IF you want to know about the nature of a people, then you need only to listen to their stories.

In The Forgotten Tales, Jon Buckeridge brings to vibrant life a selection of stories from across the British Isles using techniques of poetic verse and storytelling to magnificent effect.

A fast paced, high octane firework of a performance fizzing with fun from a man who is blessed not only with great charm but also great skill and a fantastic memory.

His tales feature all the stuff of magic and folklore and are stuffed to the very gunnels with dragons, warlocks, magical beings and even a Yorkshire boar.

However, as a person who has the privilege of being “owned by a cat”, my favourite tale has to be that of the Cornish Cat of Mousehole.

This poetic drama was stunning and will remain in the memory of listeners for weeks to come.

Having struggled for years with the correct way to pronounce the name of the Irish hero Fionn mac Cumhaill, I was in fits of laughter at the way in which his name was changed to Finn McCool in a wonderful piece of character manipulation.

The ability to portray any number of characters at the one time in a story, including being able to argue with himself by stepping out of character, was only one of the many means in which Jon Buckeridge reduced me to helpless laughter - and judging by the audience comments in the on-line comment box, I was far from being the only one who was so caught up in the performance that they lost all self-consciousness and laughed aloud in their own rooms around the world.

This really is top class story-telling, when it can reach out from beyond a screen and capture your imagination and transport you to a totally different world.

Stories are meant to be shared, and this striking performance ensured that even in our own isolated bubbles we shared the gift of a brief unity through not only the marvels of technology but also the magic of one man’s passionate performance.

His poetry soared when declaiming the legend of the dragons of Wales; his use of comedy was finely honed in other tales to complement the tensions of the tale and his observations of human nature were as sharp as a razor in other places.

However, if you are looking for any moral for life to take from this magnificent compilation then it must surely be that no good can ever come of threatening someone’s cow! Without exception, no being whoever does that comes out of the situation well.... If folk tales are about shared wisdom, then that is a thing worth remembering!