Edinburgh Ghost Tours, and the Art of Damn Good Storytelling4th Jan 2021
Mercat team member Brad explores the art of good storytelling on TV, in the cinema, as well as in person on our own Edinburgh ghost tours.
Over the holiday break, I watched The King’s Speech. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy it, but I was blown away by how great a job the writers had done of using the quirkiness of a slightly unorthodox speech therapist’s interactions with the King, in order to tell a greater story.
It was this playful nature between an Australian speech therapist and a shy man reluctantly adopting a rather large responsibility that drew me to watch the film.
And yet, The King’s Speech enlightened me to a much deeper story of King Edward’s abdication, strong leadership in times of darkness, and a whole host of themes around family, hope, tradition, war and overcoming challenges.
It’s often the case that the most engaging way to tell a story is through its humour and quirks; its most bizarre aspects or perhaps its most terrifying elements.
The story of Prince Albert’s (or “Bertie’s”) speech impediment and abrupt ascension to the throne could have been told in any number of ways. The same goes for the tales you’ll hear on Mercat Tours’ various history walks and underground Edinburgh ghost tours.
Rather than discussing historical events via straightforward, chronological accounts of what happened, is it not better to bring the past to life through damn good storytelling?
Clearly the filmmakers behind The King’s Speech, The Crown, Tesla and Dunkirk think so (along with countless other exceptional historical films and TV shows). At Mercat Tours, we certainly think so too!