Snail Tales was founded in 2007 by storytellers Amy Robinson and Chip Colquhoun, the vision being an organisation that would share the art of storytelling with others – and encourage them to start telling too.
Amy and Chip’s experience developed quickly – as did their use of other arts such as puppetry, ventriloquism and songwriting. By 2009, they had developed a series of workshops for schools with Arts Council funding that would later form the basis of their research with the EU Lifelong Learning Programme in 2013.
By that same year, they had also produced their first of five family touring productions, also with Arts Council funding, and begun working with many other talented storytellers and artists on an exciting variety of heritage, church, education, and theatrical projects.
These days, Snail Tales is most famous for three things. First, it produces family storytelling shows with an insatiably high level of audience participation, even in development (every one of their theatre shows contains stories created by children aged 7–11).
Second, in 2011 Amy and Chip became the face of the Oxford Reading Tree’s Traditional Tales series, recording their storytelling as part of free online resource materials that made their fun versions of stories such as “Little Red Hen” and “The Big Carrot” renowned around the world.
And finally, Snail Tales has taken the lead in developing projects to find quantitative support for the benefits of storytelling in education. The first of these, funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme in 2013, was referenced by UK Minister of State for Schools Nick Gibb MP during National Storytelling Week 2016, and is now being developed further with the support of the Diocese of Ely and the University of Cambridge.