Friday, 19 March 2010

Strange goings-on at Lento

It's a good job there were extra chairs in the Café Lento on Wednesday evening: if anybody else had turned up, they would have had to swing from the chandeliers, which would have been challenging, because there aren't any. It was St Patrick's night, and groups of revellers were walking past the big window during the short story readings wearing those high and hideous I-am-a-little-leprechaun hats with Guinness badges on them, proving that the wearers were not of Irish heritage. They might have been Polish. They like revelling. The first story was set in Ireland. It was by Roddy Doyle, had a Polish protagonist named Halina who was in charge of a pram containing babies, and was read by the man with the coffee machine - Richard Lindley. One item in it was a pretty horrific story with a supernatural tinge, which set the tone for the evening.

Because by coincidence, all the stories that followed had a supernatural tinge - Moira Garland's included a lady from Victorian times, Doug Sandle's was about strange goings on during his childhood on the Isle of Man, mine was entitled I Invented a Ghost and Peter Spafford's was about the otherworldly laughter his mother used to hear.

The audience, according to what was said afterwards, loved everything. They asked us for more soon. Perhaps we'll convene again in the summer.

1 comment:

  1. It looks, from reading your latest post, that the festival is deemed to be a great success. How apt for St Patrick's day that Roddy Doyle should feature in the readings. There is usually a twist in his tales isn't there. I remember hearing on the radio a kind of monologue-probably another short story of his- where a middle aged man became obsessed with a rat. I am sure there were no rats lurking about in the Cafe Lento or even a Guiness drinking leprechaun and if there were any ghosts hovering unseen they were certain to be benign.I am sure that the success of your first event will be carried on throughout the festival.