Of Stories & Poetry: Interactive Storytelling With Ivan Irakoze

‘What if I told you you could choose someone else’s reality?’


That was the intro to Ivan Irakoze’s interactive storytelling showcase at Alliance Francaise last night. It was a great event filled to capacity with people getting involved in the story at every turn. The show started with a short introduction from Ivan where he explained that the audience would get to decide how each story would unfold at different stages. Each stage would be accompanied with a poetry performance from him based on what the audience had chosen.


The first, a love story between Luis and Laquisha (names chosen by the audience), was told from the male perspective. It started out like most do with butterflies in the stomach and sweet words. Then the audience chose to cause some trouble in the relationship by casting doubt and forcing the man to define the relationship. It then led to a very descriptive breakup and the story ended on a cliffhanger when the couple met five years later.


The second story was about a murder in a hotel. Ivan took the audience on a journey around the dining room, describing who was there, where they were and what they were doing before a blackout and finding someone murdered when the lights came back on. It then became a whodunit situation with Ivan sharing more info about the remaining people in the dining room, including him as the narrator, and the audience trying to guess who the murderer was. Again, this story ended in a twist that many of the audience present hadn’t seen coming.


So who is Ivan Irakoze?


He is a storytelling poet who performs interactive storytelling and poetry sessions that involve the audience at every step and allow them to decide how the story will unfold. This is done by giving the audience two possible options which lead to a different possible reality for the characters in the story. He then performs a different poem based on the option based on what the majority of the audience vote for. He has released an EP titled Real which explores love and relationships and is the founder of Ink Overflow, a social enterprise which promotes art and all forms of self-expression.


You can catch him at his next show which will be a live album recording on September 7, 2019 at the Michael Joseph Centre. You can also listen to more of his poetry on his website at https://ivanirakoze.com/home .


Images Courtesy: Twitter

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