International storyteller finds perfect base on the Coast
From his base in Greymouth, international storyteller Andrew Wright reaches the world while enjoying the lifestyle benefits of living on the West Coast.
Under the banner of his company International Storytelling Ltd., Andrew will share his stories throughout this year with tens of thousands of listeners from countries as diverse and widespread as – Spain, Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, China, Italy, Germany, Austria, Malaysia and Singapore.
Andrew and his wife, Liz, relocated from Perth, Australia to Greymouth five years ago. He says the West Coast is the perfect base for his storytelling company.
“I spend much of my performance time in large cities like Madrid, Shanghai or Warsaw, so returning to the beauty and lifestyle of the West Coast is always an uplifting experience.
“With excellent internet connections and an international airport just over the hill, I am able to reach anywhere in the world whilst enjoying all the benefits of a West Coast lifestyle.”
Having spent over 25 years telling stories to audiences in schools, theatres and festivals across the world, Andrew is renowned for his lively style of storytelling that includes personal narratives of his New Zealand childhood. He also performs folktales and horror stories suitable for all ages.
“Many of my stories have grown out of the exceptional experience of growing up in New Zealand with a blind mother.
“Today I tell these stories all around the world and they are a fabulous reminder that no matter what culture we come from or what generation we belong to – the joys and tribulations of childhood are universal.
“All of us can remember the excitement of scoring the winning try, or the embarrassment of wetting our pants. Stories help us to transcend cultural differences and to share our joint humanity.”
Through his company, Andrew takes stories from New Zealand’s wider history and the history of the West Coast out to the world.
“Other countries are fascinated by this rather unique country at the bottom of the world. Our struggles and our triumphs, the difficulties we have faced and an honest appraisal of our history – the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Woven through his stories of New Zealand life and history are folktales drawn from all corners of the planet that Andrew believes reinforce the messages of our past, celebrate our common humanity, and pass on the wisdom of our ancestors.
Andrew’s world of story is a world inhabited by characters both real and imagined.
“From grandfathers with terribly scared legs, to strict catholic nuns, from patupaiarehe to taniwha, with dragons, hippos, tigers, rabbits and the occasional phoenix. These characters leap into the hearts and minds of the listeners.”
Andrew says he couldn't ask for a better place to create stories than from living on the West Coast.
“The West Coast provides an ideal locale for the development of the artistic and the imaginary.
“The icy breath of the ‘Barber’ is like some somnolent beast breathing down the river. The rolling, dancing mist creeping through the bush – harbouring the hidden patupaiarehe. The crashing waves of the ocean and the playful seals that could be selkies.
“All of these images of my daily life on the Coast feed my stories that I tell around the world.”
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