It was a case of Laugh Out Loud at Hove Library last month as library staff put on A Bit of Bennett. During MANIL Fortnight in June staff performed the Alan Bennett Talking Heads monologue A Chip in the Sugar. MANIL (Make a Noise in Libraries) is an annual campaign to bring public libraries and blind and partially sighted people together, so it was very much an audio experience.
We’d adapted the play for three voices and the aim was to make it more like a radio drama, with staff reading from the script and with live music. This took a bit of pressure off the staff as we didn’t have to remember our lines. But really our main worry was that we didn’t corpse on the day as we’d had such a laugh during rehearsals. The audience, which included residents from Wavertree House, laughed in nearly all the right places, and in some unexpected places as well; which just goes to show you can’t always predict what the public will find funny.
Free refreshments and popular music from the thirties played by another member of staff on the violin added to the ambience of a really fun event. It went down so well and we enjoyed doing it so much that we’re hoping to repeat the experience at Jubilee Library in the near future (And we did, see photo! – ed).
Karen – Library Officer
Photo is MANIL event at Jubilee, as we couldn’t find a photo of the one at Hove!