Arts Preview: Stories Are Us?

All of Us: Stories that need telt, The Tron, first Tuesday of every month.

If you enjoy telling stories or even just listening to them, then All of Us: Stories that need telt, the Tron’s new monthly storytelling night is for you. On the first Tuesday night of the coming months a group of people from all walks of life will be telling stories of life and death situations, extraordinary events and unusual incidents that are (mostly) true.

Every session will have a different theme around which the stories will be based. Chatting with Michael O’Neill of the Tron Theatre who directs the event, I learned that his role is to guide and inform those applying. These will be relaxed evenings (in the atmospheric Victorian bar!) with the performers telling their tales without notes or prompts. The host of the evening may even join in, teasing the story from the ‘teller’ using questions much like in a chat show, when the need arises. Anyone can apply to tell a story of any length or take on the theme.

Talking to O’Neill, I feel that I maybe know rather little about the world of storytelling. I hadn’t thought to categorise it as theatre. I regarded storytelling as a soliloquy, or a kind of short story used as a tool to convey emotions in characters. This storytelling night seemed to me, at first, to be a short snippet of someone’s unusual experience. I expected that a short story would have a beginning, middle, and end with a plot and characters.

O’Neill encouraged me to think about the event in a different light. He suggested storytelling is an art form, and that these events will gently introduce the performers and audience to this idea. That rather than having any narrative formula, we might hear a disjointed tale, a sequence of happenings related by the storyteller. Our lives are all ultimately a string of events and by allowing the audience to hear the storyteller’s personal experiences as they experienced them, not carefully edited and arranged as in written work, they are sharing a piece of themselves with you.

This storytelling night will encourage those involved to talk with others about their experiences, amazing and otherwise, surrounded by people that share a similar enthusiasm for stories. As a student, aspiring to psychology as a profession, my current amateur status allows me to speculate that this almost seems like a type of therapy, or at least that there is a therapeutic aspect to it, with the performers telling stories that could either be deep and harrowing as well as quirky and light-hearted. It has the potential to give insight and change perceptions of people and events. And in any event, I’m guessing we’ll hear a good story or two.

[Lamorna Brown]

Upcoming dates-

Tuesday 3rd February all of us vs. the first time

Tuesday 3rd March all of us vs. my da vs your da

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