London Stories***** (Battersea Arts Centre, 17 September 2013)

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Theatre

The greatest things sometimes emerge from the simplest of ideas. In a city where, supposedly, nobody ever talks to their neighbours, this is just an evening of Londoners talking to Londoners. Each participant was directed around various rooms in all parts of the old Battersea Town Hall where no more than two of us met ordinary people telling their own personal stories of the City, each lasting approximately 10 minutes. With almost 40 story tellers, several return visits would be needed to hear them all. The stories were, in turns, happy, sad, moving, amusing, up-lifting. I heard of a lost childhood friend, trolls in Highgate Cemetery, a suicide attempt on Blackfriars Bridge, the joys of being a Millwall supporter, an anorexic rejected by her family and a woman secretly married because of cultural differences. Each story was beautifully told. Others attending on the same evening would have heard completely different stories, but it is likely that the cumulative effect for them all would have been just as stunning. These were no more than six snapshots of a sprawling cosmopolitan conurbation, but they provided a remarkable insight into what makes up the whole City.

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