Greatest hits celebration event for Norwich project asking ordinary people to tell their stories

True Stories Live is celebrating its first anniversary.
Pictured from left to right is Lucy Farrant

True Stories Live is celebrating its first anniversary. Pictured from left to right is Lucy Farrant, Rosie Arnold and Molly Naylor. Photo: Andi Sapey. - Credit: Andi Sapey

A Norwich-based storytelling project that puts the spotlight on ordinary people and encourages them to share their true stories on stage is celebrating its first birthday this weekend.

For the last year True Stories Live events have been held at Norwich Arts Centre each month, and this Sunday there is a special greatest hits night, ahead of True Stories Live going on a national tour.

The premise of True Stories Live is simple – ordinary people tell their own anecdotal stories to a friendly audience. For some it is their first time ever on stage while others are used to performing, but what they all have in common is that they are telling their personal stories about their own experiences.

The idea was the brainchild of Norfolk producer Lucy Farrant, who teamed up with Norwich Arts Centre and poet and performer Molly Naylor, and she is delighted with how people have embraced the project. Ms Farrant, who runs L J Hope Productions, said: 'The idea came from an American organisation called The Moth, which has been the subject of BBC Radio 4 programmes. We believed that the people of Norwich have just as interesting stories to tell as those over the Atlantic – and we've been proven right.'

Ms Naylor added: 'I'm so excited to be launching our tour and celebrating our first anniversary with a special event at our home base. Over the past year we've been thrilled that so many people have shared their stories with us and it feels great to be part of Norwich's centuries-long tradition of encouraging writers and storytellers, and pack out the Arts Centre bar on a Sunday night!'


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Each True Stories Live event has a different theme, and for the greatest hits night it is 'no regrets.' Contributors from across the year will be taking part and they will be joined by special guests including comedian, writer and actor Sara Pascoe and indie-folk musician Gavin Osborn.

True Stories Live will also be going on a tour of literary festivals including Edinburgh International Book Festival, Llawn Festival in Wales, and Chester Literature Festival. For more about True Stories Live, visit www.truestorieslive.co.uk

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True Stories Live is at Norwich Arts Centre on Sunday at 7.30pm. Tickets £10/£8. To book, visit www.norwichartscentre.co.uk or call 01603 660352.

What the True Stories Live participants will be talking about at the greatest hits event on May 14

Rosie Arnold: 'I'll be telling a story of survival featuring wild horses and nightjars in the depths of deepest Norfolk.'

Jeremiah Humphries: 'I'm doing a tale of my failed love life over the past two years, recalling the events that followed each one, but I still don't regret any of them.'

Michael Lengsfield: 'I'm ambivalent about how much I should release into the wild, but I'll think of something.'

Samantha Rajasingham: 'I will talk about the episodes in my life which led me to Norwich and the fact I have no regrets about that move.'

Melanie James: 'I am planning on telling the heartwarming story of when I did a trade in a car park...a Milky Bar for a dead crow. As you do in a Tesco car park at 11pm.'

Antoinette Moses: 'My story is of ships in the night in the sense of romantic encounters that drifted away or never actually docked.'

Sara Pascoe will speak on the theme of no regrets and Gavin Osborn will perform songs on the theme.

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