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Hand-crafted story therapy for when you feel like you’re losing the plot…


A Word In Your Ear and Kilter Theatre  are pleased to present Storyopathy!  Our resident storyopathists are now taking bookings for one of the oldest therapeutic treatments known to mankind: stories.

The modern world is full of twists and turns and it’s easy to lose the plot. Our short story tonics are carefully blended to provide just the balm you need. Your online consultation and reading with our professional storyopathists will immerse you, along with a small like-minded group, in the ancient therapeutic practice of listening and reflecting, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised in mind, body and spirit. (Not bad for sitting down with your feet up!)

Our group Storyopathy sessions ran in the evenings in March and April. However, if you are interested in a bespoke Storyopathic session, perhaps as a present or to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, we will be delighted to arrange it. Please get in touch.

There is a choice of Storyopathic Remedies below. Prepare for your story to unravel.

In need of a wholesome mood-enhancer?

Why not try “Bateman Overboard” or “A Man Trying To Smuggle A Parrot Under His Hat” to boost your spirits. Alternatively, “King Arthur Fights The Corona Dragon” will provide the uplift you need.

Feeling stressed and wrung out?

Choose “Edgar” to calm and declutter or “The True Garden” or “Message in a Bottle” to help you re-balance and restore your inner-you.

Just looking for something to help revitalise you at the end of a long week?

“The Invisible Granny” will stimulate your natural optimism whilst “Balloons” will blend freedom with new horizons!

Our Storyopathic Remedies

Edgar by Christine Roberts

A soothing Story Balm, this warm hug of a story will help you to take joy from the little things in life. Delight in the cycles of nature as you let this gentle tale wash over you.

“She spotted something: a large black shadow spreading from the shrubs across the patio towards the pagoda-styled bird-table where it stopped. It was the largest, blackest hedgehog she had ever seen.”

When Alice hears a snuffling and grunting under the wisteria blossom, she does not realise that what she is about to see will become an engrossing nightly garden ritual.

King Arthur Fights The Corona Dragon. And Lancelot Comes Too, Dammit by Clare Reddaway

A rollicking Story Spritz to revitalise your jaded spirits – because sometimes laughter can be the best medicine. This story might be just the shot in the arm that you need right now.

“In the future, you might find a cloth mask is as effective as a full suit of armour,” the volunteer sighs, as she twirls a curl and looks up under her lashes at Lancelot’s piercing blue eyes.”

As the chronicles have long foretold, King Arthur awakens when Britain needs him most, to fight the dread peril that is bringing a curse to his land. But he’s not quite as useful in 21st century Bath as he had hoped.

Message In A Bottle by Derek Williams

A restorative Story Tonic to help you check in with what’s really important in life. Let the tendrils of age-old folklore weave their magic around you to rebuild your well-being.

“This particular bottle was unusual: it was remarkably long and slender with a small handle on its neck. He removed it from the covering of writhing fish and placed it carefully at the rear of his boat.”

Chandu is fishing when he pulls a smoky green glass bottle from the sea, and decides to give it to his wife as an ornament. It is not until the bottle is broken and they find a piece of paper inside that things become a little more complicated.

Bateman Overboard by Piers Pennington

An energising Story Elixir that will restore your youth and re-invigorate your sense of adventure.

“Bateman and Elaine emerge into a dappled ivy-covered quadrangle with a chestnut tree in the middle. The last event in their programme is a softball tournament and barbecue on the college’s sports ground. “I’m playing truant now,” Elaine says. “Am I to lead you astray?”

Bateman does not want to go to Oxford. Not at all. Yet somehow he finds himself there, at the summer school, and what he encounters is not at all what he had expected.

The Invisible Granny by Crysse Morrison

A Story Tincture to stimulate your sense of optimism. A nourishing blend of rejuvenation, positivity and vitality.

“The matter of the suitcase was bothering her considerably. When she visited her family to help out with children or look after the ailing, Izzy generally used carriers and her big red shopping bag. She didn’t need much by way of clothes. Clearly this wouldn’t do for a castle.”

Izzy Quirk had never been on holiday. But her grandson has given her a winter break at Dalgleish Castle for her 75th birthday, so she was really going to have to step up her game.

A Man Trying To Smuggle A Parrot Under His Hat On A Long Haul Flight by Robert Garnham

A Story Pick-Me-Up to boost your spirits and brighten your day. This story will have you doing a highland gig of delight around your kitchen table.

“The parrot kept pecking all through the flight. But I kept my hat on. I’m sure that the person sitting in the seat behind me must have guessed what was happening, because my hat, my tweed trilby hat, was in motion all the way from Copenhagen International to Stansted. And you can’t blame that on turbulence.”

Remember travel? Remember planes? Well, this is a parrot, under a hat, on a plane. Just that. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

The True Garden by Pauline Masurel

A Story Balm-for-the-Soul. Take time to relax and unwind, declutter your life. This story is as balanced and pure as a singing bowl.

“At sunrise and sunset, and on clear afternoons when the mountain views appeared between the clouds, tourists would ascend the hill. They chattered, laughed and photobombed each other’s selfies. The monk seldom featured in these portraits because he was insufficiently picturesque; unlike other holy men in the kingdom he did not wear flowing robes and still sported a full head of hair. He was usually clad in dusty corduroys and a faded Manchester United shirt.”

In a kingdom far away, a monk meditates on a hillside. His life seems simple. Walk with him as he grows and changes and experiences the world around him.

