Tall And True Short Reads

The Performance

Episode 17 (24 March 2021)

Three minutes into the performance, and I stifled a yawn. Crammed in the front row with a clutch of fellow bored hacks, I hoped no one had noticed. However, the acclaimed actor and playwright and recently appointed head of NATS, Barry Lazarus, turned and fixed a beady eye on me from centre stage.


The Performance

Show Notes

Season One: Episode 17 (24 March 2021)

The Performance is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-performance

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

I wrote The Performance in February 2021 for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s monthly 500-word short story competition, Furious Fiction. The story had to:

  • Take place in a SCHOOL
  • Begin with the word THREE
  • And include the adjectives: MAGNETIC, UNCOUTH, SUSPICIOUS, and FLOWERY.

The definition of SCHOOL was flexible. It could be an educational institution, a school of thought, or a school of fish.

I toyed with the latter idea for a while, beginning a draft story with “Three fathoms down”. But then I switched to something sci-fi-ish, with “Three parsecs out”.

And by a circuitous route, which I can’t explain, this led me to write the line, “Three minutes into the performance”. I had small parts in amateur plays when I lived in England. And I know there’s nothing worse than being caught yawning by a director during a rehearsal. I’ve also seen powerful performances on the stage that have shaken me awake.

Suddenly, I had my story set at the National Arts and Theatre School. The school is rehearsing its first performance under the stewardship of the acclaimed actor and playwright Barry Lazarus. A young (caffeine-deprived) journalist draws the short straw to cover the dress rehearsal. And Lazarus spots him yawning in the front row. He invites the journalist to read a part in the play and see beyond its soporific beginning.

As for the adjectives, I trust you didn’t yawn and miss them in the story?

I hope you enjoyed The Performance, like the student actors and hacks. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed for earlier episodes. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app.

And don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity. Thanks to Josh (VoiceOverMaster) Meyer for Audacity recording tips and tricks.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

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