Comedy review: Storytellers’ Club

First published online for The Skinny

Comedy lends itself well to storytelling; that’s what a lot of comedy is. But acts tonight have been told not to worry about being funny, but to focus on the story. Of course, I’ve spent enough time with comics to know that a good act can’t help but tell a story without it being funny, and there are inevitably stories lifted out from the acts’ sets. But this material doesn’t seem crowbarred into the genre, and all of the acts on tonight are very natural. The stories themselves are allowed room of their own; space to breathe and to be told without the ever-present Cowell-esque question of ‘yes, but is it funny?’ They are allowed to be touching, inspiring, tragic and comic in their turn as host Sarah Bennetto guides us through tonight’s offerings: stories of failed romances, betrayal and the Eiffel Tower.

Audiences are even allowed to join in, with a short story competition (five words), the prize of home-made comic books from Bennetto and fellow storyteller James Dowdeswell adding to the inherent homely charm of the night. The development of Storytellers’ Club really feels like a labour of love from people who want to have fun and tell stories.

A wonderfully cosy night that’s well worth catching as part of a rounded Fringe experience.

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