Stories aren’t just for children. As grown-ups we still use them, but they’ve lost their magic. Once they contained the morals that taught us the art of being human and showed us that we had better behave ourselves or we’d end up baked into a pie or eaten by a wolf. But now they’re no longer stories about witches and castles and gingerbread and magical creatures. Our stories tend to be told with flashes and crashes on screen that seem to be trying hard just to get us to feel something. Tonight, Crick Crack Club takes us back to how stories used to be, in The Day of the Dead.
Four imaginative and charismatic storytellers (TUUP, Lucy Lill, Daniel Morden and Clare Murphy) lead us through an evening of short tales, lovingly told by them one at a time. Inspired by the Mexican festival of el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead become blurry, the stories focus on different parts of death, dying and the dead, and their effect on the living. This has been an annual tradition for Crick Crack Club for many years now, and clearly has a following of regulars: a call and response of “Crick” and “Crack” began with no prompt or explanation.
While there is a connection with death in the stories, the influence of the Día de los Muertos is a little tenuous. Other than a colourful altar and some skeleton mannequins that are stereotypical of the Día, there is no further link to the festival. The Día de los Muertos is inescapably significant in Mexico and tonight just didn’t feel… Mexican. Even so, the evening is respectful of the festival’s honouring of a joyful relationship between life and death which loosely ties the different stories together.
The stories vary from funny to creepy, touching to eerie, and have morals and meanings that make the magic really pop. The storytellers, obviously all experts in their craft, tell them with pizazz and a generosity that keeps us eager for more. It was a real joy to sit and be told stories in a way that felt so familiar by great performers. Everyone in the audience, young to old, was captivated and I can’t wait to see this again, like some others have, year after year.
Storytellers: TUUP, Lucy Lill, Daniel Morden and Clare Murphy
Produced by: Crick Crack Club
They also have other shows scheduled for London, Bristol and Oxford. You can find out about all future shows on their website here.