Our Story

James Little is a playful storyteller who adapts classic stories into an accessible way for modern audiences, he tells to adults and children alike and uses his East 15 training to take listeners on journeys to new places and unfamiliar waters. He also gets young children involved through song, dance and movement and is happy to prepare stories for a certain theme or event.



Gill West crafts poignant and comedic poetry, often creating and inhabiting complex characters, dialects and personalities with apparent ease. Her work has been performed at multiple festivals across the area as well as London's prestigious "Forget What You Heard" night.' Covent Garden's Poetry Cafe and Cafe Karamel. Her well loved one woman shows are master classes in story telling through verse and if you are lucky enough to catch one of these you will have your preconceptions about what can be done through the medium of Spoken word challenged. Gill constantly pushes the envelope of what can be achieved as a performance poet. Armed only with a microphone, a mouth and few minutes of your time, she will take you on a journey you are unlikely to forget.


Performance Poet

Jacqueline Johnson is a writer, creator and explorer of stories. Her fascination with text and the cultural and historical appropriation of stories has led her in various directions through the fields of fiction, poetry, history, science, anthropology, performance and art. She is the founder and director of Jacqson Diego Story Emporium, and has written, created and led projects for children and adults across different disciplines, both in the UK and further afield. Jacqueline’s work has been both published and performed, she is a member of the National Association of Writers in Education and holds a PhD from the University of London.




Peter Optical is a multi-talented entertainer. With over 35 years experience in Theatre and the associated arts. Peter has honed his skills to suit all occasions at home and abroad.From the smallest village fete to Royal Occasions at Chatsworth House, Hampton Court and Ludlow Castle, Peter has enthralled audiences of all ages with his proficiency as a stilt walker, his dexterity as a juggler, his ability as a musician, his nerve when fire eating and his flair for storytelling. By linking together his energetic and expressive delivery of stories with an uncomplicated approach and great sense of humour, Peter’s unique storytelling performances offer an entertaining and thought provoking storytelling experience. (http://www.the-storyteller.co.uk)


Storyteller & Musician

Shane is a physical storyteller embodying stories with passion and emotion. He trained at The International School of Storytelling and In 2016 set up the first ever regular Storytelling event in Chelmsford for adults. Having spent 24 years working with peoples real life stories, along with a deep connection to the Woods, nature and wild places, Shane combines these experiences and hunts out less well known tales, to express what our Ancestors knew about what it is to be truly human. His stories can, in turns, make you laugh, reflect, soothe and will always transport you.




Spinning Yarns was set up in 2016 out of a desire to share old and new stories from around the world. Working with a collective of storytellers, performance poets, writers and musicians we aim to excite and entertain both young and old a like.

In addition to our own events, we can offer storytelling support to other organisers, including festivals and private events.

We hope to grow our collective and give opportunities for those who want to develop their skills and work with us.


"The first law of storytelling is that stories should be spoken and heard."  Hugh Lupton

Hannah became a professional storyteller in 2012, sidestepping from a career as a classically trained actress. Always putting the story at the heart of her performances and driven by a passion to engage and inspire, Hannah uses the power of oral storytelling to weave new worlds and adventures, taking her audience through traditional and modern tales and into folk tales and myths from around the world. Telling stories to both old and young alike, those drawn into Hannah’s stories find themselves on playful and poignant journeys that captivate their hearts and minds, and leave them just a little more curious.

She is the founder and owner of Tiny Tales Storytellers, a company that specialises in engaging children, schools and families through storytelling, and she holds storytelling residencies at Southend Theatres and Jacqson Diego Story Emporium. A member of The Society of Storytellers and Equity, she hopes the work of Spinning Yarns will serve to inspire a life long love of both sharing and creating stories and play its part in keeping the tradition of oral storytelling alive.