“Listen, little Ella, draw your chair up close…
tell you a story” F Scott Fitzgerald
It’s the oldest temptation, right? Not
gold, or the power that it can buy; not love nor the deep fires of passion – what we can never resist is knowledge.
Not just any knowledge either, oh no, but the secret hidden knowledge of the ancients. A knowledge as seductive and treacherous
as a will o’ the wisp glimmering through dark forest branches….
As old as mankind itself, the art of a good story can be a defining moment in our lives and is characteristic of
every culture throughout time. We all tell stories, and somehow we just wouldn’t be human if we had
no more stories to tell and stopped this life giving and culturally affirming action. From the bedtime stories we read our
children through to the horror stories we read just before we go to bed – our lives just aren’t complete without
a story every day. In fact one of my favourite quotes is from the American poet Muriel Rukseyser who says: “The universe
is made of stories, not atoms.”
of the best evidence we have for the history of storytelling is at the beginning of the Indian Epic Mahabharata: “If
you listen (to the tale) carefully, at the end you will be someone else.”
The wonder and delight of
a good story immerses you completely in the tale and can quite literally transport you on a magical journey (think the Polar
Express or Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz for example) and nowhere is this more true than in the World of Wizard’s
Thatch in Stratford’s Henley Street.
From the moment you enter the small frontage of the Creaky Cauldron
and Magic Alley and discover the wonderfully themed retail space opening up in front of you, the fabulously old fashioned
café called the Golden Broomstick and the Enchanted Manor Museum you are totally immersed in this enchanting world.
And it’s definitely bigger on the inside!
Rebranded as part of our 25th birthday celebrations, the
whole building (all three floors) is a world of storytelling based on the Chronicles of Wizard’s Thatch series of books
– a series of adventures written primarily for children but suitable for all involving a girl called Alice, a famous
Victorian detective, a vampire, a time travelling wizard and the Bard of Avon himself, the great Will Shakespeare.
And if you can’t learn something about storytelling from the greatest writer in the English language, then
someone must have turned your life support off!
The World of Wizard’s Thatch including the Creaky Cauldron,
Magic Alley, the Golden Broomstick Café and the Enchanted Manor Museum can be found at the top end of Henley Street
by the main entrance to Shakespeare’s Birthplace and is open every day except Christmas Day.
You can call us on 01789 290969, follow us on twitter (see below) or click any of the images for more
details about our business.