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Friday, September 18, 2009

True Stories Told Live

The inspiration for True Stories Told Live was Malcolm Gladwell, who told me about a long-established story-telling club in New York called The Moth. I mentioned this to everybody I ran into who might be interested in such a thing and nobody could see anything wrong with the idea; that idea being that a bunch of people gather in a bar to listen to a a few people tell true stories. Along with my confederates, actor Kerry Shale and radio producer Kate Bland, I spent months combing London for an ideal venue. Everything was either too big, too noisy, too expensive or too restricted in some way. In the end I went to see John Rensten at The Compass, a pub at the end of Chapel Market which has recently been refurbished as a pub/restaurant, and he offered the use of a very nice small room they've got upstairs.

Thus we kicked off on Wednesday night with our first invitation-only evening. Kerry was MC, I began – on the basis that I couldn't ask anyone to do anything I wouldn't do myself – with a story about my suit, Sue Elliott talked about tracing her birth mother and being traced by her sisters, Chris Difford talked and played a song about going back to Ireland with his mother, Andrew Collins wondered whatever happened to carsickness and Dragan Aleksic described a misadventure involving an art gallery. Some people were quite experienced speakers, others had hardly done it all and when you've got to do up to fifteen minutes without notes it can take quite a bit of nerve.

The reception was warm enough for us to plan another couple between now and Christmas.

8 comments:

  1. Jason3:45 pm

    This seems mighty fine. How does one go about getting an invitation/attending?

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  2. That's excellent news. I've been a big fan of the Moth podcasts for a while, and have often thought that such a place would go down a storm in London. More power to you for setting it up and good luck.

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  3. What a great idea. Having lived in London for a few years and now rural Leicestershire, I really miss the opportunity to go (by public transport) to see small bands, new comics and events like these. I hope it takes off.

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  4. If stories about the Finley Quaye/BR sandwich/up before the beak interface, or Meg Gallagher's gak habit, or the time I tried to garrote Richard Fairbrass with a cheese wire are your particular thing, I'm your huckleberry.

    Of course I'd have to be in London at the time.

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  5. Yay! I had half considered getting a moth equivalent going in London myself, when do we all get to go along?

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  6. Great idea. I won't be fishing for an invitation, but if you start up one in Switzerland, let me know!

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  7. Thanks for all the interest. It's taking place in a very small room and so we're having to keep it to friends and family at the moment but as that changes I'll spread the word.

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  8. I was there and it was great - really different and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the next one.

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