Thursday 24 November: The Russian Forest: the landscape of Russian fairytales with ‘Babayaga’s Daughter’

Performance Event

Centre for Myth Studies

University of Essex

Thursday 24 November, at 12.00 in Room NTC.2.06

The Russian Forest: the landscape of Russian fairytales with ‘Babayaga’s Daughter’

Sally Pomme Clayton

We are delighted to welcome storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton for a special performance event on the landscape of Russian fairytales and the figure of Babayaga


‘Babayaga’ illustration by Russian artist Dmitri Mitrokhin for Arthur Ransome’s Old Peter’s Russian Tales (1916)

Performance storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton will tell ‘Babayaga’s daughter’ – her version of a dark Russian fairytale. Her story is an exploration of the Russian forest – the landscape of Russian fairytales. The forest is where all leading characters go. There they meet the wild Babayaga and face dangerous tasks. The story will be a starting point to discuss the reoccurring motifs and images linked to the Russian fairytale forest and explore their meanings. Suggested readings for this special performance event are two stories contained in Alexsander Afanas’ev’s collection of Russian Fairytales (trans. by Norbert Guterman. New York: Pantheon Books, 1946): ‘Prince Danila Govorila’ and ‘Vasilisa the Beautiful’.

Sally Pomme Clayton is a pioneering storyteller and writer. She co-founded The Company of Storytellers with Ben Haggarty and Hugh Lupton (1985). Together they created ground-breaking storytelling performances, spearheading storytelling for adult audiences across the UK. Recent performances have been at Beyond the Border Storytelling festival, The Wellcome Collection, The Athens Storytelling Festival, The Royal Opera House, Northern Stage, Soho Theatre, Lancaster Lit Fest, and with The British Council in Jordan. She was Artist in Residence at The Swedenborg Society making daring performance ‘Night Visit’ combining narrative with digital images and sound. She has created storytelling performances with The London Gypsy Orchestra, Joglaresa, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Shakespeare Company. She was commissioned by The British Museum to create and perform six stories for ‘A History of the world in 100 objects’ (2010). She has published several children’s books, her most recent is Greek Myths: stories of sun, stone and sea (Frances Lincoln, 2014). She lectured on World oral traditions at Middlesex University from 1992-2008, and at Rose Bruford College 2009-2015.

“Some people are born to entertain. It’s a special kind of magic. Sally Pomme Clayton has that magic in plenty – she is a dream-weaver, a spell-binder.” The Londonist


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4 Responses to Thursday 24 November: The Russian Forest: the landscape of Russian fairytales with ‘Babayaga’s Daughter’

  1. Pingback: Sally Pomme Clayton » Spoken word – Written word » News and Events

  2. Pingback: Sally Pomme Clayton on Babayaga and the Russian Forest | Essex Myth

  3. I am so grateful for these essays. Are the actual presentations available to be heard or read. And can I become a subscriber to this blog. Laura Simms

  4. ὑποκείμενον says:

    Many thanks for your message, Laura.

    Unfortunately we do not have recordings or transcriptions of the presentations. We do, however, have a handful of longer ‘guest blogs’ that you can find by selecting the ‘Guest Blogging’ category:
    And some conference / seminar reports:

    You can indeed subscribe, and I’m grateful for the question, because it made me realise that we hadn’t set up the ‘Follow Blog’ buttons — I thought they were already there! I have added them to the right-hand panel.

    Thanks again for your interest,


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