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John Wheeler

Book John Wheeler

In stories of cunning, compassion, discovery and magic in the ‘real’ world, John tells of earth, sea and sky, tricksters, fools and elders, courageous girls and unlikely heroes. This is traditional storytelling, coloured by John’s theatre work and background in music, with enough time between the tales for a blether.

John’s repertoire of tales is an international collection of legend, myth, folk tale, history and fable, mostly from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Greece, the Middle East and Japan, chosen to suit the occasion, audience, date, place and whatever else is relevant on the day. John’s tendency to ‘become’ his character and make music with whistle, mouth-harp or voice is particularly appreciated by those with deafness, ADS or other differences. Happy with nursery upwards, he prefers sharing with 9 to 17- year-olds who keenly engage with the challenges, quandaries and questions of honour that often feature in myth and legend.

John started life in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire in 1946. Granny and father were the family storytellers, and everybody sang. He later discovered the hills of Dyfed and was caught by the magic of the Old Language and the world of Mabinogion. In 1980, he and his young family arrived in Galloway where he lived on, and worked, the land while setting up Hatrick & Friends, which he still directs.

It was his children’s enthusiasm for oral stories that paved his way to becoming a professional teller in 1991. Using public transport where possible, John travels far and wide working with adults and children at national and local festivals, ceilidhs, libraries, universities, care homes, castles and schools, around fires, indoors and out, in Scotland and further afield. John is a member of Equity and previous appearances include Edinburgh International Book Festivals and Scottish International Storytelling Festivals.

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