Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Liverpool: A Literary Celebration.

Liverpool, 6pm on a winter's night. Already it is night - and that deep blackness of sky pitted with stars - and in front of me St George's Hall, the Christmas lights all in place, but unlit, and a light somewhere going off

and on.

So up the steps, such a grand entrance, and I come across several polite bouncers in suits, and several more inside. 'Is this St George's Hall, I've come for a book launch...' and I am directed to the side where things are a little more modest, but only just.

So into the geode-like splendours of the inside - all marbles and brasses, and smooth shiny surfaces,

and up some steps, where there are people milling around in frocks and suits, and the intricacies of name-badge and cloakroom and dispelled with, and so into a hall...where I see a few people I know - the crime-writer Margaret Murphy and the wonderful Murph (who only remembers me when Margaret reminds him about halos around the moon), and the equally wonderful Ray - husband of my writer-friend Jan Bengree.

And it turns out that this is not just a book launch but also a short story competition and Jan has been invited because tonight they are announcing the winners - one of which is Jan! So here she is on stage of St George's Hall (where Charles Dickens used to read)

being presented with her prize from Phil Redmond (TV writer and producer) and Martin Edwards, the crime -writer (and lawyer) who was launching his latest book - Dancing For the Hangman which is a fictional recreation of the dark deeds of Dr Crippen...which sounds of great interest to this Hodmandod.

It is all part of the Liverpool 2008 year of culture, so a very auspicious occasion and many congratulations to Jan! She is amassing a goodly selection of awards for her lovely writing.

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Blogger Tenisha D said...

nice blog

Wed Nov 26, 08:58:00 pm  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

Wow, to go all that way & then discover the real reason... that's a great story and a wonderful achievement for your friend. Talent all around!

Wed Nov 26, 09:18:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

I have only every been inside this building once. It was to see a concert by the Russian group Pop Mechanica in 1989. It was the first concert of a Russian rock band outside the USSR following the Soviet thaw. The Bootle girl marching band and a few donkeys and sheep were incorporated into the show somehow. And towards the end of the performace, which included pounding guitars and beating of junk metal, the band threw strings of sausages into the audience. It was quite a night.

Wed Nov 26, 10:39:00 pm  
Blogger Martin Edwards said...

Clare, it was great to see you. Your friend's story was excellent, and a worthy winner. And your photos are great too (much better than the ones I took with my own camera!)

Wed Nov 26, 11:03:00 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Exciting! I need some of that ecitement and energy over here. Sounds like a marvellous venue - thanks for the photo of the ceiling! I bet not many people would think to to take a pic of that! :) Warm congrats to your friend.

Thu Nov 27, 03:54:00 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Great post/snaps Clare ...about a great evening!
I really enjoyed it ( as also did the "wonderful" R!)
And thankyou Martin for a super evening and your comment; it's lovely hearing nice things!

Thu Nov 27, 08:43:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks all - and Jonathan that sounded amazing. I'd love to have been there...funnily enough there were lots of sausages at this event too - distributed less dramatically, however (on trays with fancy cocktail sticks proffered by charming Liverpudlian waitresses and waiters).

Thu Nov 27, 09:23:00 am  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

On sticks eh? That would be the nouvelle cuisine then!

Thu Nov 27, 10:40:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Heh, they had fish and chips in tiny cartons too. None of that cheese spread on crackers stuff, up 'ere. They know how to do proper hors d'ouvres in Liverpool.

Thu Nov 27, 11:23:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

...or down 'ere relative to you, Jonathan:-)

Thu Nov 27, 11:28:00 pm  

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