Huge thanks to Mick Sibley and Heidi Jeory for filming this clip.Spot Mick’s beautiful grandaughter Tess (Sleeping beauty herself!)
Take the internationally renowned duo Mary Kippenberger and Peter Charlton-Jones, mix in some fairytales, a bit of pantomime, slightly wicked songs, throw in costumes and a child or two and you have…RHUBARB!…interactive storytelling, music, fun and laughter for the whole family.
Husband and wife team, Mary Kippenberger and Peter Charlton-Jones have lived in Otane, Central Hawkes Bay for the past 22 years. Mary has been a professional storyteller since 1994 and Peter has played guitar from the age of 10. he is a little bit older than that now! They both have backgrounds in social work while Mary is a registered teacher and Peter an Anglican Minister. Six years ago both left their jobs to hit the road fulltime. If they are not wandering the globe telling tall stories to small people they are conducting workshops, drama classes, music festivals, presenting plays and concerts and recording music on their Otane property. Aside from these distractions Peter plays in a jazz band and a blues band and Mary debates or speaks after dinner.
They have four children and seven grandchildren. All seven of the grandchildren and their respective parents plus one brother and a spare nephew live on the farm with them. It is a happy crew!
We get so many gorgeous letters, this is one of my favourites…
To Mary and Peter
I like yor lovey storis they was brlent. Than yoo. I like the myoosic. I wish yoo came agen because are clas wal love yoo a specily me.
13th July at Te Rangi 212 Argyll Rd RD1 Otane Central Hawkes Bay 7pm
ph 06 8568367 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me tell you about the Gazebo Girls. I LOVE the Gazebo Girls. I could listen to their Americana Alt Country music for hours…and that’s why folks, that’s why we are holding a house concert for them here at Te Rangi. When I say house concert I of course mean our beautiful old double classroom affectionately known…and for good reason..affectionately known as RUMPY.
Penni and Janet’s powerful vocals, harmonies and muscianship will be supported by local band Cabin Fevre. Although new in composition this band is already causing a local stir and guess what…they play old time music too.
bring your good selves along
BYO bring a picnic basket if you like. we will have coffee, cold drinks and nummies for sale. the fire will roar and so will we with happy approval.
‘…one thing that really stood out for me (as well as the great storytelling and music) was the incredible job you did in giving meaningful feedback to the children who came up and participated. One often hears praise loosely banded about (the good job type comment) You didn’t give empty praise but real feedback and you could see the children swell with pride as a result. You spoke specifically about what they had done that made theirs a good performance and spoke in a meaningful way. It’s not always an easy thing to do and you did it so well. (just for the record neither of my children were ones who volunteered this time so I’m not just a biased parent!)
‘I would like to mention how great the workshop was. Before this experience I was not much of a singer and I would not even sing very loud at choir. Now I am very confident and I found it good that Emmie was not a very confident singer either so we learnt and grew together. I never thought a future in music was for me but i am now considering it and might even take music in year 10.’ Pupil year 8
‘I’m very glad I chose to be in music. i’ve never had a better day at school, honestly. the way you taught us was exciting, we weren’t hitched up on desk writing boring essays about how to write a song and how the recordings work. We were writing songs and playing instruments and having LOTS of fun and actually producing them. I just wanted to say that you are the best teacher I have EVER met.’ pupil year 8
Wanting my old Friend 1 An Mp3 file of a song from the workshop. Written and sung by two students in year 8 at Iona College. The violin on this track is played by a student who quickly understood the use of improvising.
All the students on the course wrote great songs. It was a privilege to be part of the day. So great to see the endeavor, the passion for the music,and the talent. Thanks for making your music alive. Peter C-J
‘When I was a kid rhubarb was something my dad cut from the garden to save money on breakfast and no amount of sugar on top could sweeten our palettes. It’s quite a turn-around for me to have become a fervent fan of rhubarb, and it took Mary Kippenberger storyteller/entertainer and her husband, Peter Charlton-Jones, musician, to (literally) change my tune.
As a duo they are Rhubarb, one of the finest storytelling teams I have ever come across. We were delighted to welcome them as guests at the main library today on a mini tour that is taking in the Cannon Creek and Whitby libraries as I write.
They perform infectiously interactive sets of traditional stories in untraditional ways. Wolves turn vegetarian, hunters lay down their guns. Before you know it half the audience are on stage in costumes and people are holding their sides lest they split from laughing. Rhubarb are the good stuff and with their backgrounds in social work both of them know how to bring out the good stuff in kids and their caregivers. The little words of encouragement Mary gives to every volunteer are placed in such a way that they validate a performer’s courage as well as appreciating their contribution.
From the smallest penguin ( who must have been 2) to the most seasoned wolf (one valiant grandfather) and with a collection of cows, monkeys, dogs and rabbits (to name just a few) thrown in, Rhubarb prove that the best stories can be further embellished with every subsequent mouth that learns to tell them. Humour, tunes and an invitation to move are the most useful tool any storyteller can weild, and Rhubard had their audience clapping and wriggling with glee as they dished out plenty of all today…’
‘Your concert performances were outstanding and lots of fun. You really are a fantastic storyteller Mary and Peter’s musical accompaniment was the perfect embellishment to your tales. You two have an amazing rapport and it really pays dividends when it comes to your performances. I don’t know who enjoyed the performances more, the children or the adults. I know I have never laughed so much in a long time, and I had lots of fun being a chicken on stage!
We know from feedback that you were most definately one of the highlights of the festival for many participants and we thank you so much for your input. Your contribution certainly helped make the 2010 Auckland Folk festival such a resounding success. You were great festival guests both on and off stage and I certainly hope we’ll see you back again.
Fantastic shows, you are so funny- so kind to children- so entertaining-so read the audience and respond 100% , managing to make everyone feel great- I loved each performance- you are both so amazing and talented and warm and wonderful.