First speakers announced, and Storythings first publication!

Tickets for The Story 2013 go on sale on Monday, 1st October at noon, so here’s some info about the speakers we’ve got lined up, and some exciting news about Storythings’ first book publication – available at a discounted price when you buy tickets to The Story.

First of all – the speakers. We’ve got a particularly interesting and diverse line up this year, with speakers from backgrounds in sport, television, theatre, science, art, and many more. The first three speakers are:

Economist and author Diane Coyle runs the consultancy Enlightenment Economics. She is Vice Chair of the BBC Trust, a member of the Migration Advisory Committee, was a member of the Browne Review of higher education funding, and was on the Competition Commission for eight years. She has worked on competition policy, network markets, the economics of new technologies and globalisation, including extensive work on the impacts of mobile telephony in developing countries. Diane is the author of several bestselling books including The Economics of Enough, The Soulful Science  and What’s The Use of Economics?, a collection of essays about teaching economics, out in September 2012.

Rob Manuel is the co-founder of B3ta, one of the funniest and longest-running communities online. Before social media gurus invented cliches like ‘meme culture’, Rob and the community at B3ta were actually doing it, making bizarre, hilarious and crude jokes out of the flotsam and jetsam of the internet. I asked Rob to talk at The Story because I love B3ta, but since asking him he’s written about cliched attitudes to ‘the bottom half of the internet’ and what this says about attitudes to class in online culture, so I’ve asked him to talk about this as well. Its a really fascinating and important subject.

Alecky Blyth is a playwright and screenwriter who won a Time Out Award for her first play, Come Out Eli, and was selected as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2007. Alecky’s London Road won Best Musical at the Critics’ Circle Awards and was revived in 2012 at the National Theatre in the Olivier after its sellout in the Cottesloe in 2011. She was also involved in Headlong Theatre’s production of Decade, and wrote and co-directed The Riots ; In their Words, a drama documentary for BBC2. Her most recent play, Where Have I Been All My Life? was produced at the New Vic Theatre in April 2012.  In 2003, Alecky set up Recorded Delivery  (Verbatim Theatre Company). The term ‘recorded delivery’ has now become synonymous with the verbatim technique she employs.

Secondly, Storythings is very proud to announce its first publication – an art book edition of Vacuum Days, an online project by Tim Etchells, the renowned artist, writer and theatre director who spoke at the very first The Story in 2010. That year, we published a newspaper that Tim contributed to, creating imaginary posters for bizarre events/performances. He developed the format in Vacuum Days – a year-long online text-based project which ran live from 1 January till 31 December 2011.

Comprising a series of one-per-day posters reminiscent of live show lineup announcements, Vacuum Days proposed a rolling daily programme of imaginary events that responded to, reworked and distorted real-life events. Inhabiting and extending the zone of sensationalist media, news as pornography, hyped up current affairs, Internet spam, twitter-gossip and tabloid headlines, the project mixed reality, political and theatrical spectacle and in a stark combination of overzealous capitals and small-print conjured a set of unlikely, absurd and uncomfortable performances, lectures, contests, fights, film screenings and other kinds of public display.

We’re very pleased that the book version of Vacuum Days will be published by Storythings, the parent company of The Story, on 5th November 2012. Buying a ticket for The Story on Eventbrite will give you the opportunity to get a copy at a special pre-launch price of £15, plus P&P (although you can choose to pick it up in person at The Story in February, and avoid paying any P&P at all!). One final note – as a comical and bitterly mischievous parody of sometimes shocking news events, Vacuum Days is only suitable for mature readers, and should not be purchased by the easily-offended. Any of you who saw Tim perform his monologue Star-Fucker at The Story in 2010 will know the power of his writing already.