Nervous: 1001 Stories to Save Your Life

Nervous is about what stories we’re forced to tell when we encounter power; we’re exploring the power of stories; why do we need stories and how many, many, many stories make the abuse of power not only possible but normal?

By Maryam Hamidi and Clare Duffy

Nervous aims to integrate 360 dome projection and live performance to explore the relation of an audience to the way the story is told. We’re going to integrate true stories about people who challenge or trick power to survive, with a re-telling of the framing story of Scheherazade, who told a 1001 stories over 1001 nights, to save her life and the life of every other virgin in the Kingdom.

We always thought it was strange that these Christmas ‘family favourites’ in the UK had to be framed by the rape and murder of 1095 women. We always thought it was strange that this tale of violent misogyny was so normalised, so ‘cute’. It made us angry. So we wanted to re-frame this framing story and in the process ask some big questions about how power uses stories to control us.

We’re in really quite early stages, and we know how ambitious we are being. We’ve basically written a feature film to be shown in a 360 dome, with live actors interacting with the audience and with the film. We don’t know yet how many of the things we’ve been dreaming up will come true. That’s the next stage, when we work with Jamie Wardrop and 4PI in February. Watch this space.

Image credit: Matt Wright