Sydney Luca Lion reviews Wise Child Live, presented on the final day of the On The Rocks Festival.


In lives made up of stories and anecdotes, how do we choose the ones worth sharing? That might seem like a philosophical start to an event review, but I think it is relevant for Wise Child Live, the last event of On the Rocks, which featured four stories by four different students. The event was held in Sandy’s, which was very nicely decorated for the occasion, with twinkling fairy lights strung about the room and fresh flowers in unique glass bottles on all the tables. The vibe was very relaxed before the show opened, people getting drinks and chatting with friends before settling on the couches and chairs that had been set up. The story telling started a bit late as any student event is likely to do, but no one seemed to mind.

The show was opened by one of the Wise Child committee members who introduced the four storytellers as well as the three musicians who would accompany them. The first storyteller was Kit Klaes, who showed a trailer of an 80’s thriller and then told us the story of the haunted house her family had recently moved into. Kit seemed quite comfortable telling her story and the audience was intrigued by the ghost sightings and eerie footsteps. I am personally still most concerned about that creepy family friend. Kate Marriott was next, telling a funny story about saving an injured seagull. The actual events of this story were perhaps the least intriguing, but Kate had a very funny and engaging way of speaking so the audience was very amused and engaged. Madeline Inskeep was the third to share. She began with some brief anecdotes of her father’s inability to deal with gravity, which were amusing but a bit confusing, as they did not fit with her narrative. Her actual story was about a tense experience at a motel with two rival biker gangs while she was on a road trip with her dad. Last to go was Lily Barnes, who told a funny story about her first boyfriend and his family’s rather disturbing obsession with their ugly cat (why did you stay in that relationship for three years??). Lily seemed most comfortable or rehearsed, and had some really great turns of phrase that garnered a lot of laughs. The musical accompaniment was also best for this story, finally fitting with the narrative rather than just softly playing in the background. 

Never having been to any of It’s a Wise Child’s events, I was not really sure what to expect when I first settled into my chair at Sandy’s. I think I had the perception that these would be grandiose life tales or something like that, but these were definitely stories of a smaller scale, more random and perhaps trivial. I appreciated the variety, the fact that the story of saving a seagull could be deemed just as valuable as the tale of an odd first boyfriend. There was an emphasis on storytelling and sharing that went beyond plot or events, more like the tales told around a campfire when you are just trying to while away the hours with friends. Live story telling of this sort has a great propensity for bringing people together in a way that is not so common in our everyday lives. The act of sharing and listening made us all friends, at least for the hour. I think it is great that It’s a Wise Child provides this platform because more stories should be told, even when the campfire is far away.


Sydney Luca Lion