Stand up and be heard: a new storytelling club is opening in Manchester


No matter who you are or where you are from, we’ve all experienced heartbreak, crawl-under-a-rock embarrassment and the fear of ‘what if’?

Sometimes these experiences can make us feel isolated and alone, so it’s good to be reminded that we’re not. One of the best ways to do this is through telling stories – and listening to them.

Stories help us understand the world around us. They enlighten us with other perspectives and add context to modern events by rooting us in the grooves of history. They help give coherence and meaning to our life experiences.

But the notion of what a story is is quickly changing. Instagram and Facebook, for example, have reduced storytelling to the extent that, without a hint of irony, you can take a selfie with a cat filter and call it a story.

The most valuable stories still happen organically. They are not reverse engineered for ‘likes’ or carefully curated to fit a 140 character word count. They are intimate, meaningful, and captivating.

The problem is we’re just getting out of the habit of telling them.

Not for much longer though, because true storytelling club Heard is launching this week at Ducie Street’s all-new day destination Cultureplex in a bid to revive our enthusiasm for the art form.

Each event will have a different theme, weaving together elements of stand-up comedy, group therapy, and confessionals, starting this weekend – “Sundays are traditionally a day for reflection and communion, and we like that idea,” says Cultureplex creative director Katie Popperwell.

Anyone can turn up with a story – or just get a large glass of wine, cosy up and sit back and listen. The rules are simple: the story must be true, personal, unrehearsed and no more than five minutes long.

“I wanted to create something that would bring people together in a very open and honest way,” founder Caroline Dyer told us, citing the current atmosphere of negativity and division in the country.

“Absolutely everyone and every story is welcome. We all live inside our own echo chambers but Heard aims to remind us how much we have in common.”

Heard kicks off at Cultureplex on 29th September at 4pm with the theme ‘Square One’. Tickets are available now priced just £5.



Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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