Museum. Here, he saw lots of anatomical specimens and amongst them, the skeleton of a gentleman known as the ‘Irish giant’, called Charles Byrne who was exhibited as a ‘freak’ at side shows. This led Rob to start researching these Victorian shows and the idea for his book, ‘Wild Boy’ came to him. It was fascinating to hear how a chance visit to somewhere could lead to the creation of such an excellent story.

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Rob’s fascination with Egyptology was the inspiration behind his exciting ‘Jake Atlas’ series of books which were much enjoyed by some of my last year’s class. With three books already published, we were told that the fourth - and last- adventure for Jake and his family would be following soon. There were lots of questions at the end of the session, showing just how engaged the audience had been.

A fascinating event in a fabulous location!

You can read our review of ‘Jake Atlas and the Emerald Snake’ here.