Marion has been working as a professional storyteller since 1994,performing to audiences of all ages extensively throughout Scotland, the UK, and internationally at festivals in New Zealand Australia and Uzbekistan.
She tells the Celtic epic tales from Scotland and Ireland, also folk tales, wonder tales, myths, historical stories from all corners of the Globe. She accompanies stories with harps, flutes, and instruments she has picked up on her extensive travels. Marion has performed in venues that have ranged from a campfire in the Australian outback, to the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle. She performs site specific shows in Museums, Galleries, libraries, botanical gardens, in the landscape, and works in educational settings.
“Kenny effortlessly transfixes the audience with her magnetic presence and conversational style” – Julie Dawson, TVBOMB
A pioneer of educational and interpretative storytelling in museums, galleries and heritage sites in Scotland, Marion regularly works for the education and events departments such as The National Museums of Scotland, The National Galleries of Scotland, Historic Scotland, The National Trust,The National libraries of Scotland, The Royal Botanical gardens, as well as numerous smaller regional museums, galleries and libraries.
She was awarded the post of Storyteller in residence for the National Museums of Scotland in 2006 and also held a residency at Edinburgh castle for Historic Scotland in 2007. Marion also worked for several years with Edinburgh Art’s festival creating storytelling tours and educational programmes. She has worked closely with curators to build up handling collections to accompany storytelling performances and educational programmes.
Marion is presently working with the Queens Gallery at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. She is collaborating with Education officer Alison Campbell and artist Lisa Fleming undertaking a residency with local schools for the Great Art Quest for the Princes Trust. Marion is a qualified Arts Award advisor.
Storytelling in schools
School performances remain a key part of Marion’s work, and she is experienced performing and leading workshops with nursery children through to senior school students. She has also worked as a visiting lecturer at colleges, and Aberdeen University in storytelling and the arts within the curriculum.
Her workshops involve children in retelling traditional tales, accompanying them with music, dramatising them within and between year groups.
With residencies Marion has facilitated children to make their own CDs of music and stories as well as creating their own books. She also has a particular interest in picture storytelling and how images can be used to support oral storytelling.
Marion enjoys collaborating with other artists such as film-makers, costume designers, dancers and photographers within educational settings and has recently worked with the National Youth Theatre of Wales helping then to devise their production for summer 2012.
She has regularly run CPD sessions for schools and colleges.
“I vividly remember when we arrived to the soothing sounds of Marion playing her harp and the mesmerising effect this had on me, my colleagues and the children. My class are brilliant listeners but this was on another level. Their focus on the music and Marion’s storytelling was absolute. Months on from the trip and the children are still able to recall all sorts of details from the story that I as an adult often overlook.”
Ian Holden, teacher, Forthview Primary School
Storytelling with therapeutic intent
Marion has worked with a number of vulnerable groups and partner organisations including adults and young people with mental health problems, with learning difficulties and special needs.
Marion has held residences with Artlink delivering storytelling music and dance session with many groups. She also worked for six months at The Orchard Clinic, Royal Edinburgh Hospital Edinburgh 2007/2008 on a project called Space for Stories. Based at the Orchard Clinic, a medium secure unit for offenders experiencing a range of severe psychiatric problems, she worked alongside storyteller Millie Gray, with a group of ten patients using storytelling, reminiscence group discussion and music to encourage oral communication, self confidence and ability to participate in regular group activity.