Jan is one of the world’s leading storytellers, having performed at storytelling and literature festivals worldwide for over twenty-five years. Born in Manchester of Jamaican heritage, and specialising in stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and Arabia, she has a reputation for dynamic and generous storytelling.
She performs and teaches across the board – from children’s productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, through master classes on the educational use of story with the British Council, to storytelling about sustainability for business leaders with the World Wildlife Fund – engaging both children and adults in an unforgettable experience.
She was a resident storyteller for the Royal National Theatre’s Word Alive programme 1998-2008 performing with storytellers such as Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton, and in 2004 she was artist in residence at the Southbank Centre, where she performed her Caribbean retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales as part of the “Imagine” Children’s Literature Festival.
Her own storytelling company and school is the Akua Storytelling Project. Jan Blake co-wrote Give Me My Yam! (1998), a picture book for young children, and is currently working on several other books.