Five Years Old

Hard to believe that a whole five years have passed since Nottingham became a UNESCO City of Literature, a proud, ongoing achievement which we celebrated last night. There’s a terrific oral history of how we made the successful bid on the NUCOL website which I urge you to read. Also, if you’re aged 16-25, please read the post about joining our Youth Advisory Board and, if you’re interested, apply by December 23rd.

My university term (by far the most arduous and exhausting of my 18+ years, and I’m not even full time, so God help many of my colleagues) only ended on Thursday and the birthday celebrations took up all of yesterday. When they were over, we went straight to the virtual launch of the Playhouse Panto, Cinderella, the first both written and directed by Adam Penford, who is really on his game. It’s an excellent show, bringing in lots of the traditional Nottingham Playhouse panto tropes but, even with a slimmed down cast, giving it a sharper feel, with some neat twists. And I found myself tremendously moved towards the end, reminded of what it means to live in a city full of people committed to building a better world with words, on the stage as well as the page.

Of course, it would be best to see the panto in person, at the playhouse, and – fingers crossed – at some point this will be possible. But on a laptop, with a bottle of fizz, it still made for a fine evening and I know friends with plans to watch it on Christmas Eve, which would be great, but we couldn’t wait. So do book and support the Playhouse, which has done a terrific job during the pandemic. And do read all the great posts from guest writers about libraries on our website and maybe bung us a few quid if you have any to spare and want to support our work.

All this is also by way of saying to long time readers, I know I should have started the best of 2020 sleeve notes yesterday, but haven’t found the energy. Tomorrow, I promise, and I should catch up by New Year’s Eve. After all, it’s not like we’re going anywhere. Happy birthday to us.

Loudon Wainwright III – Five Years Old

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