Heard from Alison MacLeod that The Brighton Moment, won a gong in Latest Magazine’s Brighton Festival 2008 Awards night for Best Literature Event. Richly deserved I say, I enjoyed that night about 20 times more than hearing the windbaggery of Gore Vidal.
People who live in Brighton think Brighton is big and clever. Judging by the number of scribes who live here and write about it, this big and cleverness will live on long after the current crop is being squabbled over by the seagulls.
Having evolved in three years from a cosy fringe event at Joogleberry Playhouse, to its current ability to effortlessly fill the 300 seats of the Kommedia, The producers of The Brighton Moment Susanna Jones and Alison MacLoud have done great things with an event that this year is now officially part of the Brighton Festival. (I noticed Andrew Comben, incoming Festival supremo, present and correct.)
And, frankly, damn right it should be too. Where else can you hear a burst of something like 18 excellent authors reading their own material all focused on one theme? And what other English city could produce it? The variety of material and the change in voices meant the literary longueurs were rare, and the delights were many.
Hosted by Annabel Giles, who managed to be both ramshackle and slick, the event attracted a flock of Brighton’s finest scribes. Tanya Murray, who I’d seen read once before, is fairly new and largely unpublished. She “used to be a man but gave it up”, and for my money Murray is an authentic Brighton voice, and a talent to watch.
Next year’s Brighton Moment may extend beyond one night. If it does, you should seize that moment, and see it.