Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Short Short Story Slam (and why you should go see live literature in Manchester)
Last night was Flashtag Collective’s Short Short Story Slam at Gullivers. I’d heard great things about last year’s slam in Didsbury, but I wasn’t really prepared for the quality of the readings. Eleven writers all giving it their best shots, and there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. Standouts for me included Mark Powell’s surreal hijinks with Scoob and the gang, Mark Mace Smith’s deceptively simple stories, Joy France’s brilliantly filthy opener and runner-up Joe Daly’s bleak closer, which proved you don’t always have to go for the laughs. But there could be only one winner and Simon Sylvester was it with his strange, tightly crafted fictions and what was really a very fetching hat.
Much respect to these writers. It’s fucking terrifying reading your work before a live audience as it is, but to do so knowing that your story will be instantly judged right in front of you, that you will be either the winner or the loser... sheesh. And the Flashtag team were experts at wringing the maximum entertainment from the experience while also maintaining a friendly and supportive vibe throughout. It’s great to hear that they’re thinking of doing this every few months – judging by the big crowd last night it could do very well indeed.
But there's more. Next week, the ever-brilliant Bad Language is at The Castle next Wednesday, April 30 with Luke Brown headlining. Effed Up comes to The Castle on Sunday May 4 with a theme of outsiders’ views of Britain. Cabaret night First Draft is cooking up a special two-day showcase, Next Draft, at The King’s Arms on 5 & 6 May. Open mic Evidently holds court at The Eagle in Salford every second Monday, storytelling night Tales of Whatever is at Gullivers every month…oh, I could go on. But you get the picture: it’s happening. Get in there.
Image courtesy of Flashtag.