The Magic of Storytelling: Discover Tales From These Inspiring Storytellers

Love storytelling? From authors to screenwriters to performers and more, check out these howling storytellers and their visionary narratives.

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An open book with magic spilling out, with two book covers. One being Fleabag, the other being Galway Bay Folktales

The pure beauty of storytelling is how there are so significantly various forms of how to tell a story. From writers to live performers, storytelling is found in more individuals than you may think. We all love our chapter books and graphic novels flooded with absorbing stories, and as an audience, we can appreciate this piece of human creativity by thanking these creators themselves. Storytellers come in all shapes and forms, including authors, actors, illustrators, and live narrators. In this article, we will be looking at astonishing storytellers who may captivate your tell-tale curiosities.

Rab Fulton

I first want to talk about the fabulous storyteller Rab Fulton. This incredible Celtic storyteller inspired me to join the world of storytelling. Fulton is a children’s book and poetry author who has recreated outstanding folkloric stories of Celtic tales. One of his books, Galway Bay Folktalesis a fantastic example of his incredible power of storytelling. The book immerses the reader in powerful Irish legends and myths that will stick with you for years to come. However, he is most popular for his live performances. 

Front cover of Rab Fulton's Galway Bay Folk Tales, showing a swan and human creature stanind in front of a wooded forrest.

Fulton is a master at his live performances where he brings his audience into a world of fairytales and legends you will have never heard of. He performs almost every week at the Celtic Tales in Galway City. Every show, he has a new topic of pure imaginative folklore, and it is one performance you will not want to miss.

If you ever find yourself in Ireland, be sure to stop at the Crane Bar in Galway City for one of his wonderous shows. You will not want to miss the stupendous production of Rab’s magical storytelling. Or check out Fulton’s Celtic Tale Chronicles Podcast where he deep dives into fascinating tales of Ireland’s Wild West Coast, along with his magnificent co-host, Kerry Graham.

Edmund Lenihan

Eddie Lenihan has been called one of the greatest Irish storytellers in history. His imaginative mind intertwines with some of the most valued Irish folkloric tales. Though the appreciation of Irish folklore is slowly fading, Lenihan is one of the few who significantly pursues these dying stories and pushes to save their existence through his fantastic storytelling skills. As a writer and live performer, Lenihan has dedicated his life to helping immerse diverse communities into the world of Irish tales.

Front Cover of Edmund Lenihan's Meeting the Other Crowd, showing a bushy path full of empty trees.

He is well known for saving a historic fairy tree from being demolished for highway space in County Clare. Lenihan made it clear that the results of the tree being destroyed will cause a curse to those around it. With the help of the Irish community, he saved the tree and its historical tales from its untimely end. Other than his great efforts to save this tree, Lenihan’s fantastic efforts to save Irish folklore have blossomed into over 20 published books and countless live storytelling performances.

Many of his books are for younger audiences to encourage younger folk to keep the spirit of Irish folklore alive and breathing. His entire collection is extremely well-formative and substantially exhibits his efforts to spread Irish tales across the globe. If you are interested in his work, I recommend starting with Meeting the Other CrowdThis magical book will help guide you into the magical world of fairy life and its significant existence in our everyday culture. Or check out Lenihan’s podcast, Tell Me A Story, where you will hear Lenihan’s supernaturalistic stories of the past and monthly Irish legends.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

You may have heard of the English actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge from her 2016 dark comedy, Fleabag. If you have not seen this treasured series, the television program follows the story of a London-based woman who must make it through her everyday life after dealing with a tragic event. The main character, Fleabag, is played by the writer herself, Phoebe.

I have seen many TV series before, but this show is one of the best performances I have seen, specifically in terms of storytelling. While shooting, Fleabag is aware of the audience and breaks the fourth wall by narrating all her thoughts and feelings. Her surrounding characters are unaware of the audience, causing you to grow somewhat of a relationship with Fleabag. You feel like you are there with her and as if you are part of the story.

Front cover of Pheobe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag, showing a person with hands covering her hair and face.

After her successful show skyrocketed in the media, Waller-Bridge branched out her story by creating a live performance version. This production was a one-woman show, and its popularity sparked into a film version that hit the big screens in 2019. The film is currently out of theaters. However, there will be a few replays in a few theaters across the East Coast of the U.S. in the upcoming year. It is also on various streaming services.

The show was also released as a paperback version in 2019, and the novel includes actual scripts with Waller-Bridge’s commentary. Whether you try the show, the live performance, or the book, Waller-Bridge will NOT disappoint you. To be completely honest, any person I have recommended Fleabag to has obsessed over Waller-Bridge’s performance, and I strongly encourage you to give her powerful storytelling a chance. 

Phoebe Smith

Phoebe Smith is a worldwide traveler who is best known for her substantial writing skills. With over 10 books published and still more to come (including her new book Wayfarer: Love, Loss, and Life on Britain’s Ancient Paths, coming out this March), Smith is perceptive of her willingness for adventure. She has dedicated her life to new experiences, and while on her quest to discovery, she brings along her audience.

Smith is a travel podcaster with her own show titled Wanderwoman. In her podcast, she dissects her breakthroughs while traveling and every hidden nook she unearths. She is also well known for her photography work, as she loves to capture the hidden beauty of copious cultures. 

Front Cover of Pheobe Smith's Wayfarer:Love, Loss, and Life on Britain's Ancient Paths showing a blue and pink sunset with a person walking down a sidewalk.

Though these achievements are monumental enough, Smith is mostly known for her sleep storytelling. This is a specific type of storytelling where viewers will listen solely for the help of their sleep. Some may use music or calming sounds to help themselves fall into their slumber, however, some writers like Phoebe Smith will make soothing storytelling content for those story lovers who need help snoozing. I like to think of it as a bedtime story for adults, and stories from writers like Phoebe Smith are the ideal media to ingest. Her folkloric stories will bring you pure peace as you drift away to dreamland.

Her content can be found on Calm, and I recommend giving her a listen if you are looking for a gentle slow-burn storyteller.

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