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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Firing Blanks at Hay

Some panels and events at all festivals are, of course, great, while others don’t even get off the ground. Hay on Wye (Arthur Miller once asked: Is that something you eat?) is no exception.

Murder – A Beginner’s Guide, with Kathy Lette and John Mortimer was one of the events that didn’t work for me. Lette wrote How to Murder Your Husband. Mortimer created Rumpole.

The two of them were obviously friends and may have done similar gigs together in the past. But Lette was patronising towards Mortimer, begging him in little-girl fashion to repeat this or that story and constantly telling the rest of us how much she adored him. Similarly, she tried to ingratiate herself with the women in the audience, referring to them collectively as ‘girls’.

Wrapped in a sliver of red and white cotton on a particularly cold afternoon she was brimming with sound bites and carefully prepared one-liners and succeeded in lifting the temperature not a jot.

Mortimer, for his part, was hampered by his microphone being too far away from his wheelchair, making it difficult for us to hear what he said. But apparently he was only telling the stories he usually tells, so we may not have missed much.

I had a very nice snooze.

2 Responses to “Firing Blanks at Hay”

  1. So enjoying your wit, John.
    Forgive the cheek but socks all dried yet? 🙂

    jb says: I left them behind, the socks. I hope someone makes good use of them, they served me well right up to the last moment.

  2. andy says:

    Splendid.. read a couple and will read more but off to watch Ing-er-land…..thought of Ham on Rye last night in bed and see Arthur millers got there already…bugger… Ing-er-land Ing-er-land x andy x

    jb says: Hi Andy. Did they win?