I’m absolutely thrilled to have been invited along to the second show of Short Stories Aloud, a brand new literary event in Oxford. And I’m especially excited that I’ll get to watch an actor perform a short story from ‘Freaks!’ (will it be one of my stories? Ooooh, the suspense!). The mastermind behind the literary series is the fabulous Sarah Franklin. And I’ll let Sarah tell you more…
Sometimes ideas just won’t go away. Short Stories Aloud was one of those ideas. ‘I should start a literary series for Oxford’, I thought. And once I’d thought it, I couldn’t unthink it. Which is how I found myself in the loft room at The Old Firestation in central Oxford, laying out plates of brownies and arranging chairs whilst, behind me, two actors were put through their paces.
Short Stories Aloud is a swirly combination of performance and literary chat. It’s very loosely based on Selected Shorts, to the degree that, say, Frazzles are based on bacon. At our first show last week, actors Matt Gibbs and Sreya Rao read short stories from new collections by DW (Dave) Wilson and Roshi Fernando. The stories are astonishingly powerful and the audience sat gratifyingly open-mouthed as the actors brought them into miniature worlds. When they were suitably gobsmacked, we broke for cake and booze before reconvening for chat with the authors. We used audience questions as a starting point to take the conversation all over the place Dave and Roshi were fabulous company; funny, charming, and fantastically honest.
Overall, it was warm and friendly, thought-provoking and fun. Everything you’d want from a literary night; or any night, really. I can’t wait to do it again.
Which is just as well, because we’re doing it again very soon: Tuesday, May 29th, to be precise. I’m, if possible, even more excited about the next event because the authors coming along are friends of mine (and of each other). Caroline Smailes and Ben Johncock will have the pleasure of hearing their stories read aloud before chatting about whatever comes up. And, to match the theme of the evening will be ‘Things Are Not What They Seem’, we’ll be hearing a third story by the fabulous Rebecca Makkai.
Tickets are a mere fiver on the door or from www.wegottickets.com. More info will be on the Short Stories Aloud Facebook page or our Twitter feed: @StoriesAloud. Do come along, have some cake, and listen to some astonishing stories. Then afterwards you get a chance to ask the authors, ‘What were you thinking?’ And maybe they’ll tell you.
Come, yes do come along! I’m truly excited about this event. Ben and Sarah are both very ace and I know the event will be much fun.
And, to recap, the details of the event are:
Date: Tuesday 29 May.
Time: 7:30 pm.
Location: The Old Firestation, Oxford.
Price: A fiver.