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Personal Storytelling In Theatre Is One of the Reasons We Go

Karen Fischer in Rebel Dyke
Karen Fischer performs her one woman show REBEL DYKE

All of us at Narativ London have a background in theatre. We know that story is king. Or queen! Our early drama training taught us to understand that the character you play - or write, or direct - requires honesty in their words and truth in the telling. As performers we strive to tell the story naturally and as if it is our own. It's not always a task that comes naturally. It requires a lot of practise – or rehearsal.

Successful one person shows are based on the life experiences and achievements of an extraordinary individual. The person might be a well known figure from history or, more interestingly, and more effectively, they're the personal story of the performer on the stage.

Recently we were invited to Karen Fischer's one woman show, Rebel Dyke. Karen is part of the Rebel Dyke Project, a group of, mainly, lesbian outsiders from the 1980’s who are the subject of a feature documentary

Karen's performance took us on her life journey as a young lesbian protesting on Greenham Common, living in a London squat, going to her first Gay Pride march and being part of the clubbing scene of the 1980's.

It was clear from the start, Karen had lived every moment of the story she was telling. She sang the songs that were the soundtrack to each era of her life and told us not just her story, but the history of the wider LGBTQ community, the birth of Pride and all the sex, drugs and rock and roll that went with it.

And we learnt about the underground lesbian scene where lesbians were marginalised and never quite gained the visibility of the male gay world.

We wanted the same recognition and freedoms as the boys!”

As performers and storytellers ourselves and through the Narativ Method, we're frequently reminded of the value of personal story telling. Telling our stories can be cathartic, educational, historical and, in the case of an oral history told in a one woman show, an archive of what happened. We felt closer to her story and learnt more about history.

To learn more about the Narativ Storytelling Method go HERE

To join us on our next Narativ Listening and Storytelling Workshop in London on August 21st click HERE.

Alexandra Boyd

Writer, Filmmaker & Narativ Associate

Rebel Dyke, directed by Barbara Houseman, will soon be renamed From Prejudice to Pride. Look out for the show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2020 and in upcoming LGBT festivals and events across the country.

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