Monday, 19 April 2010

Lit and Phil and Monty

Attended Newcastle's Literary and Philosophical Society this eventide, and enjoyed two suitably dramatic - if not actually dramatised - recitations of stories by M.R. James. Robert Lloyd Parry did an excellent job of conveying the spirit of the author and conveying the essence of two of his most popular tales, which seemed to me to have been very subtly edited. 'Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book' and 'The Mezzotint' are old stand-bys of the ghost story anthologist, but their familiarity on the printed page doesn't undermine the pleasure you get from hearing them in their natural environment, so to speak.

That's not all. There are regular readings of new ghost stories at the venue, and this year Phantoms at the Phil has an added attraction. There are three £100 prizes, the stories will be printed in a special pamphlet and the authors will have the opportunity to read 'em aloud in true Monty James fashion. There are no details on the website as yet, but as the reading is in early July I'm assuming a closing date about a month ahead of that. So, not much time to write a good ghost story. Though of course, you may have one handy...

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