2014

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Image by Steve Johnson

Story Friday
Blue

 

Stories from Story Friday:  Blue

Stories from Story Fridays Blue, first heard at Burdall’s Yard, on 17th January 2014.

We beat the January Blues with our Blue theme at the start of 2014.  It was a wet and dreary Bath night on the 17th January, and we had our biggest audience ever – standing room only. We had some wonderful stories from Story Friday regulars and welcomed some new folk to our stage. Our writers wrote about swimming pools and love affairs, Mao jackets and heredity, serendipity and songs heard floating on a desert breeze.

The writers who read at Story Friday Blue and the names of their stories are: Elaine Miles, ‘Blue Genes’; Pauline Masurel ‘Kingfisher Bride’; Diana Cambridge, ‘Falling’; Mark Rutterford, ‘Diary’; Catherine Strong, ‘Nina Sings the Blues”; Clare Reddaway, ‘Standing Out From the Crowd’ and Julie Green, ‘Wading Not Drowning’

Singer songwriter Jennifer Crook wrote a song inspired by the theme, which she sang accompanied by her guitar.  Catherine Murray was singin’ the blues with the Murray Waters Duo.

The Stories:

1. Laugh your socks off in this tale of swimming in Wading Not Drowning, written and read by Julie Green.

2. A fascinating delve into a family’s past with Blue Genes, written and read by Elaine Miles.

3. A beautiful story of love, happiness and riversides in The Kingfisher Bride, written and read by Pauline Masurel.

4. A poignant piece of flash fiction with Nina Sings The Blues, written by Catherine Strong, read by Caroline Garland.

5. Listen to a male take on love affairs with The Diary, written and read by Mark Rutterford

6. Black comedy with Story Friday newcomer Falling, written and read by Diana Cambridge

7. A dark tale of foreign living in 1980s China Standing out from the Crowd, written and read by Clare Reddaway

 
Image by Vincent van Zalinge

Story Friday
Feral

Stories from Story Friday:  Feral

Stories from Story Fridays Feral, first heard at Burdall’s Yard, on 7th March 2014.

For March we thought of the wild March hares and the thrill of spring, so set the theme of Feral. Our writers were not so kindly. Cannibals and monsters, wild woods and feral witches heralded much tearing of flesh for this event.  

 

We had stories about cannibals and monsters, wild women of the woods and wild men of the desert, feral children and the mildest of men forced into feeling feral. Oh, and an octopus who suffered from a bad bout of vanity.   So there were some laughs and some very moving moments in amongst the bloodshed.

These are the writers who read at Feral, and the titles of their stories:  Tricia Wastvedt ‘You Know Which Way Is South?’, read by Olly Langdon; Jonathan Pinnock, ‘Nature’s Banquet’; Sophie Holland, ‘Can I Keep Him?’; Mark Rutterford ‘Letting Go’; Stephanie Weston, ‘Cephalopod Stardust’; Doc Watson, ‘On A Hyding To Nothing’ and Anne Corlett ‘Bob’ (with Olly as Voice of Bob).

The Stories:

1. One to make you smile: Cephalopod Stardust, written and read by Stephanie Weston.

2. A haunting story from Tricia Wastvedt: You Know Which Way Is South? written by Tricia Wastvedt, read by Olly Langdon.

3. A sinister tale, published in Jonathan Pinnock’s collection of short stories Dot Dash: Nature’s Banquet, written and read by Jonathan Pinnock.

4. We’re up in Edinburgh for this one from Doc Watson, it might make you shiver as you grin: On A Hyding To Nothing, written and read by Doc Watson.


5. Comedy and drama from Mark Rutterford: Letting Go, written and read by Mark Rutterford

 

6. Sophie Holland gets into the head of a 9 year old boy: Can I Keep Him? written and read by Sophie Holland

And a little something to read:

 

WILD WORDS

By PAULINE MASUREL

Sometimes I want to go where the words run feral. To corner them yapping and snarling in the street.  Mow them down, or be bitten, whichever comes first.

I can’t make that happen.  It comes only by surprises.  With raw barks risen from dry throats.  It twists in the air from an awkward leap and is swallowed into silence by air so cold that it takes each syllable and wrings it out before birth.

Watch the van round them up from the alleyways strung with fresh laundry. See them disappear, one by one into steel cages, leaving only the trail on the pavement of mud from their paws.  Somewhere else, out of sight, each one is precisely and humanely dispatched.

But I should like to remember them wild.  As they were.  On the prowl, so to speak…

 
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Story Friday
In Focus

Stories from Story Friday:  In Focus

For our May Story Friday In Focus, we set our writers a visual challenge, and they rose to it brilliantly.

 

We gave them a batch of black and white photographs to use as inspiration (see below).  We were astonished by the diversity and quality of the stories we received.  The stories ranged from heaven to the apocalypse, from World War 1 to an art gallery near you.

 

 They came up with stories about birch woods and hula hoops, art galleries, God – and Mrs Thatcher got a look in too.  They made us think, made us feel and made us laugh.

