Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Off the Shelf 2011

Off the Shelf, one of the hightlights of Sheffield's cultural year has just come to an end.  Probably one of the best and most varied literature festivals going, but not enough limelight or national coverage.  We have supported this since it's infancy 20 years ago and it just goes from strength to strength

Programme Cover copyright of 2011 Off the Shelf

This year has been 3 weeks of a brilliant range of events of which we limited ourselves to the selection below - mostly choosing things we didn't know much about.

First there was a very interesting talk with music about Bob Marley's Wailers and their early days in Trenchtown.  Great to be in the Hubs too, good venue in one of the upstairs hubs with bar and stage:

and then a fastinating performance of LIszt's live and loves, as it was the bicentennial of his birth just 4 days prior to this event!  Martin Jarvis has a hypnotic voice and the recital was brilliant in the very lovely Upper Chapel, which was packed to capacity for this event:

followed by an interesting academic analysis of the letters of Thomas and Larkin and a lively debate afterwards:

and, on a balmy Saturday evening, we followed Geoff Nicholson on a circular walk from the Showroom, rediscoving the joy of city walking and observing Sheffield's own Kid Acne graffiti along the way:

then in a new (to us) and exciting venue, this amazing premiere in English. This performance was outstanding and mesmerising and quite unique - a highlight of the festival for us:

then over a lunchtime at work:

and in the Cathedral by night, covering Andrew Motion's recent war poems and some moving poems to his new partner.  He said that during his laureateship he had hardly been able to write a single poem:

and to finish off, submerging at the Showroom with young author Joe Dunthorne, who was only 22 when he wrote Submarine, which has become such a hit as a book and a film and soundtrack (Alex Turner), made by Warp films of Sheffield:

So all in all, a brilliant and varied festival and can't wait for next year's Off the Shelf . . .

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