Sarah Mayhew Craddock is a mum about town

What’s the story Jackanory?” That’s what my mum would say when I begged her to read me another story.

Stories are magical, aren’t they? Transportative. I love them, and always have done.

Seeing a storyteller perched on the end of your bed in the dim light, their face contorting and voice morphing as they skip between characters and you drift off into an other-worldly slumber taking those characters with you.

As a child I was convinced that I had been Roberta from The Railway Children in a previous life.

Once upon a time there was a city packed to the brim with stories for young and old alike... and we live in it!

We’re so lucky that there are people in Oxford who are passionate about storytelling, bringing stories to life, and stimulating children’s interest in reading.

Both The Story Museum and Creation Theatre Company do exactly that.

Each week The Story Museum invites the under-threes to explore a different story in its ABC... Story! sessions. Exploring all of the senses every session includes a welcome, a story, stay-and-play time and an activity varying from messy play, movement to creative play.

Some of the upcoming seasonal stories include: Winter Poems, The Polar Express and The Little Reindeer. They’ve also got a Reading Allowed! Marathon of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe coming up on November 30. Visitors can trot along (like the White Witch’s minotaurs) to hear the entire story read aloud by actors between 11.15am and 4pm in this free, drop-in event.

Last week Creation Theatre Company announced that the weasels are in Toad Hall (aka The North Wall Arts Centre) and Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad are driving the wild-wooders back where they belong this winter!

Creation’s Christmas production will be an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows and best of all (for those people with young families or family members with autistic, sensory or communication conditions), it’s completely inclusive.

I feel passionately about accessibility in the arts so I was heartened to hear that Creation is putting on its second Relaxed Performance on January 2.

During the Relaxed Performance the atmosphere in the theatre will be made less intense making the performance perfect for young children, babies and anyone who would usually shy away from public performances.

There’ll even be a chance to be introduced to the actors before the performance starts in order to avoid the surprise of seeing a man making like a mole!

And they all lived happily ever after.

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