Elinor Johns rounds up our January MIRLive.



An appreciative audience packed the basement bar of The Harrison on Monday 28th January for our first MIRLive of 2019. We were treated to an interesting variety of creative pieces performed in a relaxed atmosphere, created by Peter Coles, our enthusiastic host for the evening.

Sybil Ruth began the evening with a thought- provoking and evocative piece called “Restored.” Written as a result of a workshop on Brexit, this piece was well- crafted, intertwining two journeys; that of the narrator, taking the bus home from the embassy where she has gained a certificate to restore her German identity, and that of her grandmother, as an immigrant, arriving in the country eighty years earlier. It was an ironic piece about identity, conjuring a sense of displacement, sensitively and gently told through carefully selected details.

The mood shifted a gear when Ronan Fitzgerald took to the stage to present his poem, “The Girl in the Orange Dress,” which was derived from newspaper headlines. Ronan performed his poem perfectly, expertly bringing out the tragi- comic effect of his juxtapositions. His skilled use of repetition and rhythm took us through a myriad of events, succinctly evoked and carefully placed. From “I fell in love/ I fell off the escalator,” through to “fatherhood was like growing wild mushrooms in a death camp,” we were surprised and ultimately moved by the poem, which for all its absurdities was a cogent tale of falling in love “at the supermarket checkout” with “The girl in the orange dress.”

The next piece was called “Unpublished Obituary for a Playwright,” which was extremely well performed by its author, Raoul Colvile. Conversational in tone, the story took the form of a confessional monologue. The strangeness of the playwright’s corpse being wrapped in a carpet was an absurd, yet poignant detail and as the monologue developed, pathos was evoked for the narrator, a lonely and bereaved man, considering the futility of his life.

Kayleigh Cassidy’s autobiographical piece, “Home time,” began with a gentle, comic recounting of growing up in the nineties, charting memories of peer group frictions at primary school, but as the piece developed she inter-wove much darker memories within a fast paced style. The vivid dialogue gave immediacy to the child’s eye view and the hints of family breakdown were drip- fed into the piece so that the audience was left wanting more.

This was followed by “Past Lives,” an interesting internal monologue, in which the many reincarnations of the narrator were presented as a struggle for happiness between the narrator and a lover. Sometimes life allowed for requited love but often destiny would leave the narrator unfulfilled. Nevertheless, the ending was positive. It was beautifully read by its author, Rebekah Lin.

This took us to our headline act. Laura Kaye ended the evening with an impressive extract from her next novel, “Parties,” which described a ludicrously lavish party from the waitress’ perspective. Dressed as a mermaid, Mary suffers the indignities of waiting on predatory guests in a surreal environment. Witty and satirical, her piece had us all laughing out loud. It was a highly entertaining way to end a great evening.

Do join us next time on March 11th as a performer alongside comedian Rosie Wilby, or as a member of the audience – no tickets required! Submit your work here.

February 20, 2019

MIRLive: Laura Kaye

Elinor Johns rounds up our January MIRLive.
October 18, 2018

MIRLive: The Mechanics Institute Review special!

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
July 27, 2018

Identity, inequality and chickens at our Summer MIRLive

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
May 28, 2018

MIRLive Arts Week Special 2018

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
February 22, 2018

MIRLive Readers Warm Up a Cold February Evening

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
January 9, 2018

MIRLive with Lara Pawson

Join Lara Pawson at The Harrison.
January 1, 2018

MIRLive Winter Tales

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
November 26, 2017

MIRLive: Winter Tales with Neil Griffiths

Join Neil Griffiths at The Harrison for a Winter Tales Special. 
July 13, 2017

MIRLive Life Stories Special

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
June 20, 2017

MIRLive Life Stories

Katherine Angel and Emma Henderson Join us for MIRLive
May 22, 2017

MIRLive Call for Submissions: Life Stories

Join us at The Harrison for our last event of the summer term. We’re looking for stories inspired by real life.
May 19, 2017

Poetry Live Arts Week Special

Elinor Johns rounds up Poetry Live.
March 30, 2017

Poetry Live!

An amazing line up of poets for our Arts Week Special
March 15, 2017

MIRLive Celebrates International Women’s Day

Sue Tyley and Stella Klein round up our MIRLive International Women’s Day Special
February 28, 2017

K J Orr Headlines MIRLive

BBC National Short Story Award Winner KJ Orr headlines our International Women’s Day event. 
February 15, 2017

Leila Segal brings Cuban Warmth To A Frozen January

Katherine Vik rounds up our January MIRLive
February 4, 2017

K J Orr To Headline Women’s Day Event

Our next MIRLive takes place on March 6th at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF. This event will be headlined by BBC Short Story Award Winner, K J Orr, and will be an International Women’s Day Special. We will be accepting submissions from all genders but work should be […]
January 23, 2017

Leila Segal Headlines MIRLive

Leila Segal reads from her debut collection, Breathe. MIRLive’s Alison Hitchock shares work from her letter writing project, From Me To You. Leila and Alison are joined by five more wonderful women reading poetry and short stories.
December 11, 2016

Leila Segal to Headline MIRLive

Our next MIRLive takes place on January 30th at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF. This event will be headlined by Leila Segal. The deadline for Submissions is January 15th.
December 9, 2016

MIRLive: An Evening of Festive Fun

Alison Hitchcock rounds up our MIRLive Christmas Special