We were joined by two volunteers from the inaugural Leeds LitFest, Judith and Gracie, who helped us with the door and with photographs. An opportunity for them to experience some excellent young talent that may one day feature in the citywide LitFest itself. And what talent there was, from story to film, from anecdotal extract to original songs accompanied, of course, by original music.
Netherside featured Connie on the guitar, Marc on a cajón drumbox and Kirsten on bouzouki and vocals. We heard of the prowler in the woods, a dark take on Red Riding Hood reworked to feed your adult nightmares.
Sophie Joelle is a local writer of Young Adult Fiction who organises the annual 12 hour Charity Open Mic, as well as blogging for The State of the Arts on local theatre and dance performances.
Working currently on her novel-in-progress The Matriarchy, she read us a poem 'In Loving Memory' about an unfortunate death.
Mabh Savage was back by popular acclaim, playing her own devotional music dedicated to three Celtic goddesses. She describes herself as a paganist, and it was entirely appropriate that her songs of strong women came on International Women's Day. The whole line-up for the evening featured a number of strong women!
Karen Bridgett and Marthë Taylor collaborated on a joint presentation to tell us more about their new film Run Kara, premiered just the previous weekend at the Harrogate Film Festival.
Showing us storyboards based on an original short story, short rehearsal clips, a few glimpses of the final cut, the number of young people involved (ten), it was a whistlestop tour of a genre that was both new to us and yet very familiar now that we have phones that get us all shooting our own videos. How do ideas get from wishful thinking to a financially viable film? Artistic differences? Of course. And are smart assistants like Siri and Alexa the future? Definitely thought-provoking.
Andrew Carter then read us an extract from his second book, published at the end of 2018. His account of his days at the Bennett Road school as was, the Heart Centre venue for our event as is, was funny, insightful, wry … and painful. As are many other aspects of his coruscatingly honest account of growing up in Headingley, going to local schools and colleges and away to university and working abroad after what can only be described as a 'challenging' gap year. Don't let any parents read this! Andy has a laid-back style of reading his work, both self-effacing and gripping. Buy this book!
Netherside played us out and we left to join the throngs of young people enjoying Headingley (no, Andy, you've done that) whilst feeling privileged to see the burgeoning talent of our local young people. Roll on Cabaret 30 2020, the post-Brexit one. Perhaps.
Kirsten adds:What a great evening! We saw so many other wonderful acts while we were there and it really came together thanks to Richard Wilcocks' organisational skills, the wonderful venue that is HEART - Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre and a great audience.
#LeedsLit Some of the highlights of the evening included:
Mabh showed us her skill on guitar as well as her excellent song writing and hauntingly beautiful singing with some devotional music she had written. It was the kind of heartfelt and passionate performance typical of Mabh and it will stick with us.
Andy Carter (whose book you can buy on amazon - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thing-Andrew-Carter/dp/9888491407)
Sophie Joelle (who organises the 12 Hour Open Mic events, which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/events/294537594542946/ )
Sophie is a veteran of Cabaret Thirty who always seems to have something exciting to bring to the table each year. This year, she read a couple of pieces of writing but one that stood out especially was a very moving piece that explored the intricate topic of suicide and its irreversible nature. The way she examined the motives of the person she wrote about with almost forensic intensity made for a thought provoking experience.
Growler Films (whose project, Run Kara, can be found on Instagram under the handle @run_kara )
|Karen Bridgett on screen|