EDitorial ± 3-Dec-2018

Bath, Story Friday: Feast

Some 250 years ago, Thomas Gainsborough, a wizard with the Winsor & Newtons, took the National Express from insular Ipswich to beautiful Bath. Not content to wait for one to appear at 777 Woodbridge Road (7am to 10:30pm), he wanted a spa there and then. Last Friday, 30th November, I undertook that very same journey.

See, I done put some worms together and made up a tale. Every couple of months, canny Clare Reddaway (writer, playwright: website) runs Story Friday (website) and invites stories on a particular theme. November's was "feast". My own 2000 word entry was selected -- yowzah! -- and so I, along with seven others, was invited to come and read it. Aloud. In Burdall's Yard. A centre for the performing arts. Before an audience. Who'd forked out actual Bath bucks to get in. Nothing to worry about there.

Come 8pm, Jack Patterson from W1A (actually Olly from Kilter Theatre) introduced the first four runners and riders:

  • Doc Watson (website), playwright and writer, with wake-gone-wrong "A Feast for all Seasons"
  • Ali Bacon (website), writer, with the fruitily autobiographical "The Day of the Peach"
  • me (!) with the saintly but smelly "Out of Office"
  • Elaine Miles (website), playwright and performance story teller, with the tense Nairobi-based "The Housekeeper"

Interval time and a chance to breathe and find out that Doc's first job was at the old Ipswich Arts Theatre, now the Old Rep pub, and that I'd seen him on stage there in about 1972 in a panto version of Captain Pugwash. The world she is small, no? Back for part the second, quiz results from Olly (the 2018 version of Beau Nash) and the remaining quartet:

  • Nicolas Ridley (website), playwright, with the confectionery laden "A Sweet Refrain"
  • Debbie Beale with the bloodsoaked "The Wedding Feast"
  • Tony Kirwood (Facebook), comedy teacher and Fickelgruber and Death Eater, with the ghoulishly Oedipal "Monster"
  • Philip Douch (website), playwright and performer, with the ribald "The Restaurant"

Afterwards to the neighbouring King William for a wind-down glass of white with Clare who made it happen and has been making it happen for the last five or six years. Hats off. Could it happen here in the 'Swich? Did Gainsborough ever return? Cheers, Clare, for quite the night.