One of the things I love most about writing this blog is hearing people’s stories when I meet them. Everyone has a tale to tell from their journey through life … it might be funny, shocking or sad and it’s often a story of perseverance in the face of adversity. So I was intrigued when True Stories Told Live Cambridge came up on my social media and I met compere Nick Barraclough to find out more.
Now retired from a career as a musician, radio producer and documentary maker, Nick was invited by a friend to tell a story at True Stories Told Live in Hampstead several years ago. It was a small gathering in a tiny room but Nick was hooked. So he brought True Stories Told Live to Cambridge, initially holding sessions at The Punter, moving to the NCI Club in Holland Street as the word spread and audience numbers swelled. There’s an event every couple of months, attended by around 100 people who listen to 6 stories, one told by Nick as compere and one of which is a story set to music.
Each storyteller narrates a personal tale which can be funny, serious or even harrowing. Nick tells me, “Their story needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end and something has to happen.” Each storytelling slot is 10 minutes maximum and stories must be told without reading from a script (although it’s fine to have bullet point notes!). “The audience is always really supportive and engaged,” Nick comments, “and many of our future ‘turns’ are recruited from the audience. It can seem daunting but we give help and advice on how to frame your story and once people have done it once, they always want to do it again.”
The next True Stories Told Live Cambridge is on Wednesday 24 April at the NCI Club, Holland Street. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and the evening finishes by 9.30pm. It’s a free event but you’ll need to pay £2 for temporary club membership and you can enjoy drinks from the bar as stories unfold through the evening.
For more information, take a look at the True Stories Told Live Cambridge Facebook page, through which you can also get in touch with the team if you’ve got a story of your own that needs to be told!