Dicky Star… at Port Eliot

Reading from my specially commissioned novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule to the generous and attentive audience gathered at the Five Dials stage at Port Eliot was a delight. It was a great opportunity too, to talk in more detail not only about the book itself and the Chernobyl disaster, but also about the ‘interwar period’* generally, the Clash busking tour of May 1985 and the Guardian Quick Crossword.

It was too bright to project slides — even using my prized old analogue warhorse, the justly and widely celebrated Kodak Carousel of yore — so instead I had some of the images printed up to flipchart size. Here are some fab photos of the gig by Sarah Such.

There will be more Dicky Star and the Garden Rule events after the summer break. Please check my events page or your local listings for details. I like giving readings from my fiction, and try to do this as often as I can, but if — as chances are — I’m not appearing at a literary festival or event near you, don’t moan at me, moan at the organisers!

If you or they want a taster of how these readings go, here is a short video from my gig at the Free Word Centre, London.

A word of warning: I may make this look easy, but devising a readings-based set for an outdoor festival around the use of flipcharts, with the concomitant need to carry an ungainly and fragile bundle of A1 paper to and around said festival in potentially volatile weather conditions and to improvise a flipchart stand with extra-strong bulldog clips during a two-minute turnaround is dangerous and may pose risks to your long-term well-being so should not be attempted by the inexperienced writer.

You can buy Dicky Star and the Garden Rule direct from the distributor Cornerhouse.

* More about this ‘interwar period’ anon.