Friday 26 June 2020

A Leap in the Dark 25

A Leap in the Dark 25   8pm  Friday 26th June 2020

        Ágota Kristóf night

In tonight's Leap in the Dark our beloved regulars will be joined by our New Zealand correspondent Oscar Mardell, who will talk about Welsh rarebit, inimitably. We’ll have a performance of 'The Spirit Can't Be Confined' by Dublin-based Russian author Margarita Meklina with music by Maja Elliott, and artist Ping Henningham will lead us in a piece devised for Zoom in general and this Leap in particular.

In the second part of the programme we’ll look at the life and work of the great Hungarian novelist Ágota Kristóf, author of The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie and The Illiterate. Her translator Nina Bogin and publisher Charles Boyle will join in a conversation and readings, and Richard Lowdon of the acclaimed theatre troupe Forced Entertainment will talk about adapting The Notebook for the stage.
There's no charge for taking part, so please make a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust.

The Programme

1 The Pale Usher welcomes you

2 Spring Journal Canto XV by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes

3 'The Spirit Can't Be Confined' read By Margarita Meklina with music by 
   Maja Elliott 

4 Letter from Auckland by Oscar Mardell

5 Ping Henningham’s Tyrannosaurus rex


6 Ágota Kristóf - publisher Charles Boyle and translator Nina Bogin in 

7 Richard Lowdon of Forced Entertainment on staging and performing 
  The Notebook

8 The Pale Usher signs off

The Company

Nina Bogin, originally from New York, has lived for over forty years in France. Her most recent poetry collection is Thousandfold (Carcanet, 2019) and her translation of Agota Kristof’s The Illiterate was published by CBe in 2014.

Charles Boyle runs CB editions, an independent press publishing short fiction and poetry, including work in translation. Writing as Jack Robinson, his most recent book is Good Morning, Mr Crusoe (CBe, 2019), a polemical piece marking the 300th anniversary of Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. He collaborated with the artist Natalia Zagorska-Thomas on the monograph Blush (2018).

Maja Elliott Maja Eliott was born in Arabia and is of Swedish/Irish/English descent. She began playing piano by ear at the age of five. She trained to be a concert pianist in London, where she also studied singing and composition. 

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.

Ping Henningham is co-founder (with David) of Henningham Family Press, 'a microbrewery for books' since 2006. They publish fiction and poetry. Their handmade editions can be found in the V&A, Tate, National Galleries Scotland and Stanford University. Their Performance Publishing shows compress the creation of printed matter into hectic live events.

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.

Richard Lowdon is a member of Forced Entertainment, the experimental theatre company based in Sheffield, England, founded by Tim Etchells in 1984. He signed and performed in the stage adaptation of Ágota Kristóf's The Notebook.  

Forced Entertainment is a group of six artists who make work in theatre and performance from their base in Sheffield and tour to audiences all around the world. At the heart of Forced Entertainment is a group of six artists (Tim Etchells (Artistic Director), Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon (Designer), Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor) collaborating to make original theatre and performances together since 1984.

Oscar Mardell is a teacher and writer - originally from South Wales, but currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a frequent contributor to 3:AM Magazine, and poet of the month at The Inquisitive Eater. He is the author of Rex Tremendae - a ghost story set in the rubble of the Blitz, and Housing Haunted Housing - a collection of poems about Brutalist architecture. 

Margarita Meklina was born in Leningrad and now divides her life between Ireland, the UK and the San Francisco Bay Area. An author of ten books and a recipient of literary prizes in Russia, she has published widely in English. She is widely recognized as a ground breaking writer from her cutting prose, which helped redefine Russian literature in the 1990s as it emerged from decades under the Soviet shadow. Her stories at that time, often built around themes of marginalized sexuality, combined with postmodernist and New Sincerity-like elements, created a new Russian lexicon in that genre.

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

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

The next Leap in the Dark tomorrow night (June 27th) is curated by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat

They will be introducing some of the writers appearing in the new anthology Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown. This is a collection of stories, flash fiction, poems, autofiction and conceptual writing gathered during the April and May Covid-19 lockdown, bringing together UK-based writers, poets, performance makers and artists.

Taking part:

Caroline Bergvall, Season Butler, Tim Etchells, Rachel Genn, M. John Harrison, Vlatka Horvat, Andrea Mason, Lara Pawson, Fernando Sdrigotti, Marvin Thompson, Chris Thorpe, Tony White, Jacob Wren.

How about that?

All proceeds from sales of Seen From Here go to The Trussell Trust, the charity organising food banks nationwide.

You can buy the book online HERE

Stay well!

The Pale Usher

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