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Story Friday…changed everything

The second in a series of blogs about spoken word events I know and adore.

I’d been writing for a few years and it was such fun, such a relief. The relief of lifting the lid on a toy box of creativity and emotion. And in early 2012, Clare Reddaway mentioned at a writing group meeting that she was putting on an event. It was Story Friday…it changed everything.

In a former kitchen shop in the London Road in Bath, I toddled along not really knowing what to expect. There were candles, bunting, crisps and, best of all, there were stories. Stories told out loud by some very brave readers whilst around 30 people sat on sofas, chairs and steps and were entranced. I was captivated by it all and came away feeling like I had just seen a little bit of magic. I met Caroline Garland and Olly Langdon of Kilter Theatre – who were and remain, Clare’s partners in this brilliant venture.

It took me nearly two years and three Story Friday venues to actually write something good enough to be chosen (that's short enough, with enough story and just plain good enough). In the meantime, I kept going to Story Friday and learning and marvelling and being more captivated by these nights. In January 2014 I read The Diary, my first ever reading to an audience. It was terrifying in advance, despite some expert coaching from Clare – walking up the stairs to the stage in Burdall’s Yard felt like stepping off the moon. And you guessed it…it changed everything.

This was the best thing ever!

The best adrenaline rush, the best medium for my writing, the best place to be myself – a braver version of me than normal and all the better for it. I’ve not been the same since, but to be honest, I’ve not been the same since going along in March 2012 to sit and hear stories being told. A brilliant mix of funny and poignant, beautifully written and expertly performed – that’s what you get at Story Friday to this day.

That’s why I’ll be there on Friday (22nd March 2019) for stories written around the theme of Invitation. I’ll be sat in the audience learning and marvelling and being captivated I’m sure – it’s always that way with brilliant venue, staging, stories and performances. Get there – you will not be disappointed.

If there’s a writer that hasn’t read a story to an audience before, I hope they enjoy it as much as I did on my debut and I hope it changes everything for them too. I’ve been lucky enough to read a few times now and every theme generates a new story. That’s just the way it is now, writing and performing whenever and wherever I can.

There are rare days when I try to get everything back into my toy box – just to have a moment of order and to not feel so exhilarated and terrified all at once. There’s so much I’ve unpacked and so much more to come, I’m glad to report that the lid is hanging off its hinges and the contents are now far too big to squeeze back in.

Everything has changed…I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Story Friday is brought to you by A Word In Your Ear and Kilter Theatre.

Events are held at the fabulous Burdall's Yard in Bath every other month.

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