desperance (desperance) wrote,
desperance
desperance

Post-match report: Summer Phantoms, 2010

I never know what to say about a gig, post facto. Especially the good gigs, where nothing catastrophic or outrageous happens: where authors and audience all turn up on time, where the stories cause no observable offence, where there is a little wine to mellow the occasion but nobody gets observably drunk, where...

Well, you get the picture. It's particularly hard with regular gigs, that have been reported on before; and we've been doing Phantoms events for seven years now. Lawks.

Nevertheless: Phantoms is my gig, the one I originally impresario'd, so it behooves me to run the flag up the pole and salute it. Besides, it's always such fun...

There are three of us, as there always have been, Sean O'Brien and Gail-Nina Anderson and me. That's our order-of-reading, and always has been. For a couple of years we shifted venue, processing from the Lit & Phil through a secret tunnel to the neighbouring Miners' Institute, to take advantage of their lovely old Victorian lecture-theatre (the Lit & Phil having ripped out its own, sometime in the '60s), but we're back in the main library now. This year we rang the changes by turning all the seats around, so that we read from beneath the central dome. I think it's much better acoustically, sound doesn't get swallowed by bays of books, and it looks better too (tho' I did of course not think to take photos, sorry; you'll just have to come next time).

Sean's story was enlivened by his use of extra voices (Gail-Nina and his partner Gerry) in a witch-scene from Macbeth, but all three were fairly straight examples of the ghost-story genre. It's one of the things I love about Phantoms, that three such distinct writers with very distinct voices can all inhabit the same genre again and again without needing to resort to gimmickry or hop-out-o'-kin. I suspect all genres are in fact equally adaptable, but this one's ours. One of ours.

Sean was double-booked and had to slip away, but the rest of us followed established tradition, which means we went to Mario's afterwards to drink yet more wine and eat generic Italian. I continue my search to find something unexpected on the menu; I continue to fail in this regard. (Usually I construct a pizza of such abstruse demands that it evokes cries of anguish from the kitchen; on this occasion I settled for the chicken-livers, which are very good, and gamberoni.)

Also, as a result of the Lit & Phil's new relationship with Big Lamp Brewery, there were a couple of beer-boxes alongside the wine, and we seem to have come away with those (because once it's been opened, you know it won't keep). Mine, in fact, has barely been opened at all; I reckon there's about thirty-five pints in there. And I'm going to a friend's fiftieth tomorrow, and it'll keep that long, for sure...
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