That’s how it felt as Liz and I joined Vanessa and Nicola for our first ever re-mounted show, ‘Selfies’ at Warwick Words. Was this really a good idea? Would there be an audience for us beyond Birmingham? And where the heck was the light switch for the toilets so Liz could put her make-up on?
After we had finally put out enough seats for the literary hordes, and Vanessa had reminded us of how we had been inspired by the abiding iconic nature of the artist’s self-portrait, (crikey that sounded good, I’d forgotten that), we began.
You couldn’t help feeling like Nicola Jones had written ‘Dark Matters’ for the creaky, half-timbered medieval hall Warwick Words had put us in. (I would have added a couple of light effects and had an SM creep around the back of the audience to blow on people’s necks if we’d had the budget).
Vanessa also invoked some vividly drawn autobiographical ghosts, before Liz went on to talk selectively about her addictions, missing out one crucial one – the addiction to the re-write, the edit, the read-through, the comments, the re-edit. Alright, I’d also re-written mine in order to reflect my most recent writing preoccupations but that’s reasonable isn’t it? (Yes that’s right, it’s Liz that’s OCD and perfectionist… not me, definitely not me.)
So, there was a beautiful venue and a re-worked show to go in it, but what was truly memorable about the evening was the audience. They were warm, intelligent, generous and engaged, keen to ask questions at the close of the show, with many writers at varying stages of experience, eager to hear about the genesis of Bold Text and how you go about creating a writers’ collective.
All in all we are beginning to feel like an unstoppable force, so see you at the next Bold Text show – ‘Doubled Up’. Nicola is up again with her chilling ‘Cold Cuts’, Stephen Jackson will be lifting the spirits with his musical extravaganza, Ella Yella, and I shall be either blowing on the back of your neck or rattling a tambourine in your ear as appropriate, whether the budget allows for it or not.