In these physically restricted times the power of the imagination to transport us is more potent than ever. The significance of storytelling and the spoken word is intensified now.
Susannah Harker introducing ‘A Nonentity’
Have a listen to the next – and penultimate – story in this phase of the Separate Doors shorts appeal by clicking the link below and, if you feel you can, please donate to keep the stories of people with learning disabilities in front of general audiences.
My two favourite dictionary definitions of the word ‘story’ are – ‘A recital of events that have or are alleged to have happened/a series of events that are or might be related’ and – ‘A euphemism for a lie’.
Currently I watch the news as a game, spot the ‘euphemism for a lie’…
Bryony Lavery introducing ‘Statement’
Listen to his next story in support of Separate Doors by clicking the link below, donate if you feel you can- by no means obligatory!
Storytelling is how we make sense of our world and how we recognise our common humanity, that we’re not alone. Usually, in theatre, we bring people together into a shared space but at the moment we can’t do that – but we still have the stories – and we can still share them.
Mike Kenny introducing ‘Out Here’
Listen to this next story in support of Separate Doors by clicking the link below.
In a world where so little makes sense at the moment, stories can help us make some sort of sense, of something, for now. I love nothing more than hearing a story and going ‘oh that happened to me’ or ‘that happened to my mum.’ Stories help us through the hardest of times.’
Jonathan Harvey introducing ‘The Lagoon.’
Listen to the next short story in support of Separate Doors here…
Playwrights, actors and audiences can’t risk breathing the same air.
For today wild optimism, the concept of the pandemic being an ‘interval’ and a focus on digital revivals keeps many theatre makers sane but tomorrow has never been more unpredictable; values in the face of global economic collapse will adjust and theatre will likely never be as it was, as it has been, as we have known it because the audience will be much changed – and may not be there at all for a very long time, if ever.
For the first time since Oliver Cromwell no theatres are open in Britain, housing dramatic voices of dissent and challenge. New TV production has also been halted. Finding a different and engaging way to fulfil the role that new plays and drama provide in the national psyche and debate will be a challenge for all playwrights in the months and years ahead.
For now, all we have is the words.
The root of theatre is story – and stories are what writers can give.
I’m offering some new stories I’ve written below, in audio format, introduced by playwrights, directors and actors in support of Separate Doors, the company I lead which focuses on the lives and theatre work of people and actors with learning disabilities.
Please listen and if you feel you can donate then search the Just Giving site for Separate Doors or donate via the PayPal button below- but don’t feel obliged in any way.
Words and imagination are free.
As Timberlake Wertenbaker says in her introduction to the first story I’m uploading below…
“In these dark and frightening times, the telling of stories is more important than ever. It is through narration that we try to make sense of the chaos around us, that we select what matters and that we even find a thread of hope, not necessarily because the story ends well but because it allows us to understand ourselves, to see our habits and perhaps even to change the patterns of our thoughts and our emotions, in other words to make new stories- what could be more hopeful than that? The story that follows couldn’t come at more opportune time, you will see why, I won’t wish you happy listening but attentive listening, yes”.