These are the writers and the titles of the stories we heard:

Kit De Waal              Unfaithful to the Land (Read by Olly Langdon)

Anne Corlett             Speeding

Christine Roberts   Who’s Laughing Now? (Read by Clare Reddaway)

Julie Green               Making an Exhibition

Clare Reddaway       Hula Hoops Were My Downfall

Tricia Wastvedt       Stone Lion (Read by Rachel Perry)

Philip Douch            Interesting, eh?

We were really pleased to welcome John Breese and Charlotte Carrivick to In Focus.  John and Charlotte brought their distinctive bluegrass sound to get our feet tapping.  John and his banjo will be familiar to Story Friday regulars.

Story Friday was 23rd May at Burdall’s Yard, 7A Anglo Terrace, Bath BA1 5NH.

Here are the pictures:

 
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Story Friday
Independence

Stories from Story Friday:  Independence

Stories from Story Fridays Independence, first heard at Burdall’s Yard, on 4th July 2014.

In keeping with the date of Story Friday in July – July 4th – we set the theme ‘Independence’.  We had stories about independent women, independent teens, independent countries, independent witches, independent animals. We were in Italy, in Tashkent, in downtown Bath, in Scotland.

 

We had American flags and American brownies and a good time was had by all.

These are the writers whose stories we heard at Independence: Elaine Miles,  ‘Up, Up and Away’.  Catherine Strong, ‘Tea With Barbara’.

Diana Cambridge, ‘The Heartbreak Healer Course’.  Mark Rutterford, ‘A Declaration’.  Clare Reddaway, ‘Left Behind’.  AR Paul, ‘Albergo’. Stephanie Weston,  ‘Independence’.  In the programme we printed a piece of flash fiction by Kay Hinde.

We were thrilled to welcome back the Murray Waters Duo singing and playing on the Independence theme.

The Stories:

1. We’ll all feel for the mother and the teens in Up, Up and Away, written and read by Elaine Miles.

2. An unsettling piece of flash fiction with Tea with Barbara, written by Catherine Strong, read by Olly Langdon.

 

3. Cackle along with your favourite witch in Independence, written and read by Stephanie Weston

4. A visual and political treat with A Declaration, written and read by Mark Rutterford

5. We’re in Italy with Albergo, written and read by AR Paul

6. An interesting take on heartbreak in The Heartbreak Healer Course, written and read by Diana Cambridge

7. A tale about those left behind after the collapse of the Soviet Empire in Left Behind, written and read by Clare Reddaway

 
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Story Friday
Clean Slate

Stories from Story Friday:  Clean Slate

Stories from Story Fridays Clean Slate, first heard at Burdall’s Yard on 19th September 2014

Story Friday on 19th September had the theme  Clean Slate, in keeping with the whole ‘start of a new term’ feeling that goes with September.  We had some fab stories for this month’s event – moving, funny, charming.  

 

We had blackboards and exercise books, stories of slate mines and broken relationships, of ghosts and potters and men in London flats, and everyone had some Sun Maid raisins on their tables from their lunchboxes.  

 

Angus Hackett played wonderfully chilled jazz on his guitar.  It was a fab evening.

 

Thank you to all who came, and all who took part!

Listen to the stories again by clicking on the links below:

The Stories:

1. Help, a chilling story written and read by Doc Watson

 

2. Hanging on the Telephone, written and read by Clare Reddaway

3. Sleepwalkers, written by Julie Hayman, read by Stephanie Weston

4. Benjamin Bergman, written and read by Ben Sixsmith

 

5. The Mountain, written by Tricia Wastvedt, read by Oliver Langdon and Clare Reddaway

 
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Story Friday
Noir

Stories from Story Friday:  Noir

Stories from Noir, first performed at Story  Fridays Noir, 7th November 2014, Burdall’s Yard, Bath

 

Our theme of ‘Noir’ was inspired by all of those wonderful black and white films of the ’40s and ’50s.  We thought of Dial M For Murder, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Big Sleep.  We read Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, Dashiel Hammett.  We slouched around like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, cultivating cynicism and a hard head for whisky.  We thought about Humphrey Bogart, bascially.  Our stories captured some of that menace, that sinister atmosphere, and a few dark deeds – as well as making us laugh, on occasion.

We screened the classic film noir The Third Man after the stories were performed.

For Story Fridays Noir, A Word In Your Ear was proud to team up with B&NES Library Services and the Bath Chronicle.  We  collaborated on the Library’s annual short story competition, and were able to offer the successful writers prizes.  

 

We were inundated with entries and read our way through a lot of blood and gore to choose some outstanding stories.  All of the winning entries were read at Story Fridays Noir and you can listen to them below.

The Stories:

1. Night Drive, written and read by Adrian Paul

 

2. Mean Streets, written and read by Elaine Miles

 

3. The Blank, written by Kate Simants, read by Olly Langdon

 

4. Clyne, written and read by Philip Douch

5. Between Trains, written by John Reynolds, read by Jonathan Brindley

6. Rough Crossings, written and read by Natalie Watson

 

7. Thyme and Plaice, written by Julie Green, read by Julie and Ashley Green