In this paper, first published in the Journal for Drama in Education (2007) 23 (2), Heathcote considers whether it is possible for stories to provide contexts for Mantle of the Expert. Can such a taskbased approach be used to discover the meaning of a story, while remaining truthful to the purpose of the tale? She reviews the basic elements of the Mantle of the Expert approach and insists that the notion of ‘pretend’ is not appropriate when one is working in this way. Although the commonly agreed context of the enterprise and the client will be fictional, the participants will stay in their own mindset – the real children will remain present as a self-spectators of their own behaviour.