Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

I was asked for my ticket at the Crystal Palace this morning, to which I lifted my AAA pass.

“Oh, you’re one of the special ones” he said.

Another good start to the day, being told that I’m special. These mornings beginning with the writers and readers programme are proving quite uplifting. I’ll probably disprove this theory tomorrow with the onset of whiskey this evening.

Tale Tellers with Steve Braunias, Bill Manhire and Fergus Barrowman bought in a Liquorice Allsorts crowd. Amid the florals, stripes and dots, there was the latest Black Sabbath tour tee and beyond that, a sweatshirt where I could make out ‘get really drunk’ draped across the shoulders. I’m hoping this isn’t some kind of weird omen.

All three speakers brought great anecdotes to the table. Steve was a very amusing storyteller, having induced shoulder shaking in the audience about his father’s annual comic book burning cleanse. Fergus, the self-confessed library kid, recounted the excitement of Eleanor Catton’s Booker Prize win, as he happened to be there as her publisher. And I had wished that Bill had had a word to my English teacher about how poetry (and in this instance, his) needs “to walk around the world and be itself”; not having to conform to a particular meaning but to be open to interpretation from the reader.

I had to make a sneaky exit while the talk was still on and thanked my lucky stars that I hadn’t worn heels and become Little Miss Clippity Clop. Duck, Death & the Tulip was beckoning me up at Baycourt. I hadn’t read the story, but the book was expertly brought to life on stage as I could picture it unfolding on each page. This was an interesting and admirable concept of the kinship between a duck and Death; highlighting the subtle notes of the inevitable, portrayed through familiar expressions such as Death physically dancing with Duck.

The presence of children were noticeable in the theatre when they innocently uttered the obvious. “I can’t see”, when the lights had been dimmed. “I can see the person holding the duck”, another stated earnestly, like he’d uncovered a national secret. These sentiments and the children’s giggles are what helped make the show. I took from it, what I have already learned. That death is always there and not something to be afraid of and to make the most of the time we have here.

So on that note, I’ll be pulling out my dancing shoes tonight for The Eastern!

Love ‘Surely Some Whiskey Will Help Locate The Disappearing Act That Is My Voice’ NJ

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