“storying – an archaic term, describes a process; a way of translating complex ideas into an oral form”

Pamela Neil creates innovative and highly original live oral performances and podcasts exploring controversial issues and social change. Her work has been described as ‘brilliant’, ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘provocative’. Previous live performances have covered subjects as diverse as adoption, indefinite detention, paedophilia, the work of academics in conflict zones, Rwandan genocide, coming out as LGBT teenagers, and social cohesion on council estates.

For each work, Pamela collaborates with people who have something to say and a need to say it publicly. These range from estate residents, academics and campaigners to professionals working in specific fields.

Until now, Pamela has brought others’ thoughts and ideas together in live oral performances performed at arts venues and performance spaces. However, she is currently creating a new series of audio podcasts designed specifically for a digital platform. This will ensure that these provocative performances are accessible to a wide audience, on demand.

Pamela describes what she does as ‘storying’ – a word used by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge when he wrote in the poem Kisses, in 1793, ‘…if storying Legends tell aright, Once fram’d a rich Elixir of Delight….

How we communicate complex ideas orally

“Storying complex thoughts and ideas for the oral form is a very particular skill’, Pamela explains. An intimate knowledge of a topic is not enough when curating your own work. As a curator curates an exhibition, storying is about selecting and arranging ideas to achieve a particular outcome or meaning; what you say (about what you know), why and how you say it.