Alan Whittaker provides a wide range of expertly crafted chaos, which is sure to enthrall all audiences.
A storyteller like no other weaving traditional storytelling with madcap posing and stand up comedy riffing taking the listener from here to there and back again at break neck speed with panache and a fine sense of the ridiculous.
Drawing on traditional subjects and stories from all over the world and his native Cumbria his tales are peopled with fools and heroes, King Arthur, Odysseus, Beowulf, and Borrowdale Gowks. Reworkings of classic fairytales and completely new wild imaginings such as the charming “Cottage At The Beginning And End Of Time”.
Given a space to perform, out of doors with a warm sun and dry grass for audience to sit down relax and just be taken on an incredible and hilariously funny magic filled journey by Wizardmarra, often with members of the audience being called upon to perform in the piece, or to somehow be involved by him as he interacts with the crowd in a delightful way.
As someone once said “It’s like radio with the pictures and all the lights on!”
The harmonica playing blues singing legend who will engage anyone he encounters and regale them with tales of his life working with musical greats, serenade them with music and song often extemporising a song just for them.
More than just a puppet, bluesmonkey is a completely original walkabout act and one who can also hold his own as a static stage based act too.
Born in 1954 in the then County of Westmorland, to Frank and Dorothy the fourth child and third son; Alan. Who then, raised on Goons, Doctor Who and copious love went on, after an unspectacular schooling and an almost legendary number of failed jobs to somehow obtain an Honours Degree in Sculpture from W.S.C.A.D, Farnham, at roughly the same time through working with Welfare State International he also became an actor and street entertainer. So concurrent to having his work exhibited alongside luminaries such as Damien Hirst and Rachel Whiteread, he was also fire eating and performing comedy magic on the streets of England.
Later years saw his sculpture “Dragonfly” a unique artwork sited on a platform floating on Derwentwater (the only piece of sculpture ever to have been insured by the famous shipping underwriters Lloyds of London) when he was also founding (with Carol Jamieson) the touring theatre company Motley Vagabond in West Cumbria performing Shakespeare around the County and working with Ali McCaw of Changeling Productions on The Carlisle Mystery Plays and Dreams of Beasts (playing the lead role of William The Carver). Both staged in Carlisle Cathedral, Wyrd Arts with their street production of King Kong (playing Carl Denham filming a twelve foot high Kong on the streets of Manchester and elsewhere). It was with Changeling Productions that he first became a storyteller and puppeteer and it was that that gave rise to... Wizardmarra.
As the storyteller Wizardmarra, Alan is in his Dharma and has told tales everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to The West Cumbrian Holstein Breeders Association Christmas dinner. He performs regularly at Stainsby Festival where he also hosts an open mic stage. For his tales as many before him he never lets facts get in the way of a good story, though facts aplenty are in there too. His stories take you from the authentic Cumbrian landscape and folklore with tales of King Arthur and The Riddling Giant, ancient Greece through the eyes of Odysseus and to meet the little old man and woman who live at the beginning and end of time and many more.
...and bluesmonkey his walkabout blues harmonica playing puppet bluesmonkey, this seriously madcap puppet hilariously afflicted with some deep seated issues and bad case of the blooze!.
Latterly he created and ran (until 2010) the iconic Drystone Stage for Solfest, and he currently runs The Jack in the Green stage for Nuts In May Festival and is resident M.C. for the Black Barn Stage at Off The Tracks Spring and Summer festivals.
For 2014 he is currently developing “Wizardmarra’s Magic Lantern Show” an indoor presentation of authentic Cumbrian stories seasoned with liberal dose of the original “Greatest Liar In The World” Will Ritsons’ and Wizardmarras belief of “never letting facts get in the way of good story”, and another walkabout character that involves a mildly incontinent sheep.
Whatever your event, make it truly magical with The Wizardmarra.
With an entire career dedicated to entertaining audiences of all types, you can be sure that The Wizardmarra will bring an informal yet professional touch. So whether it is a festival, corporate conference, awards ceremony, concert, fete or a fun-day; a range of services can be tailored for your needs; as an Entertainer, Master of Ceremonies, Compare, Curator, Walkabout Entertainer, Storyteller and more.
He is also available to programme an entire event or stage utilising his vast range of contacts for acts and technical services.
Storytelling sessions range from £250 for a one hour set.
Master of Ceremonies / Compare from
£150 for up to three days
Travel expenses of £15 per 100 miles and accommodation for two may also be required (or camping and parking at festivals) for storytelling, walkabout and compare bookings.
Special rates are available for festival or event bookings over two or more days.
Email or call now to request a no obligation quote for your event.
Experienced promoter of new and independent musicians.
As well as being a skilled storyteller and performance artist Alan also has years of experience as a music promoter having created and curated The Drystone Stage at Solfest (until 2010), currently running The Jack in the Green Stage at Nuts in May Festival and resident compere on the new Black Barn Stage at Off the Tracks Festival.
He is always happy to hear from musicians seeking opportunities to perform and through his regular podcast can bring their music to a wider audience.
Whether you're organising an event or wanting to submit a demo for consideration on one of the stages he curates, contact Alan Whittaker now, for a professional and personal service.