The Basic Act of Storytelling

Behind all the different approaches we are exploring one thing remains constant – everything we do is designed to enhance and extend the basic act of storytelling.


And this basic act boils down to one person looking at another and telling a story. This is still the foundation of everything else and I continue to practice and develop as a storyteller through recording stories for different library services.


Ealing Libraries have been a good collaborator of mine for many years and this year they asked me to record a story for Diwali. You can watch it here in all its low tech glory combining simple words with simple images.

What is the basic act of storytelling for you? Where does the essence of storytelling lie? Is it in the relationship of the teller to the listener? Or the evocative power of language? Or the invitation to play? Or the panache of the performance? Or the immersion in a shared world? Or the message of the story?


After many years of telling and listening to stories I have found that all these things are true at different times and in different situations. So perhaps even the basic act of storytelling is difficult to analyse. Well, that’s all the better for us – there is infinite scope in exploring all the different ingredients…!


Richard