The Bard of Aylesbury is an exciting new role created by Unbound in partnership with Aylesbury Town Council.
A bard is a storyteller who represents the creativity and culture of the place after which they’re named. They're recognised as an historical public figure who attends events and special occasions in the town – somewhere between a town crier, a poet Laurette, and a court jester!
Bards are called upon to offer a moment of creativity or culture. Their job is to celebrate the parish and all that happens within it through a creative medium.
Bards serve an annual term in the role before passing on the mantle to a new performer. The Bard of Aylesbury for 2023-2024 is Gareth Johnson, whom many may recognise from appearances in all manner of Unbound productions performed in Aylesbury and beyond!
When the current bard's term in the role comes to an end, we'll be hosting the Bardic Trials, where anyone from the town with a passion for telling great stories can step up and perform. A panel of judges drawn from across Aylesbury will then nominate the next Bard for 2024-2025, who'll inherit the emerald cape!
If you're holding an event in Aylesbury and would like the bard to make an appearance, then get in touch! The bard can perform a range of duties from formal readings at special occasions, to helping open events or venues with a specially-written poem. These occasions can - availability allowing - be booked for free, and are coordinated by Unbound and Queens Park Arts Centre.
As part of Unbound's wider storytelling activity, the bard can also be booked for longer performances of themed storytelling to suit any occasion. There is a fee for these bookings (to cover writing and prep time), which we're happy to discuss if needed.
To make an enquiry, fill out the contact form below.
Our heartfelt thanks to Aylesbury Town Council for their generous support in launching this exciting new project - a celebration of storytelling for our home town.
Unbound Creative Producer Dario Knight
The Bard visited the Dissenters' Chapel at Tring Road Cemetery to perform a brand-new half hour tale as part of Aylesbury Town Council's Christmas Storytelling event. A yuletide yarn featuring Charles Dickens.
A second (drier!) visit to Aylesbury Town Council's Parklife weekend, this time to help open the Proms in the Park event, alongside Unbound's own Erika Sanderson (host) and Marie Biswell from Hand Talking.
There may have been a thunderstom raging, but that wasn't about to stop the Bard from appearing at Aylesbury Town Council's Live in the Park event - a 9-hour music extravaganza!
As part of Unbound's 'Aquatic Tales' performance at Queens Park Arts Centre, the Bard performed a new poem celebrating this annual event, and the venue that serves as the jewel in the county's cultural crown.
The Bard was present at the official ceremony marking the end of Cllr Tim Dixon's mayoralty, and performed an ode celebrating some of the highlights of Tim's time in office.
Heading back to Unbound's home venue, the Bard performed a newly-written poem all about QPAC, as part of a short storytelling performance at the centre's latest free open day.
The Bard made his debut opening Aylesbury Town Council's Historical Fayre, joining the St George's Day Parade, and opening the Service of Thanks for uniformed youth.