February’s Stories at the Storey, by Gemma Rayner

February’s Stories at the Storey’s open mic night was thriving with tales of the way food carries us through life. Each individual had a different story to tell – from the comedically clichéd advice given to overeaters everywhere, to the starvation that comes with travelling in remote and isolated landscapes, we felt the highlights and the struggles of each speaker’s tale. Food has a uniquely uniting force as an irrepressible human function, something that was apparent in the audience’s response to each story. To hear the struggles of your lifetime of attempted dieting expressed in such a poignant and humourous way was something that brought the entire audience to chuckles of familiarity and sympathy, and hearing the plight of a lonely hitchhiker cross the globe looking for opportunities to eat, was something that felt recognisable when expressed in such a detailed and eloquent way.

As a newcomer to Stories at the Storey, I was introduced to a buzzing community based on a raw sincerity of story-telling. The atmosphere was palpable with the light-hearted integrity that arises from sharing tales with such a level of openness, and it was lovely to see the community that put no barriers between speakers and listeners. The event presented such a welcoming environment which allowed conversation and interaction, but where the virtue of the shared tales was preserved within the room. Being part of such a pleasant and engaging group of people, who are willing to pour out their stories and the plethora of concurrent emotions, is a privilege; one that is fulfilled in the intimate setting of Stories at the Storey.

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