It was wonderful to resume my Hallowe’en residency at Blenheim Palace this year after missing out to the pandemic in 2020. I’ve been doing Spooky Storytelling for families at Blenheim for seven years now, as part of their half-term Hallowe’en celebrations. Usually I am in the Stables, but there is a fabulous new permanent exhibition in there now, showcasing the role of horses on the estate through the centuries.
So this year I was in my new home: another stable room, festooned with cobwebs, green fairy lights and a wild assortment of bats, crows, spiders, headstones, manacles, skeletons, zombie mannequins and pumpkin lanterns. The kids adored it.
Five shows a day for nine days takes a bit of stamina, but it was truly joyous this year. Some of the families have seen me perform every year, so there’s always a warm welcome. I love making up new Hallowe’en-themed songs and rhymes too; this year 1-2-3 What Can You see? joined In A Wood Was a House and I Don’t Want to be a Zombie as a new family favourite. I especially enjoyed telling The Witch’s Finger for older children, and have never laughed so much during The Pumpkin Giant as I did this year. Everyone was just so happy to be there, enjoying stories in the company of others. I honestly think we all managed to forget our troubles for a while in that magical darkened room.