Susie Dent presents The Secret Lives of Words

Part of Chester Literature Festival Running from
Last event: Saturday 6 November 2021 at 7.30pm
  • £24 (each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee)

Members get 10% off tickets at Storyhouse. Moonlight Flicks and Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. £4 month, no commitment, priority booking, no fees, instant access, two tickets per member.

  • Storyhouse Theatre

Update: this event has been postponed from its original date.  We have contacted all bookers who had a ticket for the original date, if you’ve not heard from us please email ticketing@storyhouse.com

Take a journey into the curious, unexpected, and downright surreal origins of the words we use every day. Susie will retell the adventures that lie hidden within such words as lasagne (involving a chamber pot) and bugbear (a terrorising monster), and explain such oddities as the silent h in ghost and the mysterious disappearance of kempt,gormful, and ruly(and yes, you really can be gruntled). She will look to the lexicon of the past to fill some of today’s linguistic gaps – such as the frenzied fit of tidying we all do just as guests are about to descend (that’s a scurryfunge).

Alongside such forgotten stories you will hear Susie’s selection of the funniest moments from her 25 years on Countdown and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as some startling results from eavesdropping on a group of waiters.

The evening will include some of Susie’s favourite words from the towns and regions she visits, and she’ll be asking the audience for theirs. In fact, she’ll be welcoming any questions about word origins, usage irritations, the dreaded impact of Americanization, and the very future of our language in her very own ‘word surgery’.

Time details

2 hours (including an interval)

Reviews

Funny, fact-filled and delightful
Wonderfully clever and funny . . . a national treasury from a national treasure
Susie Dent is a one-off. She breathes life and fun into words
Cinema Kings of The Road (18)

2 hr 55 | A film about friendship between Bruno, who repairs film projectors and travels along the inner-German border in his truck, and the psychologist Robert, who is fleeing from his own past.

Book now
Cinema The American Friend (12A)

2 hr 6 | Jonathan Zimmermann believes that he will soon die of leukemia. The unscrupulous American Tom Ripley, learns of this and exploits Zimmermann’s illness for his own purposes.

Book now
Cinema Wings of Desire (12A)

2 hr 8 | Guardian angels listen to mortals and attempt to comfort them but one of them wishes to become human after he falls in love with the beautiful trapeze artist.

Book now
Cinema Paris, Texas (12A)

2 hr 28 | The story of Travis, a man who wanders out of Mexico and into Texas one day, in the blazing heat of the “Big Bend”.

Book now
Cinema ROH Live: Il Trovatore (TBC)

3 hrs 25 | A devastating curse rises from the ashes in Verdi’s monumental tale of superstition and rivalry.

Book now
Cinema ROH Live: The Sleeping Beauty (TBC)

3 hr 25 | Magic and fairytale characters are brought to life through ballet in this well-known family favourite.

Book now
Cinema ROH Live: The Marriage of Figaro (TBC)

4 hrs | Director David McVicar brings out the revolutionary elements in Mozart’s great comic opera of intrigue, misunderstanding and forgiveness.

Book now
Cinema ROH Live: Cinderella (TBC)

3 hrs | A new production of the much-loved Royal Ballet fairytale classic.

Book now
Cinema ROH Live: Turandot (TBC)

3 hr 20 | Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama in Andrei Serban’s classic staging.

Book now
Cinema ROH Live: Like Water For Chocolate (TBC)

3 hr 10 | Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length ballet brings the magic realism of this famous modern Mexican novel to The Royal Ballet.

Book now

Storyhouse is a charity.
After the most challenging year in our history, we still need your support to help us recover.
Here’s how you can help support the future of Storyhouse.