Storytelling, especially the sharing of positive skin stories, is part of our DNA as a brand. But why as humans, and in particular as women, are we pre-programmed to share stories? Is it the need to communicate wider themes and instil moral codes, or simply our desire to engage and be entertained?
As a recent study published in Nature Communications by the University College London confirms, storytelling is inherently part of human nature, formative in nearly all cultures since early civilisation. The research led by anthropologist Daniel Smith looked at the function and evolution of storytelling, in particular the impact of storytelling on ‘hunter-gatherer cooperative behaviour’ and even the individual benefits of being a skilled storyteller. Spoiler alert: if you’re good at spinning a yarn you’re more likely to be a ‘preferred social partner’ and have ‘greater reproductive success.’
Fast forward to the present day, and we’re still hooked on storytelling. The mediums may have changed, but whether we’re binge watching box sets on Netflix, or documenting the minutiae of our daily lives via Instagram Stories, as humans we are hard-wired to share our narratives.
And, despite the aforementioned digital examples, traditional storytelling (for adults as well as kids) is currently enjoying a renaissance, proving yet again that we are simply unable to resist telling tales. So, without further ado, are you sitting comfortably? Here are some of our new favourite storytelling events to discover across the UK.
Sunday stories at Kew
Storytelling amidst the botanical backdrop of Kew may just be our dream scenario. Lucky then that these family-friendly sessions are scheduled every Sunday. Exploring big themes of biodiversity and the delicate balance between plants and people, these fun-filled stories will bring botanicals to life for listeners of all ages.
Spark storytelling events
Part stand up, part public confessional, the true stories served up at Spark’s nights across London aren’t told by professional storytellers, but brave folk with a great story to share. With an aim to ‘connect people through true stories’, they host regular nights in Hackney, Brixton and Clerkenwell. Everyone is welcome, to share or simply to listen, but there are rules: stories must be a) true b) your own and c) told in under 5 minutes. They’ve also created an award-winning podcast.
The Society for Storytelling
The Society for Storytelling may sound like something from Harry Potter, but their events up and down the UK are nothing if not spellbinding (sorry). The society was founded in 1993 to support and promote storytelling in England and Wales. With a community-maintained list of events, they provide a central place to find talks and workshops in your area, as well as resources to help you in developing your individual voice as a storyteller.
The Crick Crack Club
Less a bricks and mortar club, more a beacon for UK storytelling, The Crick Crack Club curate and promote storytelling events across the country. Whether folklore, fairytale, myth or modern, their eclectic programme offers something for everyone and they’re regulars at festivals and historic buildings, too. Check out Metamorphoses: Ovidís tales of transformation at The British Museum (14th April), or book your ticket for founder Ben Haggarty’s The Life and Loves Of Fionn Maccumhaill at the Earthouse in Cranborne, Dorset (6th April) − a 200-seat theatre lit only by lamp and fire-light, audiences sit on wooden benches under an earth roof held up by 21 huge oak tree trunks. It’s sure to be an atmospheric affair.