Saturday 27th October, it finally happened after months of dreaming and planning — the inaugural Story Spot Night in Newcastle! The theme was, ‘No Regrets’, and it can be confidently said by the end of the night, there were definitely no regrets. The evening was magical, as is often the way when people gather to share and listen to stories.
Birdy’s of Tighes Hill was the chosen venue which had the intimacy of a lounge room with its abundance of sofas and armchairs and a welcoming vibe ensured by the wonderful Kalla.
The majority of people in attendance had not previously been to a storytelling evening for adults so there was a lot of curiosity as well as slight trepidation … “I hope no-one asks me to get up and tell as story.”
Of course, no-one was put on the spot as we had the evening sorted with four storytellers. Karen Eastwood played host and opened the evening with the tale of her nine year old self blundering a bible reading at an eisteddfod thus reversing Jesus’ debut miracle by turning the wine into water. Louise Roach regaled the audience with an intergenerational experience of tattooing which had the audience in stitches. Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson entranced the audience with a beautiful Egyptian folktale of regret, and Ulf Nilsson followed with a fairytale that demonstrated the foolhardiness of two brothers ruled by greed.
The very talented Emilie Kate finished our first half by treating us to an acoustic set of her own songs. Not only did she carry us away with her beautiful lyrics and music, she also shared the story behind each song, adding a little extra magic to the night.
Everyone would have been content with the first half alone but after a short interval filled with much socialising and refreshments, Karen began the second half with the Greek myth of Arachne and Athena.
Louise then launched into an episode from her teaching days that involved a guided meditation and a spiritual encounter sabotaged by a snoring student. Her comic timing was spot on and more laughter resounded throughout the place.
Lindy began her second story with intriguing and grand, dramatic gestures - as you would if you were jumping out of plane! (Is there nothing this storyteller won’t try?!) She enthralled the audience with her experience of skydiving which served as a great metaphor for those ‘leap of faith’ moments in life.
Ulf transported us all the way to Sweden as we journeyed through a family legend conquering trolls. It was great to watch the audience participate in his warm-up tale like a class of enthusiastic school children. They were totally engaged.
The plan was to have a diverse range of stories and storytellers to ensure a positive experience and foster new interest in storytelling in Newcastle. Mission accomplished! Here’s a few quotes from a storyteller and a couple members of the audience.
“Wonderful warm, welcoming encouragement in a beautiful venue! Thank you Karen. I had a ball - fulfilment of a long held wish. Loved the laughs, loved the listeners, loved the wonderful musician. I think I'll have to do it again!”
— Lousie Roach
A beautiful evening. It made me laugh and it made me cry. We all have stories to tell and there is and there is an audience hungry for them. Thank you.
— Julie Fleming
What a wonderful evening! Sitting and listening to a great range of tales. Laughter and tears (and tears of laughter) aplenty.
Highly recommend it as something different for a night out.
— Victoria Dixon
Stay tuned for news about the next Story Spot Night!