Storytelling and great apes

After watching an episode of Monkey Planet recently in which a Bonobos built a fire and toasted marshmallows (the fire was started with a match, granted, but that’s about my level of Bear Grylls skill), you might wonder like what exactly does separate us from our ape cousins. After some thought, I’d argue that storytelling remains one of those uniquely human cultural habits. The communal aspect of a campfire ghost story session, or simply a neighbourly gossip, brings us together in a special way, and it seems that the oldest artform is enjoying something of a resurgence in popular culture.

For instance, The Moth is a not-for-profit organisation based out of New York is dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, and they host packed-out evenings filled with true stories, live and without notes. While it doesn’t seem that they are hosting any events this side of the Atlantic any time soon, Serpent’s Tail is publishing a collection of some of their best stories, The Moth: This is a True Story, with contributions from ordinary and big names and an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

the moth

You can browse The Moth’s website for some of their recent live performances, and you can even submit your own here.

If you’re feeling the urge to stand up and try your hand as a performing raconteur, or if you’d like to sample the storytelling scene from the audience, check out these 10 best storytelling nights listed by the Guardian.

Lesley Crooks, Digital & Online Marketing Manager

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