Sarah Perceval is a storyteller who specializes in telling sacred stories. She is fascinated by the patterns of story in the history of all religions, patterns that are profound and beautiful. She also loves the power and simplicity of wisdom tales, and the capacity of stories to draw an audience in and bring people together.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Sarah Perceval, I live in London having been brought up in the countryside amongst sheep and jersey cows. I’m married and have an 8 year old step son and a cat. My interests are creative projects, interfaith and baking cakes with vegetables in them (chocolate beetroot cake is a real winner).
A: I have been telling stories ever since I can remember, but took it up professionally about seven years ago. I had been an actress in classical theatre for fifteen years, but when I got married I wanted to settle down, touring in Europe for months at a time was not conducive to family life. I still wanted to perform, and also to work with material that was spiritually nourishing, both for myself and the audience. Storytelling is such a magic world, I wish I’d taken it up professionally years ago. I love every second.
Q: How did you get involved in the project for the stories of Abdu’l-Baha and Baha’u’llah?
A: I had been telling the story of Baha’u’llah for about four years. When my lovely and talented musician Nadim Rohani announced he was leaving the country, he suggested we record the story together before he went, and the project grew with the help of Sepehr Malek who did a fantastic job recording it and adding sound effects. I was approached by the Anis foundation to develop the stories of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and they managed that project. I’m now working on a series of world stories which celebrate the virtues.
Q: Do you encourage others, especially parents, to develop the art of storytelling? How can they do this?
A: A story told from the heart reaches the heart, and I really believe it strengthens bonds between people, that’s why I love to tell stories for audiences of different backgrounds and religions. By telling stories to your child you wake up their imagination and the patterns in stories are very healthy for a child as the hero finds ways to overcome problems. There is always a point of transformation in a story. They can also be great starting points for interesting discussions. My advice would be to start by telling your child a story that you love. It could be a fairy story, folk story, a story about a person you love or admire. One of my favorite stories growing up was about my father as a small boy, trying to hide food he didn’t like eating up a mouse hole. I asked him to tell me this story hundreds of times!
Q: What else would you like people to know?
A: A lovely way to connect with story is to form a storytelling group. You can learn new stories from others and share your own. Usually you don’t choose a story, it chooses you. When you love a story its so easy to tell. Tea and cake is a great accompaniment to story.
Q: What is your hope for your stories?
A: I hope the stories inspire the heart and feed the soul.
You can find Sarah’s stories of the Ancient Beauty (Stories from the Life of Baha’u’llah) and the Compilation of Stories about ‘Abdu’l-Baha by clicking on the following album covers:
Or go to Sarah’s website www.sarahperceval.com and click on “Shop.”