Kendal part 2
You remember a few days ago I was saying how performance made me so nervous that I would hardly sleep the night before? Well, this is the outcome of that nerve-wracking period. Tell Tales performed on Friday, to an audience of venue promoters, managers and live literature bookers. Quite a tough crowd you might imagine. In fact, on a very hot afternoon when they'd already been exposed to a day and a half of debate, workshop and performance, they were a generous and appreciative group. Tell Tales is an unusual concept in that the stories are chosen to appear in an anthology (mine is in Tell Tales volume 3) but it is also a performance group where writers read their stories to an accompanying soundtrack put together by Zak Akhimien (the Evil Genius) who works with each writer to create a soundscape that matches and enhances the prose.
Hmmm ... so what can I tell you? I'll be smug and give you the review copy, as written after the performance by the poet Tom Chivers, 'Kay Sexton's Allicholy Tale of the Dispunged Dark Lady is a quirky, exceedingly uncomfortable deconstruction of our society's obsession with health and beauty. Sexton has a real knack for capturing authentic colloquial dialogue as well as a flair for performance. In a brilliant twist on the modern passion for exfoliation and moisturising, the narrator - a hairdresser - receives a curse that submits her to dry, scabby skin and dead hair. Gothic stuff, well handled'
My fellow readers, Shamila Chauchan, Kavita Bhanot, Tom Lee and Heather Imani were all fantastic and Zak's music supported each story brilliantly. Our editor, compere and - of course, superb writer in himself - Nii Parkes, kept us, and the audience, at the peak of enjoyment throughout the performance and really made the event come to life. In the photo, from top left you can see Nii and Heather, with Shamila and Zak seated in front. Do they look wonderful? They should. It was one of the most fun events I've ever taken part in.
I'd like to thank the organisers of Live Lit for such a quality event, and especially Linda Graham, Festival Organiser, for her calm competence and welcoming manner. Kate Whiteside, Web Editor of the Westmoreland Gazette, kept me company on my first evening in Kendal and we ate and laughed the whole evening.
And in case you're wondering if I've forgotten about the printed word - not so. Let me tease you with the information that Ellen Meister, new novelist and brilliantly funny writer, is going to be revealing all on Thursday ... watch this space!