LAOS STORYTELLING EXCHANGE
In 2016 Polly received funding from Arts Council England and the British Council to undertake an international exchange with Garavek Storytelling Theater in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Polly travelled to Luang Prabang in Spring 2017 to share tales tied to landscape with Lao storyteller, Siphai Thammavong and to research the living culture of traditional storytelling in rural villages in Luang Prabang Province. She and Siphai travelled to remote communities to exchange stories with village elders and ran storytelling workshops with young people in Luang Prabang city. They then wove Lao and British stories together into an hour long collaborative storytelling show, working-titled Spirit House, performed to a Lao and English-speaking audience at Garavek Storytelling Theater.
In the Autumn of that year, Siphai visited Polly in the UK to exchange tales with Bristol elders on walks through Bristol's green spaces and to share the evolving show with British audiences in Bath, Bristol, Nottingham and Birmingham.
Polly and Siphai's explorations expanded both their storytelling repertoire and their understanding of tales tied to landscape and the potential of those stories to travel, to communicate culture and tradition, and to create relationships between people and nature across the globe.