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!
Spring has sprung and the sun is shining! There’s plenty happening in the city and I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back when you can. Please get in touch if you know of an event that I could add in here!
5th 7.30pm Dining in the Dark. Identify key ingredients of your starter and dessert while blindfolded. Fundraiser for Cam Sight. The Red Lion, Hinxton. http://www.camsight.org.uk Read more about Cam Sight here
6th 10am – 1pm Family Saturday – Nature Weaving. Have fun, play and weave amazing creations using natural material from the Garden. Free event. Cambridge University Botanic Garden. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
6th 12 noon – 3pm The Leper Chapel Opening. A chance to see inside one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge. The Chapel is not usually open to the public. Free entry, donations appreciated. Cambridge Past, Present and Future. The Leper Chapel, off Newmarket Road. FB: @CambridgePFF
6th 7.30pm Movie Music Spectacular. Cambridge Wind Band. West Road Concert Hall. In support of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. http://www.adcticketing.com
6 – 22nd April Easter Trail. Pick up a free trail from the Ticket Office, go on a springtime adventure and collect an Easter prize at the end. Drop in, self led trail. Cambridge University Botanic Garden. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
8th 7.30 – 10pm Louise Jordan – The Hard Way. One woman performance of live music and theatre charting the rise of a working class suffragette. St Barnabas Centre, Mill Road. http://www.cambridgefolkclub.co.uk
9th 2 – 4pm Printing Workshop for 8 – 12 year olds. Design your own T shirt to take home with you. Booking required. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
10th 7 – 8.30pm Personal medicines: all in your genes? Talk from Cafe Sci Cambridge. Espresso Library, East Road. FB @cafescicambridge
11th 1 – 3pm What can art do? Explore environmental activism for 13 – 19 year olds. Free, booking required. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
12th 10am – 1pm Cambridge Jobs Fair. Speak with potential employers face to face (don’t forget to bring your CV!). The Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.thejobfairs.co.uk
13th 1.30 – 4pm Toy Swap. Bring toys to swap. Also a pilot books (fiction/children) and clothes (women/children) swap plus Full Circle, Cambridge’s own zero waste shop, will be there. Free event. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington Avenue, CB3 1AA http://www.atoyslifeandbeyond Read more about Full Circle Shop here
13th 5pm “Waste Not, Want Not: How to live zero waste and plastic-free”. Talk by Full Circle Shop. Free entry, donations welcome. Stir Cafe, Chesterton Road. FB @FullCircleShopUK Read more about Full Circle Shop here
14th 12 – 4pm Studio Sunday. Art making workshops for families with children of all ages. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
19 – 20th 10am – 5pm Botanical Days. A botanical themed event and pop up shop from Cultivate Gardens with refreshments by Caffiend. Hope Street Yard, off Mill Road. http://www.cultivategardens.co.uk
19 – 22nd 12 – 4pm Action Drawing. Drawing activities inspired by the Oscar Murillo Violent Amnesia exhibition. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
28th 2 – 3.30pm Writers in Conversation. Jill Dawson in conversation with Dame Gillian Beer. Stapleford Granary, CB22. Literature Cambridge. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk Read more about Literature Cambridge here