It’s All Greek! A Morning of Marvellous Myths for Children

Acclaimed children’s storyteller, Michael Loader, is coming to town, bringing with him a joyous cacophony of magic,  mythology, and buffoonery.  Through theatre, song, and a lot of participation, Michael will both weave and unravel the classic tale of The Odyssey in this spectacular back-to-back children’s event, Glorious Greeks!

Divided in two, the first part of the morning will let children build their own incredible puppets in the group Playshop, and devise a whole new theatrical Odyssean adventure that will be included in the grand finale show; Glorious Greeks! After the merrymaking, the story will begin. Told by Michael as “Mr. Oddy”, a descendant of Odysseus himself, children will learn how to trick, thwart, overcome, survive and thrive like a true Greek hero. Mesmerising and spellbinding, all attendees will be transported into a bygone land of monsters, gods, and questionable escape plans…

This will be an enchanting and memorable morning, thrilling children with opportunities to create and imagine alongside a master storyteller with a knack for conjuring the most fantastical tales.

Tickets can be booked for the Playshop only, the Glorious Greeks performance only, or BOTH together at a discounted price! Hurry to avoid disappointment, because we have limited spaces, and so much fun to be had!

 

Saturday 4th November / Event 1
9.45 am – Playshop (45 mins, limited to 30 children) – £3
11.00 am – Glorious Greeks (60 mins) – £3
£5 for a ticket to both events!
Bridport Youth and Community Centre, Gundry Lane

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

 

Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit – Boris Starling’s Tribute to Resilience

As Boris Starling‘s Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit is published, the third Invictus Games will be held in Toronto. The games may only be still in their infancy, but the impact of their meaning, the opportunity of their purpose, and their growing legacy transcends age. The games are a chance for servicemen and women to compete in a prestigious multisport competition, but to each competitor the games’ existence also symbolises a different sort of challenge. To qualify, you must have already been through hell and back, and it’s reaching your mark that signifies your first victory. The servicemen and women who compete for glory at the Invictus Games are those who have been injured, wounded, and halted in their service in ways unfathomable, and are now proving to the world that not only is recovery an option – so is excellence.

At the Invictus Games the starting line marks more than just the racetrack. It marks a whole new beginning. The unconquerable spirit and unbreakable will of competitors uplifts everyone lucky enough to watch, and Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit tells the stories of some of these heroes. Be it racing with triple amputations, or firing arrows with one’s teeth – the awesome stories of the people we see in the arena and how they came to be there will humble you.

The games are spearheaded by Prince Harry, and, only fittingly, Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit bears a foreword by him. Proving that ‘change’ never has to mean ‘end’, Boris perfectly celebrates the servicemen and women who define ‘unconquerable’.

Do not miss your chance for tickets to Boris’ incredible talk. The information you need is below:

Sunday 12th November / Event 35
3.00 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

War Stories – Tales from Beyond the Front Line by Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan

War breeds conflict, destruction and division, but amidst its wreckage Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan have fostered unity. Compelled by the manmade phenomenon – the consequences of which push limits of imagination – the partners set about writing War Stories, a collection of tales, some untold until now, from people whose lives have been touched by war.

Gathering 34 individual’s accounts, Peter and Ann breathe life into unbelievable memories and give voice to forgotten events, each more fascinating, terrifying and amazing than the last; and all true. Ranging from Waterloo to the Crimea, from both World Wars to Syria; War Stories narrates moments of heroism, compassion, horror and heartbreak. Through these glimpses into incomprehensible situations, strange and stunning human actions become a degree more comprehensible. Passed like medals down through generations or even recounted firsthand – what unifies each expertly told memory is the palpable force of human spirit.

Don’t miss Peter and Ann when they come to the festival! To celebrate the launch of War Stories, the duo will be discussing the process of chronicling these tales, and the stories themselves; full of the highs and lows of human capability.

 

Sunday 5th November / Event 4
5.30 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Windblown – A Dark and Stormy Memoir by Tamsin Treverton Jones

Thirty years ago the British Isles were struck without warning by a storm the likes of which were last documented in 1703 by Daniel Defoe. Trees were rent from the earth, buildings crumbled, and eighteen lives were lost in this gale that took the country by surprise. It ravaged all in its path in a way not seen since war held the landscape – and, Thirty years on, Tamsin Treverton Jones invokes the memory of this monumental night in 1987.

After discovering an old photograph of a sculpture her father designed, made from the patchwork of fallen trees from Kew Gardens, Tamsin set about creating a lyrical memoir to the landscape created by destruction and the stories left windswept in its wake. Windblown weaves Tamsin’s own memories of fishermen, refugees, sculptors and lighthouse keepers with the past, present, and future of the storm and its legacy.

The land has forever changed, but could it be for the better? A beautiful and exhilarating example of Nature Writing, Tamsin’s Windblown is set to release this year, and you can find her at an enchanting illustrated talk in conversation with James Crowden.

