Last year we were honoured and delighted to asked to be part of the first ever London Litcrawl. Our leg of the crawl was held in the basement of The George just off Charing Cross Road, was packed out by the end, and was loads of fun. So naturally we agreed when we were asked to do it again - especially since it was taking place in our spiritual (and for many of us, actual) home of South London - Petitou Cafe in Peckham, to be precise. We picked three great stories from our archives and threw in a new one just for fun, and we think it went rather well.
The stories read were (in order of performance) In Walks a Unicorn by David Douce, PTSD: Part Timer, Still Down by Caroline Greene, The Magic Lamp by Phil Pavey and Naked by David McGrath (NSFW). If you'd like to read the texts of the archive stories, please click on the title links - The Magic Lamp is reproduced in full below, and you can see full or partial videos of all the readings below too (apologies for the quality - lighting level was low and our camerawoman was a bit far away). We also recorded a podcast of the entire event - click the link to access.
THE MAGIC LAMP
by Phil Pavey, read by Helen Belbin
It was, Harry Beddoes felt, a very fine bedside lamp. He had always been fond of it, and was immensely pleased to have kept it. There were those, of course, who said it was vulgar or kitsch. But he loved its gleaming brass base, bulbous white and gold china stem, rounded metallic mount, finely decorated glass shade and delicate brass finial, suggestive of an oil lamp in a nineteenth-century saloon.