London has a vibrant, exciting and growing adult storytelling scene and I love being part of it. Here are some of the best nights around!
We have a great many ‘storytelling clubs’ (rather like folk clubs: a mixture of story-rounds and featured performers.) These often attract an more traditional crowd. The best of the bunch are: Storynight at Toriano in North London for their great atmosphere and wide variety of performers, the warm and friendly Stow Tellers in Walthamstow, or the really fantastic Storytelling in Hope club in Eltham. There is of course also the mighty Crick Crack Club who pioneered storytelling for adults in the 80s and 90s and are still going strong with a creative and popular programme.
I’m excited to see the flourishing scene among younger Londoners who have not encountered live retellings of folk tales, myths and legends before. There is an unprecedented hunger in London for the joy of traditional storytelling.
I love the Embers Collective, (pic below) members include Lonan Jenkins, Tim Karp and Sam Rix. They deliver heartfelt and exciting storytelling in all kinds of interesting venues, taking traditional stories and making a party out of them. Look out for them as they are only going to get bigger.
And as well as that…
(I was also delighted to tell stories for Last Tuesday Society as part of London Month of the Dead. The event we put on sold out within hours to a young, enthusiastic and excited audience which just confirmed for me yet again how many people in London are desperate for a story.)
There are a large number of “true stories told live” nights which I’m not going to cover here, my favourite (and in my opinion the best) is Spark London. I’ve told quite a few tales with them over the years and always enjoyed the atmosphere!
If you’ve got a taste for the finer things in life, you might also want to check out 40 winks: Bedtime story nights, maybe the chic-est, definitely the most expensive storytelling experience you’re likely to encounter in London!
Bernadette Russell does Are you Sitting Comfortably…? and various other brilliant/ batshit-crazy storytelling events for adults only.
About 70% of the fine people on my list of storytellers living in London offer performances for adults as well as for children because…
(Pic: I took this when I was storytelling at a hen party!)
…the demand is there! There are absolutely tons of one-off storytelling events: museum-lates, festivals, corporate events and arts organisations like the Southbank Centre, National Gallery and Royal Academy etc. I’m lucky enough to get involved with my fair share of these (pic below)
And I saved the “best” till last…
…ok sorry but i can’t leave this blog post without a shameless plug for my own story night “London Dreamtime” which attracts the MOST AMAZING AUDIENCES IN THE HISTORY OF EVER (not that I’m biased.)
We’ve been going strong for five years now, come and see us this month (events listed here) or watch us in 90 seconds (below). In fact if you haven’t experienced the addictive pleasure of storytelling for adults, just go along to ANY of the nights I’ve mentioned. You won’t regret it!
pic: fabulous London Dreamtime audience on the roof of a derelict estate in Walworth as dusk falls.