To explore the soul of the land we live on and what it means to survive both in hardship and memory, book tickets while they are still available.

 

Friday 10th November / Event 27
2.30 PM
£10
The Town Hall

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

The BridLit Explorer • Chapter 3: The Sanctuary

Opened on August’s Bank Holiday Monday in 1997, this year marks the 20 year anniversary of The Sanctuary bookshop’s landmark presence in Lyme Regis.

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The Sanctuary is another independent bookshop with a twist. This is an emporium of curios that takes residence in an 18-roomed building that once was a hotel. Incidentally, having now expanded into a B&B for book lovers, it once again takes residents.

When visiting, I find twixt the shelves and various ornaments Bob Speer, co-owner with his wife Mariko, and ask him about the branching out from sole bookselling to the supplying of vintage trumpets, gadgets and oil paintings that hang from nooks and hooks like angels in a chapel. Bob explains that his approach to the encroaching growth of online bookselling is simple yet ambitious; to out-provide. As I explore I find that it’s evident throughout the multi-storeyed shop. Be it a huge lava lamp you’re looking for or a Venetian mask, The Sanctuary bookshop is determined to supply whatever you could dream up.

Guiding me from the converted cellar that bursts at its seams with antique National Geographic editions to the upstairs guest area where the walls appear to favour books over bricks, Bob tells me that the unique accommodation earned applause from Lonely Planet as #1 for cost – calling it “ridiculously good value” and “a B&B for bibliophiles”. I don’t argue, as I endeavour to note the spines of the 5,000 books all at once. At less than £30 per night, any budding writer in need of a retreat would find themselves almost startlingly at home here.

If you’re local or an adventurer searching for caves of wonders, be sure to stop by. The Sanctuary doesn’t have a quirk, it is a quirk itself. A wonderful, revered quirk, and one that I hope continues to thrive.

 

Spotlight on Charles Fuge: Illustrating for Children • BridLit Kids

Charles Fuge has illustrated nearly fifty picture books! He started his journey at Camberwell School of Art, and won the Macmillan Prize and the Mother Goose Award for his illustrations in 1988. Since then, he has produced beautiful and well-loved books such as “Sometimes I like to Curl Up in a Ball“, and “I Know a Rhino“. He is a nature lover, splitting free time between growing organic food and chairing a local recycling charity, and themes of wildlife are often seen in his art.

Juggling delightful creatures and their colourful adventures, Charles’ illustrations are a treat. Reviewed as “adorable”, “funny”, and cited by J F Bailey as having “directly strengthened our family relationships” due to the discussions they prompt, these illustrations prove that pictures can be just as expressive as words. Favouring mischievous animals, Charles is an expert at bringing characters to life on paper.

You can catch him at the BridLit Kids event on Saturday the 12th of November during the workshop for children of age 8 and up! There he will join several other fantastic guests in sharing his tips, knowledge, and experience and he will be guiding participants in creating their own illustrations.

Limited spaces remaining! A day that promises to be wonderfully fun.

Saturday 12th November / Event 22
Time: 12pm-1pm
Tickets: £5 (pencil and sketchbook included)
Location: The Lyric Theatre

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

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The BridLit Explorer • Chapter 2: Libreria

Welcome back, readers! The BridLit Explorer brings you a second chapter. This instalment is set in London, so reach for your Oyster cards…

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London’s Brick Lane has long been known as a place for mavericks. In the average mainstream bookshop there are often a select few authors you expect to be confronted with on arrival. Aphra Behn isn’t one of them. I am greeted by a book of hers at eye level as I step through the threshold of Libreria, which leaves me impressed and sorely wishing that I had known about this shop while at university. By exercising scrutiny I find that the neighbouring novels are of no alphabetical relevance to Behn, and from this I know I can believe the chatter that led me here. Somebody tipped me off about a new bookshop in Shoreditch, known strikingly for organising its books by interest.

No alphabet, no chronological ordering, and no displays prepped for flashes in pans. Instead, the keepers of this shop have perfectly strung rings of shelves together with genre, theme and topic alone. Searching like this, one could theoretically find George Orwell’s Animal Farm next to a book detailing proper care for your goats. As a reader, this is the kind of assistance in exploration I have longed for.

After asking Belinda Zhawi, a writer who works at the desk of the shop, I learn that the flow of genre starts transitioning horizontally, in the manner that one reads text on a page. She tells me that the lay of the shop (from the undulating stacks to the mirror wall at the back) is “like Borges’ Library of Babel, infinite.” Everything here works at subverting the rigidity of standard bookshops, right down to how customers choose their reading material.

It feels refreshing and doubtlessly well calculated. If you are near, or need to travel like myself, it is worth stopping by Libreria. You will not leave empty handed.

