"When I lost something I'd taken for granted, I found something that I'd taken as given - the joy of story!"
Giles Abbott
"Voice is my vocation. I love connecting people with their natural voice!"

Leon Conrad

Giles Abbott
“When I lost something I'd taken for granted, I found something that I'd taken as given - the joy of story!”
Giles Abbott started storytelling in 1999 as a result of severe, but not total, sight-loss in 1998.

Giles qualified as a Voice Teacher (MA Voice Studies, CSSD) in early 2006 and taught voice to foundation and diploma drama students for Birkbeck College, University of London, and at Arts Ed.

He performs regularly at major storytelling festivals both in the UK and internationally. In 2007 he was awarded a British Telecom 'Speaking & Listening' Award for a project undertaken for Dubasha Foundation, using storytelling as a mechanism by which children of 3rd generation Guajarati descent were enabled to dramatically increase their confidence, pride and attainment in their bilingual ability. In 2013 he was nominated for a British Association of Storytelling Excellence award for 'Outstanding Storytelling Performance', 2013. In 2016, he received a standing ovation for his performance of 'East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon' at the Kathakar International Storytellers Festival in Delhi.

He has contributed to a number of programmes on BBC Radio 4 talking about his work recording stories for distribution amongst blind children in Calderdale, his experiences as a storyteller in performance and education and on the use of rhetorical structures in teaching. His poetry has been published in 'Dream Catcher' and 'The Spectator'. In 2012 he was commissioned to write 'Breaking the Wall', a poem set to music by talented young composer, Lloyd Coleman, which was performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and co-hosted 'The Talking Shop', a series of radio shows with Leon Conrad, about different aspects of storytelling. He worked as a narrative consultant to the Science Museum, London on the Making Modern Communications gallery, which opened in autumn 2014. He has written film scripts for 'ear films' and 'eye films' and been commissioned to craft and perform storytelling-based biographies of key historical figures such as Sir Richard Francis Burton, Allan Octavian Hume and Alexander Pope. "Tongues Of Flame", the story of R F Burton, was supported by Arts Council England. For 2016 he has again been commissioned by Arts Council England, this time to create a show about 17th Century poet Alexander Pope.

Leon Conrad
"Voice is my vocation. I love connecting people with their natural voice!"
Leon Conrad is a highly experienced voice-centred communication skills specialist who has run training courses in voice-centred communication skills for business for over 20 years. In 2007 he was poet-in-residence at the first Edinburgh Food Festival and was invited back to be poet-in-residence at the Pleasance Dome the following year. He has written and produced shows combining traditional storytelling and performance poetry which have been performed around the UK. These include performances based on the little-known and highly entertaining life of Aesop interspersed with some of his best-known fables, performances of stories from The Arabian Nights, and performances based on the life and work of Sir August Manns, a key figure in the development of musical life in Victorian England.

Leon is fluent in five languages (English, French, Italian, Russian and Arabic) and trains in all five. He has published several articles in academic journals and trade magazines on the subject of effective communication, and been interviewed on BBC Breakfast television as an expert in the subject. In 2012, he co-hosted 'The Talking Shop', a series of radio shows with Giles Abbott, about different aspects of storytelling. He is passionate about reviving the integrated approach to teaching the liberal arts, in particular the Trivium of logic, grammar and rhetoric.

Leon studied voice with The British Voice Association and at Princeton University. He holds a Master's Degree in the History of Design and Material Culture of the Renaissance from the Royal College of Art, and a graduate diploma from the Trinity College of Music in London. He is a City and Guilds Adult and Further Education Qualified Trainer, a Teaching Associate at The Negotiation Lab, specialising in effective communication techniques for negotiation, and between 2013 and 2015 has been exploring the links between mathematics, language and logic with Professor George Spencer-Brown. He has gone on to successfully apply Spencer-Brown's methodology to the practice of logic, and the analysis of story structures, looking at the close link between story structures and different types of problems. He draws on this approach to makes stories and their underlying structures come alive for the clients he works with.
Giles Abbott +44 (0)7900 244574
Leon Conrad +44 (0)7942 702010
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