Balloons by Sherry Morris

A Story Tonic to help you focus on what’s important for you, right now. Carve yourself some me-time and prepare to be good to yourself. A stimulating blend of freedom and new horizons.

“When a breeze catches the balloons and nudges them through the air, she follows. Watches how they move weightlessly, effortlessly. Hears them whisper of far off places and adventures. That’s what she says yes to — an untethered balloon can soar off anywhere. Their murmurs fill her ears.”

Isabella is enthralled by the bouquet of balloons that she is given, but will they tie her down or set her free?

For more information about all of our Story Apothecary writers, please click here.

Storyopathy Authors

Clare Reddaway.jpeg

Clare Reddaway


King Arthur Fights The Corona Dragon. And Lancelot Comes Too, Dammit

Clare Reddaway writes short stories and plays. Her stories have been widely published, regularly broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol and elsewhere, and have won and been shortlisted for national competitions, including being shortlisted for the Bridport prize this year. She loves performing her stories, and to this end, set up Story Fridays with collaborators Kilter Theatre in 2012. They have been going from strength to strength ever since. As for her plays, they have been performed across the UK, including a run at the Edinburgh Festival followed by a short tour, and productions in London as well in the south-west. Read more at

Clare Reddaway
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Christine Roberts



Christine has written extensively for theatre since 1996. Her work has been performed internationally and nationally.  An anthology of her plays, Tormented Minds was published by Intellect and Mangled by Minerva Press.

A Government Warning was selected for the Jean McConnell New Writing Award in London in March 2016 London. Most recently her play A Bumper Harvest was selected by Off the Cliff Theatre and performed in London 2018.

She has had thirteen 15-20 minute short story/monologues produced by Kilter Theatre and A Word in Your Ear, Bath (July 2012-March 2020). Christine also contributed to our Festive Doorstep Stories project.


Christine Roberts

Derek Williams


Message In A Bottle

Derek Williams lives in Sherborne.  He has been a writer on health and world development; journalist and magazine editor for the NHS; and freelance copywriter. His stories have been broadcast and published in magazines and anthologies, with several winning prizes in national competitions. He offered visitors ‘One minute love stories’ at the 1992 Ebbw Vale Garden Festival. His plays have been performed at the Arundel Fringe Festival Theatre Trail; in London (King’s Head Theatre, Islington; Etcetera Theatre); and Fishguard (Pint-Sized Plays 2018). See more of Derek’s work at

Derek Williams
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Piers Pennington


Bateman Overboard

Piers Pennington studied Comparative Literature at the University of East Anglia. He is an occasional contributor to the football magazine When Saturday Comes and his articles have been included in the anthologies Power, Corruption and Pies andAlways Next Year.  For the past ten years he has pursued an interest in short story writing and is a founder member of the writers’ collective D-Fen, who aspire to write a new story every two weeks. He now lives in blissful retirement with his wife, daughter and cat.

Piers wrote one of the stories we recorded for Story Friday A Breath of Fresh Air earlier this year. If you’d like to get a flavour of his writing, you can watch his story Flouting read by Bryn Holding here.  Piers also contributed to our Festive Doorstep Stories project.

Piers Pennington
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Crysse Morrison


The Invisible Granny

Crysse Morrison has been a writer since half way through the last century, and only the advance of technology has saved several forests from devastation through this obsession.  Advancing through articles and short stories she reached novels (pub. Hodder) then drama (2 full-length & several short plays produced) and performance poetry (pub. Burning Eye) followed for a change by a history of Frome (pub. Hobnob). Since the first lockdown Crysse has written another novel, The Price of Bread, set in N Ireland at the start of the 1970s troubles (now available from Hobnob) and controls her scribing passion with a weekly blog:  Read more here:

Crysse Morrison
Robert Garnham
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Robert Garnham

A Man Trying To Smuggle A Parrot Under His Hat On A Long Haul Flight

Robert Garnham is a comedy performance poet, writer and humorist based in Paignton, Devon. He has taken several shows around the UK and to the Edinburgh Fringe, and in 2017 he was acclaimed as having one of the funniest one-liners of the festival. He has appeared in a couple of short TV adverts for a certain bank. For more information about Robert Garnham go to 

Robert wrote one of the stories we recorded for Story Friday Dark Clouds, Silver Linings earlier this year, as well as contributing to our Festive Doorstep Stories project. If you’d like to get a flavour of his writing you can watch his story The Moths They Sing To Me read by Fergus Woods Dunlop here.

Pauline Masurel
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Pauline Masurel


The True Garden

Pauline Masurel is an allotment gardener who lives in South Gloucestershire. Her short and tiny fictions have been published in anthologies, broadcast on radio and are available online.  She has performed her work in Bath, Bristol and beyond, including at Story Friday events.  Her website is at

Sherry Morris
Sherry Morris.jpg

Sherry Morris


Originally from America’s Heartland, Sherry Morris writes prize-winning flash fiction and short stories from a farm in the Scottish Highlands where she watches clouds, pets cows and scribbles words. She is a board member for the acclaimed Highland publication Northwords Now and reads for the wonderfully wacky Taco Bell Quarterly. Her first published short story was about her Peace Corps experience in Ukraine. Currently, she’s developing a script for the BBC Scottish Voices writer development programme that is set in Kansas and the Highlands, and involves donuts, dogs and drag queens. She tweets @Uksherka.

If you’d like know more about Sherry’s writing do have a look at her website.

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