Paul Strickland performs on Surrey’s Digital Stage from June 18-30. (submitted photo)

Paul Strickland performs on Surrey’s Digital Stage from June 18-30. (submitted photo)

STORYTELLING

Kentucky storyteller’s ‘New Fangled Fibs’ moves from Surrey theatre to Digital Stage

Paul Strickland show is online starting June 18, for ‘pay what you can’ price

Kentucky-raised comedic storyteller Paul Strickland is up next on Surrey’s Digital Stage, the virtual channel for Surrey Civic Theatres productions during the pandemic.

Some of Strickland’s finest tall tales are showcased in “New Fangled Fibs,” to be broadcast online for a couple of weeks starting Friday, June 18. Tickets are “pay what you can,” with $15 suggested, via surrey.ca/theatre.

It’s a show that would have played Surrey city hall’s Centre Stage theatre in March 2020, if not for COVID-triggered gathering restrictions that began that month.

This month’s online launch show, at 7 p.m. June 18, will include a post-show chat with Strickland, who is charming, quick-witted, “and revels in hilarious word play that is a treat to hear,” raves Nic Enright-Morin, communications co-ordinator for Surrey Civic Theatres.

“Quite honestly, his magical world of whimsy is just the tonic after the year we have all had.”

Usually in storytelling, people share yarns from their own life. Strickland says that on the circuit, spinning “fictional fibs” is quite unusual.

“There aren’t many of us that tell tall tales,” he told a biographer. “To be honest, it makes more sense to a lot of people if you compare what I do to Mark Twain. I often say that my work is a bit like the love child of Mark Twain and David Lynch.”

Strickland began his creative career on the singer-songwriter-stand-up circuit.

Today, his award-winning stories feature a collection of whimsical characters including Ain’t True and Uncle False, along with other fabulous folk from the Big Fib Trailer Park.

The characters, he says, are a collage, composites of people he has met throughout his life.

“In the show that I’m performing for y’all, I’m performing a story called Origin of Rest Areas, and the main character, Winifred Restarea, comes from an idea, based on a lady I met right after a show. I’ve never seen her since. I don’t know her name. She was just a lovely older lady that came up to me who was just a fascinating human being.”

Live theatre