Friday, October 21, 2016


Eight of us - seven tellers and one listener, but one teller had been unwell and didn't tell - but what an enormously varied evening!

Paul took us to the shtetlach in the Pale of Settlement of Tsarist Russia, where the rich Jewish doctor, who had failed to cure the cobbler's wife, lost his fat fee, thanks to the Rebbe's Talmudic precision of interpretation.

Then Jason took us to a fantasy land, where the Blue Ettin caused havoc and the King made the usual offer of sex and property to the successful pest control officer. Sir Bragadoccio's squire, Ulrich, proved braver and cleverer and more successful than his master, but his reward was his master's dagger in his ribs. However, music and magic saw to it that justice was done. [I would advertise Jason's Halloween gig, including this story, at The Art House on October 27th - but it's sold out! Watch for a repeat...]

Darren had us all silent and scared with his superb account of an Edinburgh hotel which was not altogether canny... he called it The Unquiet.

Alan's venture into Scotland, which he had from Duncan Williamson, was about Angus MacDonald MacDougal Maclean and the presumption of innocence. [I'm not going to spoil a good story by giving away too much! I want to tell it myself.]

Maddie told a version of the Juniper Tree which contained all the elements from the traditional tale out of Grimm, but somehow managed to make them completely fresh and new-minted.

Finally, in a story that he specifically situated on All Hallows' Eve, Mike took us to Eling churchyard, above Southampton Water, and told us what happened to Mary on that night, right through until dawn, and a little bit afterwards.

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