The audience are welcomed to a small and cosy space. There are cushions, pretty fairy lights, and live music as a woman serenades our arrival. Clouds is a story-telling experience – one that mesmerises its listeners and allows imagination to run wild. With this free show, Lana Burns creates a peaceful setting where people can relax and enjoy a collection of stories, making for a serene and calming 50 minutes.
Our story-teller is a meteorologist, gifting us with celestial tales on the origins of weather: we look at anything from the mysteries of microclimates, to snow foxes that weave snowflakes and make haikus. With the variety in the five stories, there is something here to catch the eye of each individual. My personal favourite revolves around a character named Lore, who has wishes granted to them by an albatross; Lana Burns guides us through their story, telling how storms came to be as Lore uses up each boon.
The fantasy-filled stories all vary in length, but our narrator still manages to keep the audience engaged – especially the children present, who sat with their eyes fixed and mouths wide at the adventurous tales. Even if they did seem slightly confused at some larger words, the ways the stories were told meant no-one was any less involved, and there is certainly no age limit for a show which is accessible and enjoyable to all. As long as you have a good imagination and a fondness for stories, it will work for you.
Whilst the stories unravelled, live sound effects complement the show, making this a more distinctive experience. Many of the tales take place in or around water, and so a part-filled bottle creates the sound of rippling waves; something as simple as softly blowing against the mic creates the illusion of wind. The collection of lamps and fairy lights provide the illumination, and all these elements make the story-telling more immersive and personal.
It isn't easy to keep a varied audience engaged for an hour of story-telling alone, and Burns did a great job in bringing energy to the space; she was able to keep a steady flow, and the younger people present sat quietly and intently. As for me, I loved the uniqueness of the stories, and found comfort listening amongst the pillows. Clouds is a charming experience – perfect for people of any age looking for a pleasant and quiet Fringe evening.