Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Good Telling Off!

Last weekend I went to The Festival at the Edge (FatE to it's friends). For those not in the know, FatE is a storytelling festival. I was stunned by the range and skill of the performers there. And it made me think about the difference between writing a story and telling it. It struck me that the 'Show not Tell' rule isn't what characterises the difference here. Skilled storytellers will create an image in your mind by showing you in just the same way as a writer would. But the performance of the story, the interaction with the audience is what makes it different. So different. Each time, the story changes and adapts to the listeners in a way that frozen words can't. I suppose it's to do with the physicality of the telling too.

One of the performers was Chirine El Ansary. 

Chirine is an Egyptian storyteller and she was telling tales from the Thousand and One Nights. I've read the tales (or some of them, there are different, vast collections) and, as I've said before, they were in-part, the inspiration for The Bonehill Curse but to hear the Fisherman and the Genie told and brought to life was a rare treat.

I've blogged before about the tension between readings and telling stories at events but this weekend has convinced me that what I want to do is find tales that lend themselves to my events and tell them. It was a great weekend. I'd recommend Festival at the Edge! Great fun!