We’ve known Simon for a very long time. He runs the book stall at the Royal Court while “quietly” (surely he tells everyone who’ll listen, not just us) nurturing an avocation as a writer/director. We’ve been to see a couple of his plays over the years.
He’s been talking about this collection of poetry for a long while; indeed I seem to recall that the original date he had set for the launch/performance was due to be in February while we were in Nicaragua.
But when we saw Simon a few months ago, he told us the launch date had slipped to September as he slipped a slip into my hand with the details. There were far fewer details on the slip than there were on this Facebook event page.
The event was at The Library, Covent Garden, a venue Janie had heard about and was keen to see. It is quite a stunning venue – the website gives some insight into that.
We arrived in good time for the 19:00 start, although in fact the performers were rehearsing/warming up at that hour and the performance didn’t really start until 20:00ish. Towards the end of that waiting hour, a very talented singer sang to us for a while. Simon mingled and sold me a copy of the book. We spoke with one or two people and saw the backs of several others as the place got quite crowded.
One or two of the poems were very well performed. Beyond the Bank, for example, by a very eloquent actress. Some might have worked better had they been read rather than performed, especially as the performers were sometimes struggling for their lines. It was, after all, a book launch, so reading rather than performing would have seemed reasonable.
During the interval Janie and I went upstairs to the mezzanine, where it was less crowded and from whence we could make a discreet exit ahead of the pack if we so chose.
We so chose.