River Tours

Current Portfolio   Outdoor  

“What makes a river special is what happens on it, along it and in it”

A documentary storytelling series with rivers as it subject. Nothing could be simpler. We commission textile ribbon maps that identify the positions of all bridges, dams, major settlements and confluences. These maps are then used to illustrate guided tours that cover thousands of years of history, beautiful natural history, famous sights and fascinating facts.

The tours are performed in an engaging, friendly style with wit and energy to a live audience.

The Severn

Craig, a Shropshire Lad is ready to float with you down Britain’s longest river. Your journey will be full of wildlife and agriculture, ghosts of an industrial revolution, coracles and trows, cathedrals, taxes and floods. The whole journey is stitched into a beautifully embroidered map waiting for you to jump aboard.

Brilliant…I loved all the jokes, characters and tones of voice…Fabulous

Audience Member (Worcester)

Written and performed by Craig Stephens
Map by: Jo Teague with stitchers from Worcester, Tewkesbury and Shrewsbury
Directed by Craig Stephens with James Yarker
Produced by Nick Sweeting and Lucy Bird

The Indus

The Indus has amazing tales tell. It has been the focus of great history and politics, religion and wildlife. Karan has been eager to undertake an adventure to the river’s source in the Himalayas from his home on its delta since he was nine years old. Join him on this great geographic adventure.

A well produced and acted learning delight!


Written by: Nafeesa Hamid – with Stan’s Cafe
Map by: Summerfield Project – with Abeda Begum
Performed by: Karan Maini
Directed by: Stan’s Cafe
Winding table by: Infamous Community Arts
Produced by: Dominic Thompson

Tour Dates

  • The Severn
    29 June 2024
    Powis Castle & Garden, Welshpool

  • 6 July 2024
    Cotteridge Park
    (30 minute version)

  • 7 July 2024
    Dean Heritage Centre, Soudley

  • 13 July 2024
    Queenswood Country Park, Leominster

  • 24 July 2024
    Tewkesbury Abbey Gardens

  • 27 July 2024
    Worcester Fringe Festival

  • The Lune
    13 April 2024
    Tebay, Penrith

  • 13 April  2024
    Market Square, Lancaster

  • 14 April 2024
    Kirkby Lonsdale

  • 14 April 2024 Halton

  • 20 April 2024

  • 20 April (16:00) 2024
    Arkholme Village Hall, Carnforth

  • 21 April (12:30) 2024
    Glasson Dock Marina

  • 21 April 2024
    Second Terrace at Sunderland Point, Morecambe

  • The Indus
    4 November 2023
    Thimblemill Library,

  • 2 November 2023
    Purbanat, Small Heath

  • 2 November 2023
    St. Paul’s Church, Bordesley Green

  • 1 November 2023
    The Springfield Project,

  • 31 October 2023
    Fletcher’s, Kings Heath

  • 30 October 2023
    The Warehouse
    (Friends of the Earth)

  • 28 October 2023
    Stirchley Baths

  • The Thames
    9 & 10 September 2023
    1st Reading Sea Scouts Boathouse,
    South Street Arts’ Sightlines Season

  • 7 September 2023
    The Isis River Farmhouse, Oxford

  • 6 September 2023
    Norden Farm, Maidenhead

  • 5 September 2023
    Abingdon Abbey Buildings,
    Abingdon on Thames

  • The Lune
    18th March 2023:
    Lancaster Literature Festival
    Storey Insitute, Lancaster

  • The Lune & The Thames
    15th October 2022:
    Beside The Lune, Lancaster

  • The Thames & The Volga
    11th September 2021:
    Cotteridge Park, Birmingham

Wonderful afternoon @CotteridgePark watching @stanscafe tell the story of the Thames and the Volga. Inspirational peformances full of charm and humour , brilliant, mind expanding writing and stunning needlework.

Liz C – Twitter

My friends and I… absolutely loved it, had lots of thoughts on what rivers to do next and insisted we invite them to whatever your next show is.

Karen S

The Thames

This was a real journey – the beautiful writing and telling let me follow in my minds eye the course of the river…Totally enchanting

Audience Member – Reading

Craig’s storytelling was impeccable

Marc C

Written and performed by Craig Stephens
Map by Vicky Roden
Directed by James Yarker

Stage Manager – Emily Davies
Photographs 1 – 4 – Rich Berry
Photographs 5-8 – Jaskirt Boora
Executive Producer (2021) – Roisin Caffrey
Administrator – Lucy Bird
2023 Tour Producer – Nick Sweeting

With thanks to:
The Friends of Cotteridge Park
Raddlebarn Primary School
Gilda Almeida & Alicia Adams at The John F Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.

The Volga

Went down the Volga with @stanscafe … a perfect way to spend a Saturday, art, a lovely audience and a wonderful performance from Elexi.

Lara R – Twitter

Written by James Yarker
Performed by Elexi Walker
Map by Vicky Roden
Directed by James Yarker
Photographs by Jaskirt Boora
(except 1 & 7 by Rich Berry)

The Lune

Written by Claire Dean
Performed by Orla Cottingham

Textile Team
Lead Designer and Coordinator:
Katrina Barnish
Stitchers and Painters:
Carol Gittins
Enda O’Regan
Gina Frausin
Sian Bowes
Virginia Edwards
With contributions from – Alice Booth, Kiki Callihan, Claire Dean, Masha Gulina and much support from our friends and families.

Directed by James Yarker
Commissioned by Lancaster Arts
Photographs Rich Berry

Liz C – Twitter