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Pot Luck: Flash Interview with Nick Fisher

Depravity, desperation – and crab fishing. Pot Luck is a Rime of the Modern Mariner, and Nick Fisher holds nothing back in his crime novel about the underbelly of Weymouth’s fishing scene. Preceding his highly-popular event, I caught him for the delectation of you readers.

Opening up about his writing process, Nick answers five questions…

I: I know that your writing accolades so far have been earned through scriptwriting. How has writing this novel differed from writing for television?

NF: It’s really a sort of antidote to scriptwriting; there’s a huge machine of people employed around you, and so many real factors that have to be addressed in the script. Writing feels like only 20% of the actual task. Writing a book is different – no one sitting over you, no deadline, no budget, no policies – you can enjoy yourself. The most joyful thing for me was no planning. I would think “what do I write now? I wonder what’s going to happen now.”

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I: Many of your characters are “untrustworthy”. What attracts you to turbulence? Do you believe that it is necessary in a story?

NF: You look for the colour in a character, and colour is often deviousness. Contradictions and surprises are really what dramatic literature is about. Even [Pot Luck’s character] Helen, she was golden in my eyes. She was honey – I couldn’t work with it. It’s about being flawed. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people, just look at where Donald Trump is right now! I think turbulence has to drive things.

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I: This brother dynamic between the main characters, Adrian and Matty, is entirely fraught. Do you know it personally?Where did you draw from to portray this?

NF: Oh, I always wanted a brother. I’m surrounded by bad realities of it, however. My neighbour hasn’t spoken to his brother for decades. The differences I see in my three sons, magnified, could be an Adrian and Matty relationship. Older and younger sibling relationships I can really see. The younger one is fun and negligent, and the older one is responsible and less amused. Closeness of two people with a shared history, I think, is a very good purchase point for a story.

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I: Do you subscribe to the idea that you must love all of your own characters?

NF: That’s an interesting question… No, I think, not at all. You just have to manage them. You must be interested in them; some get under your skin and others just don’t connect. I’ve written for characters I can’t remember, or have even hated.

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I: I have seen Pot Luck reviewed as “the Fargo of Dorset”, and I was wondering if this was intentional. Who has inspired you creatively and is this what you set out to do?

NF: George V. Higgins and Carl Hiaasen for a start. Those sort of fleet-of-foot American books did it for me. I had an idea, an event that would be the start of the story. I thought about doing it as a screenplay, but I had never tried to write a book before, why not take that path? So it was an experiment, very much so. If you transferred it to New England this plot would seem so normal, but as it’s something new to me, it grew itself, and this seemed natural. I didn’t anticipate it growing into what it is.

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Thank you Nick Fisher, there’s food for thought. Seafood, perhaps.

 

The BridLit Explorer • Chapter 1: Beerwolf Books

Welcome to a new bi-weekly article! As the blog director and freshly termed Bridlit Explorer, I will be featuring a selection of the country’s finest, most peculiar book shops. Without further ado, enjoy the first instalment…

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A steep street winds back from between two high street shops in the heart of Falmouth, Cornwall. At the end of this tiny, hidden hill, is Beerwolf Books, appearing much like J.K. Rowling’s Room of Requirement; unexpectedly large and quite astounding to imagine that you could have missed it before. ‘Beerwolf‘ is what the locals and students nickname it, and it does (as the name suggests) combine a desire for a softly-lit, bring-your-own-food bar, and the insatiable hunger for a good book to disappear with into the folds of an armchair.

The bar itself is rustic and bizarre. In keeping with the rest of the eclectically-unified interior design, one may see fairy lights, modified dolls hanging from exposed beams and vintage posters of cult-favourite books peppered across the walls. There is an arrangement of well-worn cushions, squeaky barstools and a ping pong table for the entertainment of patrons. All of this, however, is eclipsed by the crown’s main jewel.

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Poised cooly atop the imposing staircase that seems plucked from the architecture of a Jane Austen novel, the bookshop sits. Book-alcove, possibly. As I stroll between the shelves, I can’t help but be surprised at the brazen lack of bestsellers upon the stacks. No featured novel from a popular author, no highly anticipated sequel to a successful franchise, no corporation-sponsored display. Beerwolf steers clear.

When I ask, the barkeep tells me that the owner is a woman with discerning taste who “actively tries to avoid bestsellers”, and that this year marks Beerwolf’s fourth. Situated close to two universities, it is a clear favourite among bookish students and professors alike, and more discover it each year. The attitude of the management must be something that resonates with these people. Perhaps the appeal lies in an appreciation of things that take effort to know and to understand, or perhaps it’s simply the uncomplicated fun of anachronism; the ‘no cards accepted’, creakily floorboarded, an are-we-in-a-tavern atmosphere. Regardless, it remains a well loved destination for those that know the route.

Beerwolf Books is a hidden treasure. Go find it, wayfarers.