Review-Not Funny-Hong Kong Stories
By: Dikshya Karki
If a good story must have a beginning, middle and an end, this one must be told. It begins on a chilly evening at 15, Elgin Street, Central inside The Culture Club where a group of story enthusiasts are waiting to listen to some eager story tellers. One by one, each storyteller takes the microphone and pours out their hearts. The stories are real events from their lives; anecdotes of struggles, stitched with humor. From inter-cultural dating, working as canon balls, to losing out on a cherished dream, eight storytellers perform their heart out to an enthralled audience. Some are first timers while others have mastered the art.
This is part of ‘Hong Kong Storytellers’ regular events designed to encourage people to tell their personal stories. The theme ‘Not Funny’ pervaded through all the stories as each tale had a touch of irony to it. Even without music or coarse actions these tales resonated with a sincerity which was clearly felt by the audience as they laughed at the silliness of some events and sighed at the sadness of some.
For someone attending the event for the first time, like me, it was a delight to listen to these brave storytellers who were sharing the pain of their secrets to never seen faces. Their words, keenly chosen, edited, rehearsed and performed were sparked with an honesty that was touching. It was cathartic and positive, the experience of being let in to someone else’s life felt overwhelming in some way.
Maybe this is what good stories do to us. They make us self reflective, encourage us to find our own stories and think about our lives. Every one of us has a bundle of stories which we carry around within ourselves. To listen to someone else unwrap their tales without any inhibition is a therapeutic experience.
Among the eight tales, Amy’s recollection of her past enrobed the room in sadness, David Young’s two part story left you wanting to listen to the third part and Olivia’s recollection of an unfortunate accident was both humorous and touching. Tom Tiding ended the night with a childhood incident that was almost unbelievable but told so reassuringly that you were pulled in to it.
Although every story teller did not carry on with the same pace and it was easy to forget some stories, the effort of each speaker was commendable. In four to seven minutes they compressed incidents of their life into an act which was captivating. It wasn’t funnily entertaining and didn’t try to be. They were telling their stories in their voice and words. Even if was ‘not funny’ it was worth every minute.
Hong Kong Storytellers are now gearing up for their next show ‘Out of Control’. Story enthusiasts can join in on the workshop and let their stories find an audience at the next meetup.
Hong Kong Stories is a reoccuring monthly event at Culture Club. For more information about "Not Funny", click here.
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