21 November 2011

Points of sale tales

Ah, site-specific story-telling: this year's new black. But it doesn't matter if everyone seems to be at it; the great thing about writing about place is how the tales vary between writers: even one small location can open up so many different interpretations. At last week's Re:Tale, the location was the Jigsaw clothes store in Manchester's slightly odd Triangle shopping centre. Six writers who know each other largely via the monthly Bad Language spoken word night brought a crowd of 30-odd six very different imaginings of life in the retail sector, some of which linked together to form a coherent whole.

Kicking off with my Flashtag colleague Fat Roland and his many props, we were then taken past the wonderful glazed green tiles of the staircase to the circular personal shopping area where Nici West told the tale of deaths on the shopfloor. Nici led us on to Dan Carpenter in the main shop, where he disconcerted us with his store assistant stalker and a Polaroid camera.

Following a break for liquid sustenance, we were treated to the inimitable style of Joe Daly: exiting a changing room, he instantly had people in stitches with his shoplifting stockbroker story. Next up was another Flashtag member, Dave Hartley, till rolls a-go-go; then the event was rounded off by Nick Garrard, with the Triangle's lovely dome roof and glittering festive lights providing the backdrop.

I have to admit, I wasn't quite sure what to expect and was slightly concerned that this kind of thing has been exhausted, but this was a really inspiring, engaging and enjoyable event. And I want all the clothes, if someone could sort that out. Ta.

You can read another review of the event on Cultural Shenanigans, by Laura Maley (pictured above grasping the end of one of L'il Dave's till rolls).

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