Friday 10 April 2020

A Leap in the Dark 3

Good Friday 10th April 2020

A Leap in the Dark is a twice-weekly online gathering of artists, poets, authors, performers, musicians and others to share new work and throw a little light in these dark times. An invited audience joins in on Fridays and Saturdays from 8pm (BST) for an hour or so of nocturnal entertainment. There's no charge, but we suggest making a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust.

Our third Leap is tonight and features: 

- Tim Etchells and Aisha Orazbayeva performing two of their unsettling improvised pieces

- a live conversation with Anakana Schofield, Vancouver-based author of Malarky, Martin John and (published this month in the UK) Bina 

- Michael Hughes reading the latest cantos of Jonathan Gibbs’s Spring Journal 

- David Hayden reading his short story ‘Wonder Meadow’  

The Programme

Part 1

1 A welcome from the Pale Usher

2 Tim Etchells (voice) and Aisha Orazbayeva (violin)

3 Anakana Schofield in conversation

4 Canto III of Spring Journal by Jonathan Gibbs read by Michael Hughes


Part 2

5 Tim Etchells (voice) and Aisha Orazbayeva (violin)

6 David Hayden reads his short story ‘Wonder Meadow’

7 Competition 

8 Canto IV of Spring Journal by Jonathan Gibbs read by Michael Hughes

9 The Pale Usher signs off

The Company

Tim Etchells is an artist, writer and performance maker, author of Endland (published by And Other Stories) and a founder member and artistic director of the performance ensemble Forced Entertainment.

Jonathan Gibbs is a writer and critic. His first novel, Randall, was published in 2014 by Galley Beggar, and his second, The Large Door, by Boiler House Press last year. He has written on books for various places including the TLS, Brixton Review of Books and The Guardian. He curates the online short story project A Personal Anthology, in which writers, critics and others are invited to 'dream-edit' an anthology of their favourite short fiction. Spring Journal is a response to the current coronavirus pandemic taking its cue very directly from Louis MacNeice's Autumn Journal.

David Hayden was born in Ireland and lives in England. His writing has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Granta online, Zoetrope All-Story, The Dublin Review, AGNI and PN Review, in the Faber New Irish Writing anthology Being Various, edited by Lucy Caldwell, and on BBC and RTÉ radio. His first book was Darker With the Lights On.

Michael Hughes is the author of two acclaimed novels: Countenance Divine (2016) and Country (2018) both published by John Murray, the latter winning the 2018 Hellenic Prize. Under his stage name Michael Colgan he recently appeared in the acclaimed HBO television drama Chernobyl.

Aisha Orazbayeva is a violinist from Kazakhstan. She also writes and has had plays broadcast on the radio. She gained notice for her performance of Salvatore Sciarrino’s caprices. Her website:

Anakana Schofield is an Irish-Canadian author. Born in England to an Irish mother, she lived in London and Dublin until moving to Vancouver in 1999. She won the 2012 First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel Malarky. Her second novel Martin John was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the 2016 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize, and the 2017 ReLit Award for fiction. Bina: a novel in warnings was published earlier this month in the UK and reviewed here and here.

She has also been a literary critic, essayist and broadcaster, contributing to the London Review of Books Blog, The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, The Guardian, The Irish Times and the Vancouver Sun.

The Pale Usher is David Collard, who organises these gigs.

The pale Usher—threadbare in coat, heart, body, and brain; I see him now. He was ever dusting his old lexicons and grammars, with a queer handkerchief, mockingly embellished with all the gay flags of all the known nations of the world. He loved to dust his old grammars; it somehow mildly reminded him of his mortality.

                                                 Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

There's another Leap in the Dark tomorrow night at the same time, and we'll have contributions from Saving Lucia author Anna Vaught, some thoughts about literary recycling from David Hayden and Jonathan Gibbs. We’ll have a ‘Letter from Auckland’ by our New Zealand correspondent Oscar Mardell, Eley Williams will talk us through her flash fiction fundraiser and The Pale Usher will navigate Victorian poetic backwaters with Aea Warfis-van Warmelo.

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