Picture the scene:
It’s a crisp autumnal evening, and you wend your way through Frome’s cobbled streets and narrow alleyways until you see the beckoning lights of Rook Lane Chapel, welcoming you up the hill and inside. Here you become a spectator of ancient stories: Tales of love and loss, good and evil, tragedy and comedy; each performed so vividly that you begin to forget modern life as it rushes by outside. This is the new Storytelling. This is Mr Rook’s Speak Easy….
Mr Rook’s Speak Easy is a new storytelling performance club for Frome that showcases tellers from around the UK, and gives local performers a platform to hone their craft. Although it survived as a tradition in other parts of the British Isles, performance storytelling nearly died out in England during the last century. There was a conscious movement to revive storytelling as an art form in the 1980s and it continues to thrive in contemporary performance spaces and festivals throughout the country.
Frome storyteller Lisa Kenwright initiated Mr Rook’s in order to draw together tellers from the town and beyond, bringing them to Rook Lane to experience performing in a space which is itself loaded with history and atmosphere:
“There are already several Story Circles for informal telling in Somerset and we thought it was time that we had a performance club in the area. Rook Lane is such a great space for spoken-word performance it seemed like the ideal match and as a collection of rooks can be called a ‘storytelling’ who better to host the night than Mr Rook himself.”
Mr Rook’s Speak Easy events are for anyone and everyone. Storytelling is a wonderfully accessible form of performance that breathes new life into ancient folk tales, preserving them for future generations. If you’re a fan of literature, theatre or performance poetry, or if you just love a good story, come and join Mr Rook and discover storytelling.
The next Mr Rook’s Speak Easy takes place at Rook Lane on Thursday 20th November from 7:30pm, where Cath Little will be telling Castle Arianrhod, a story from the Mabinogion about the terrible consequences of sibling rivalry.