Now Hear This

First, a disclaimer. “Now Hear This” is a project I am directly involved in, so this is probably not an objective review. That said, I really enjoyed going to the “Now Hear This” story-telling night at Sydney’s Art House Hotel.

“Now Hear This” is a project which originated at 666 ABC Canberra. Inspired by the popularity of story-telling nights in other parts of the world, Melanie Tait and the team at 666 ABC Canberra launched their own story-telling nights. In essence, people get up on stage and tell, hopefully, compelling stories from their own lives. They don’t have to be funny or serious, they can be either, they can be both. It was pretty successful when it ran in Canberra.

Now living in Sydney, Melanie was keen to do something similar here, and perhaps draw upon the larger gene pool of story-tellers. And so that’s what happened tonight.

There were eight stories told tonight in front a live audience. Actually, nine if you count the special guest story-teller, Richard Glover. Although the idea of competitive story-telling is somewhat odd, tonight’s story-telling night was in the form of a “slam” where three groups were asked to judge the best story of the night.

There were two stories tonight that were absolutely fantastic. The first, which gave me goose bumps, was told by a woman who had a relationship, became pregnant, and then had a termination. Her partner, who was the survivor of child sexual assault, had made a decision not to have children, left he repeat the sins of the past. The second concerned a woman who grew up in a Spanish speaking family, but who never learned how to speak Spanish well enough to converse with her dying grandfather. Her conclusion? If you come from a family where there’s “another language”, it’s important to learn it. Both stories were compelling and well told.

The Spanish story will get a run tomorrow morning on 702 ABC Sydney, so remember to listen in. Many of the stories will also get a run over summer on ABC Local Radio and Radio National.

If you’re in Sydney and able to pop along, these story-telling nights are held on the last Wednesday of each month in the Attic Bar of the Art House Hotel.

I have a story I might tell at some point.

In the meantime, everyone was asked to complete the sentence that was the theme of the night. The opening line was “My desire…” which I completed with the phrase “…sometimes overwhelms me”.

  1. A ‘gene pool’ of story tellers? I know you didn’t mean anything adverse by that phrase but it made me think of the holocaust and ethnic cleansing.

    I’ve heard some of these impromptu stories before (including on Richard Fydler’s program, I think) and some of them were really fascinating.

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    1. Gosh no, I meant just to mean there were more stories in a city of 4-million compared with a city of 300,000.

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