The power of stories

February 22, 2019 by Ray Morgan

Last week, Jo and I were invited to perform at True Stories Live at Norwich Arts Centre, a night of (yes you've guessed it) true storytelling. 

Inspired by other successful storytelling nights (like The Moth, which I had the pleasure of attending in London a few years ago), the format is that you stand up and tell your story unrehearsed, unscripted. It was a couples special, and we decided to tell our coming out story. It was a really positive experience - a supportive audience laughed in all the right places and saw humour in our story, which we told separately, not telling the other what we were going to say. 

The other speakers were brilliant. One couple told of how they met, and the story was so touching I was moved to tears. Others told very funny stories, like keeping their burgeoning relationship a secret from their landlord, or how another couple had a propensity for accidents since they met...

It struck me that there is nothing more compelling than stories. They were the entertainment in the cave before TV got in the way. Stories are a comfort from birth: we're read to as babies before we even understand what they are. I remember the thrill of being sat cross legged on the carpet at the end of the day at infant school and being read to. Escaping in school libraries as a kid, and then a teenager, stuck in a book at all times. 

And now, storytelling nights and podcasts are super popular and who can blame us? We barely have time to read any more, so to go and sit in a theatre or plug in some earphones and hear real stories is a perfect antidote to modern life. 

If you're a lover of stories, for the entire month of March, Chalkwell Hall is transforming into Essex Writers' House, a hub for writers and literary obsessives, with a wide range of events including performances, writing desks for hire, workshops and talks. Find out more at

To read all of Ray's other blogs please click here!


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