Review: ‘The Four Chambers of the Heart’

Review of storytellers Clare Murphy and Tim Ralphs.

The Oxford Culture Review

“The universe”, wrote poet Muriel Rukeyser, “is made of stories, not of atoms”. Poetic sentiment maybe, but when told well, stories have the ability both to let us explore new worlds, and to make us look at a familiar world afresh. This week, in a sparsely decorated room in the Story Museum, storytellers Clare Murphy and Tim Ralphs presented a collection of tales that without doubt achieved this. Set against a black backdrop decorated only with fairy lights, the two transported the audience to realms with spirits who can change your gender, and bowls that turn their contents into gold. In each of these stories, though, was the ordinary and the everyday – the young couple who wish to love without facing judgement from others, daughters with troubled relationships with their parents. They may have travelled beyond the constraints of the earthly in a single evening, but Murphy…

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