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A Night of Pure Moby Dickery

David Collard, the genius behind Finneganight — which celebrated 80 years of Finnegans Wake — wants “to change the way that we talk about books”. Help him do so by attending A Night of Pure Moby Dickery in London on 27th July. Tickers are on sale here.

A Night of Pure Moby Dickery is prompted by the 200th birthday this year of Herman Melville. No better setting can be imagined for a celebration of his salty maritime epic — a boat in a church in a landlocked London borough. There will be lashings of grog and cocoa and ginger cake, followed by sea shanties, poetry, performance and the celebrated Settee Salon, from which Jen Hodgson and her guests will hack at the cultural blubber surrounding the text in search of critical ambergris. (You may also find out what a ‘pattie slapper’ is, and does.)

Artists confirmed for the night are:

* Will Barrett – musician, songwriter and maker of musical instruments.

* Robert Cohen – writer and performer.

* David Collard – author, critic, literary hack.

* John Dobson – actor, recently seen in Six Bad Poets by Christopher Reid .

* Henningham Family Press – artist collaborators David and Ping Henningham.

* Howard Horner – actor and writer.

* Will Eaves – novelist, poet and teacher; author of the prize-winning Murmur (Canongate, 2019)

* Jen Hodgson – writer, critic and editor of The Unmapped Country (And Other Stories).

* Jessica Kinsey – recently played Cordelia and the Fool in The Yard Players’ production of King Lear.

* Melissa McCarthy – author of Sharks, Death, Surfers – an illustrated companion (Sternberg Press).

* Matt Prendergast – actor.

* Tony White – author of The Fountain in the Forest (Faber) and publisher (Piece of Paper Press).

* Eley Williams – prize-winning author of Attrib. (Influx Press).

Other names to be confirmed . . .

Then, after a short interval (and more grog) Part 2 will be something utterly astonishing.

A Drama in Two Acts by ORSON WELLES

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

A rehearsed reading of a play last performed in Britain in 1955. That was a short West End run at the Duke of York’s Theatre, starring Welles as Ahab and an extraordinary cast (Patrick McGoohan, Joan Plowright, Gordon Jackson, Peter Sallis and — improbably — Kenneth Williams). Our cast of ten, every bit as dazzling, will be revealed on the night.

Welles spent eight years adapting Melville’s novel for the stage and his text is simply astonishing – much of it in blank verse. There could be no better setting for this one-off revival than The Tin Tabernacle – be sure not to miss it, and brag about it to friends in the years to come!

This will be followed by the draw for our fund-raising raffle. All proceeds go to the climate change campaigners Extinction Rebellion Scotland. Prizes will have a maritime theme.

Bring your own booze if you don’t like rum (there will be plenty of rum, and cocoa for those who prefer it).

First posted: Friday, July 5th, 2019.

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