Photo: Vincent Cavalier / SR.
Amanda Glans, producer of Storydox. Photo: Vincent Cavalier / SR.

New production brings oral storytelling fad to Stockholm

2:22 min

Storydox, a new production that takes inspiration from the stage-storytelling organization The Moth, is set to debut this Thursday in Stockholm.

Amanda Glans, the producer, says Storydox has three themed shows planned with six storytellers per performance, some well-known and others less so.

"We want it to be a mix," she told Radio Sweden. "Every time someone is a little bit more famous, you get to hear something new about that person. One or several are known from the news, but here we get to meet the person behind the dramatic event. And there's also people just like you and me."

Tickets for this Thursday's show have sold out. Its theme "på gränsen" will mean each story features either a physical or internal border. One storyteller, Abdullahi Hussein, worked as a propagandist for the Ethiopian government and crossed a treasonous internal border when he decided to gather video evidence that spotlighted government misdeeds. Another narrator Ebba Junker, will tell a high seas adventure story. Sailing by herself, Junker fell, broke bones in her face and required medical attention, but the only island nearby was an American military outpost, which was not officially "on the map" and which did not permit women to cross its borders.

"The tricky thing when you work with people's own stories is that often we want to explain how we experience something," said Glans. "We talk about our emotional journey in life. But that's not really storytelling. We need to get the events in life. And by telling these events in an engaging way we get the audience to feel, instead of just telling them what you feel. You need to find these focus points in real life events."

The organizers, which include the production company Munk and Fabula Storytelling, were inspired by The Moth, the successful New York non-profit that has hosted events since 1997 as well as organizing the popular StorySLAM, competitions open to the public. Several years ago The Moth also launched a podcast, which now averages over 1 million downloads per month. Like its progenitor, Storydox will also produce a podcast and a YouTube channel.

What is the appeal of telling stories live?

"You get an immediate reaction from the audience. When we tried this out during the spring, we had been coaching the storytellers and we said, 'Yeah it's a really good story.' But when the audience came it got even better. They got wings. Because it's this connection between the storyteller and the audience that makes the story come alive. It's like magic," said Glans.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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