Brilliantly told, I knew the story would strike a cord when I’d read it during the selection process and I wasn’t disappointed. I could actually see members of the audience relax into the evening as they listened – none of us had known exactly how this venture would go, but as Jay read I knew we’d done something right.
I particularly loved his hints at a magical other world and felt that he’d claimed those hedges back from Game of Thrones and made them ours again. His mastery of language and sense of flow captured our interest and imagination, bringing some solace after the intense drama of the first piece.
…expertly switching from between the Irish and English languages so that everyone could enjoy and appreciate the zesty humour in her story about a little protestant girl so enamoured with the holy communion dresses the little catholic girls are wearing that she begs her mother to let her be a Catholic – just for a day! Réaltán left us all with smiles on our faces.
His combination of humour, sensitivity and vivid imagery took us through awkward encounters at parent-teacher meetings, wistful reminiscing at graveyard Sunday and a walk through Carnagh woods such that you felt you were there.
This story pulled us in, led us around a blind corner then smacked home some tough but unavoidable truths. Engaging and honest, Pamela pulled no punches and we were richer for it.
…and followed that with reading the corresponding passage from the English Language version Cúchulainn, Ulster’s Greatest Hero.
In both languages, the power of the writing and the story it carried shone through. We headed into the intermission filled with wonder and awe.
Her entertaining performance provoked belly laughs from her audience as she explained how important a certain kitchen utensil was to her and her extended family. She even produced the subject of the story to gales of laughter.
The words beautiful and heartfelt dripped upon a captive audience like honey from a spoon, sorrowful yet soothing. When she finished, the momentary silence was as much an accolade at the spontaneous applause that followed.
I grasped at words and phrases I recognized, desperate to understand this lilting and musical language. This young man’s bilingual skill inspired me to consider attending Irish language classes myself – with the new Irish Language centre on its way here in Armagh, I really have no excuse!
A collective “Awe,” at the end of her account, gave instant, and I’d imagine, gratifying feedback to the writer of a story outstanding in its perception, construction and delivery. This new writer is one to watch. (You heard it first at Flash Fiction Armagh!)
|Malachi showing a picture of the suits in Scoring in the Seventies|
Leaving us smiling and uplifted, it was a perfect way to end the evening.
We are having the next Flash Fiction Armagh on Thursday 14th June 2018 at 7 pm, upstairs in Mulberry Bistro.
See you there!