Saturday 25 July 2020

A Leap in the Dark 34

A Leap in the Dark 34   8pm  Saturday 25th July 2020

 Pottery, Irish lit and glossolalia

A second improv pottery session, with the artist Laura Hopkins producing a unique ceramic piece in response to audience suggestions. Regular Leaper Amy McCauley will perform an extract from her epic poem 24/7 Brexitland and we'll also revisit the subject of formative reading, in which members of the audience nominate books that made a big impression on them as young readers.

Then the rest of the evening will be devoted to the fascinating linguistic backwater known as glossolalia, or 'speaking in tongues'. The Pale Usher will navigate secular examples (some of which are staggeringly bizarre) and  Marie-Elsa Bragg will consider the origins of glossolalia in the early church and its role today in the Anglican communion. We'll have some startling clips of gossolaliacs in action and there will be some audience participation . . .

There's no charge for taking part in A Leap in the Dark, but please make a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust.

The Programme

1 The Pale Usher welcomes you

2 Pottery improv with Laura Hopkins - another spin of the wheel

Amy McCauley 24/7 Brexitland (Part 1)      

4 Formative reading: Leapers nominate the books that made a big impression 
  on them as young readers


5 The Pale Usher on secular glossolalia: scat, walla, rhubarb and Venusian

6 The Settee Salon: Marie-Elsa Bragg and guests discuss Speaking in Tongues

7 Improv pottery - the reveal

8 The Pale Usher signs off

The Company

Marie-Elsa Bragg is an author, priest, therapist and Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey. Her first novel, Towards Mellbreak, was about four generations of a quiet hill farming family on the North Western fells of Cumbria. Her second book, Sleeping Letters (2019) is the description of the the ritual of the Eucharist alongside a compilation of poetry, memoir and fragments of un-sent letters. Marie-Elsa has contributed articles and interviews for papers such as the Telegraph and the Church Times; Radio pieces for BBC Radio 4 and interviews for literary festivals and Story Vault Films. 

Laura Hopkins is an award-winning stage designer and ceramicist-in-training. 
Her website:

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 on Friday 31st July will feature:

- Spring Journal canto XX by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes

- Yoga with David ‘Yoga Dave’ Holzer, our Daily Llama

- Amy McCauley performs another section of ’24/7 Brexitland’

- The Pale Usher on RUNNER, a film by Don Owen with commentary 
  by W H Auden

The Leap on Saturday 1st August will feature Brian Dillon, Wendy Erskine and Linda Mannheim, an evening dedicated to the practice of close reading.

Stay well!

The Pale Usher

Stay well!

The Pale Usher

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