Our next Stories on Stage guest is Clare Testoni and she’ll be performing a preview episode of her podcast, The Singing Bones (as well as taking part in an in-conversation and Q&A). Her podcast explores the histories of folktales and has more than 30,000 listeners worldwide. Clare is a writer, actor, and puppeteer with a strong interest in oral storytelling and the mythic in everyday life. She is a keen collector of folk tales, ghost stories, and urban legends.

Clare has created shadow puppets for Sam Longley in his show ‘Gareth of The Antarctic’ as well as for The Leichardt Espresso Chorus in Sydney, The State Library of NSW, NSW Writers Centre, and for her own show ‘Rusalka’ as part of 600 Seconds in 2016. In 2016 she directed two shows for WAYTCo, ‘Curbside’ a puppetry show of her own design for the Claremont Art Festival, and ‘Burnt’ in collaboration with Iona girls school.  As a performer, she has worked with Barking Gecko Theatre Company, ATYP, and Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (where she also teaches puppet making and performance to children).

Ahead of Stories on Stage, we thought we’d ask Clare a few very important questions.

What are your 5 favourite fairy tales?

  • “Godfather Death”
  • “The Gingerbread Prince”
  • “Molly Whuppie”
  • “The Twelve Huntsmen”
  • “The Parsley Girl” (Italian “Rapunzel”)

From Molly Whuppie, retold by Walter de la Mare and illustrated by Errol le Cain

Who are your 5 favourite fairy tale or folklore characters?

  • Baba Yaga
  • Strega Nonna
  • Fantaghiro
  • The Elf King (what a babe, I wouldn’t complain if he took me to fairyland …)
  • Death

Which are your 5 favourite films based on fairy tale or folklore?

  • The Company of Wolves
  • La Belle et la bête (1946, Jean Cocteau)
  • The Shape of Water
  • The Secret of Roan Inish 
  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

Jean Cocteau as the Beast in La Belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast) 1946

Which five books would you recommend to fairy tale converts?

  • The Beast and The Blonde – Marina Warner
  • Breaking The Magic Spell – Jack Zipes
  • The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  • The Swan Book – Alexis Wright
  • Uprooted – Naomi Novak

Which five podcasts would you recommend for fairy tale and folklore fans?

  • Feminist Folklore
  • The Mythology Podcast
  • Saffron and Peri
  • Astonishing Legends
  • Southern Grimoire

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