Recap: Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin
Elizabeth was ants-in-her-pants excited. She and her friend had just arrived at the Glen Providence Park stage, along with her parents, a blanket and picnic treats in tow. They couldn’t believe their favorite storyteller Odds Bodkin was appearing live, for free no less, just a few minutes from their home. They staked their claim on the lawn – center stage front – spread their blanket and prepared to be transported to Bodkinland…
It was indeed an exquisite scene in Glen Providence Park on June 3 when Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin opened his show by welcoming the audience to “This beautiful glade and this beautiful stage on this absolutely perfect evening”. From his on stage perch, in the cozy company of a 12 string guitar, a grand Celtic harp and a diminutive kalimba (an African thumb piano), Mr. Bodkin surveyed an engaged audience of 175+ moms & dads, toddlers, grandparents, teens, tweens and “kids” of all ages, brilliantly bathed in light of late afternoon summer gold.
Beginning with the challenge for us all to use our imaginations – to the point where he would “disappear” – Odds launched into a 90 minute set of absolute enchantment. His music soared and swooped, his voice thundered and squeaked in the Bodkin version of “storytelling” that is more like a verbal version of a feature film replete with music soundtrack, a brilliantly drawn cast of distinct characters, sound effects and, occasionally, exuberant audience participation.
The whole event was like an unplugged Hollywood blockbuster – taking a fantasy fiction African safari with the Brothers Grimm and Jack Nicholson; captivating, spellbinding and thoroughly enjoyed by all (and maybe especially by Elizabeth!).
If the Odds Bodkin experience is any indicator, the rest of the 2017 Arts in the Park season, sponsored by the Friends of Glen Providence Park, is not to be missed.
Many thanks to all who made this concert possible: Delaware County Parks & Recreation, a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Concert Series Sponsors Media Recreation Board and West End Walk, Concert Sponsor Seven Stones Cafe, our volunteer Concert Committee, Marcia Tate for her artful decoration of the stage, the over 175 people who attended, and of course the amazingly talented Odds Bodkin!
This summer’s Arts in the Park was made possible by funding from Project Stream, a grant initiative of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts that is regionally administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Additional support for Project Stream is provided by PECO.
Click on any photo for a closer look, or scroll through to see what it was like!
Photos by George Tate