Tall And True Short Reads
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.
Season One: Episode 17 (24 March 2021)
Read The Performance: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-performance
Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com
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Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
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- 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.
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Podcast Theme and Sound Effects
- Footsteps on stage: https://freesound.org/people/Anthousai/sounds/398782/
- Ridicule laughter: https://freesound.org/people/the_yura/sounds/278858/
- Page-turning: https://freesound.org/people/Kodack/sounds/256475/
- Applause: https://freesound.org/people/Breviceps/sounds/462362/
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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