Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crick Crack Club, 16th September

If you ever doubted the magic of storytelling then going to the Crick Crack Club will convert you. Clare Murphy had us eating out of her hand we were so rapt, so enthralled by the stories she wove. She put her entire being into them, so that they really did come to life in your mind.

Crick Crack Club has been going for yonks and hosts regular storytelling nights and festivals in London and beyond. Each one is a little bit different with a different theme. The one we went to had just the one storyteller, and she was given a brief and from that decided on the story(ies) she would tell. The first half was taken up by one large story – The King of Lies – but which involved at least two stories within that story. I wouldn’t say that Clare exactly ‘acted’ the stories out but she certainly seemed to become each character while also playing the role of narrator and imbuing her stories with impudent fun, a knowing wink here or there. The night we went to was one of several called ‘Fairytales for Grownups’ and the main story she told was centred around a Syrian King who decided he wanted to document in his book every lie ever told. And what is a story if not a lie? So all across the land all the great storytellers of all the different nations lined up outside to concoct the best story/lie they could. And if they failed? They died. This was a perfect premise for setting up within this story several ‘lies’ that each of the storytellers brought to tell the king. And, of course, the king wasn’t the most ethical character in the world, and the outcome was morally satisfying.

The second half was a Q & A which was interesting (even if a lot of the people there were a little pretentious in their eagerness to show off just how much they were storytelling aficionados). We learned the difference between storytelling ‘schools’ and just how Clare goes about learning a story and making it her own, how they become such a part of her, recalling one is like recalling a fond memory.


Crick Crack Club hosts several nights a month – some with the fairytale theme, some with something different, some with musical accompaniment, some without. If you love storytelling then this night is the epitome of it, if you’re not sure, then this will convince you. Enchanting. 

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.