Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tuned in Stories at Story Studio, Komedia Brighton

Short Fuse has changed their name to Story Studio and the night on Sunday was a great success. The theme for the night was "Tunes" and apart from traditional story readings the audience was treated to visual art by Lee Thacker, singing by Pam Hewitt and performance art by Amanda Evans.

I performed my story I'm from Further North than You that was inspired by the Wedding Present song with the same title. Last time I read this story was at the Edge of the Sea festival in august so it was less nerve-wracking this time ... It was great to have Lee Thacker's illustrations of the story behind me, and I felt very honoured to have David from the Wedding Present at my table. I found out that the song was originally titled Edinburgh. I didn't know this, but had subconsciously set the story in the Scottish capital anyway.

Next up was Brian Bell reading Shite Ole' Deep Purple Records. What I particularly liked about this story is that it dealt with the snobbishness of some music fans ... e.g. that you can't be a punk and also listen to Deep Purple. (Swedish rock band Backyard Babies once kicked a band member because they found a Suzanne Vega record in his collection ... And my Swedish debut novel "Punk industrial hard rocker with attitude" deals with being bullied for liking both Guns N'Roses and punk stuff ....)

Jeff Noon was probably the most famous name on the bill. I've never read any of his novels although I've seen them lying about in my friends houses. My first ever flatmates kept going on about Needle in the groove and it's still on the list of books I want to read ... Jeff didn't get up on stage himself, instead Alistair Lock did a brilliant job reading Jeff's story The Queen is Dead inspired by the Smith's song.

Amanda Evans in full action, telling her tale from Jamaica called The Third Drawer. She was accompanied by soft drumming which made the story very hypnotic.

The duo Felstead and Waddell seem to be the act in residence at Story Studio and they always amuse me. Their stories are only about a 100 words long, but each story is a complete sketch with props. The stories they read on the night were all inspired by song titles, e.g. River Deep - Mountain high and Living la vida loca. How they manage to keep their faces straight I don't know ...

This Genesis guy was not at Story Studio. But Tara Gould had written an amazing rhythmic story about losing your virginity titled The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, and it was performed by Wendy Quelch. I got so into the story that I forgot to get my camera out hence the substitute picture ...

Another highlight was Louise Hume's story Porquoi Es-Tue Devenue Si Raisonnable? performed by Simon Drake and Louise herself. The french title is English for the Wedding Present Song Why are you being so reasonable now?
Apparently it was a huge hit in France ...

Last up was Lee Thacker. Well last up was a graphic short story of his, read by Wendy Quelch & Holly Dawson. Unfortunately the ending of this story Nickles and Dimes was missing, but maybe it was an intentional trick to get everybody to buy the forthcoming anthology with The Wedding Present-inspired stories ... I don't know exactly when it will be out, but I'll keep you posted.

Next Story Studio happens in June and the theme then is Sport & Leisure. Maybe the above picture from post Brighton Marathon will inspire you ... (I took this photo on my way home feeling inspired by writer & photographer Erika Szostak who also has a story in the above mentioned anthology.) More info about Story Studio and submission guidelines here.

Thanks to Lee Thacker for the photo of me.


  1. Hi, Louise!
    Great review of a great evening, I'm so glad I attended and it was great to meet everyone whose stories I've been illustrating.
    David has a meeting with Harper Collins today, so hopefully they'll be interested in publishing the anthology.

  2. Hey Louise,
    Thanks for such a great and thorough review of the night. And for reading and delivering such a dynamic performance, and excellent story.
    I'm really enjoying the new Story Studio format, even though Short Fuse was great, I really felt the need to open things up, and it seems to be working well. Love your post marathon pic by the way. Hope to see you soon. Tara x