A really interesting, informative and helpful performance, particularly for all those budding authors and performers out there. Memoirist Viv Groskop and Suzanne Azzopardi - controversial co-author of the recent Pippa Middleton’s spoof book - were our two inspiring hosts, who certainly knew what they were talking about. Both were experienced public speakers and wonderfully encouraging hosts, working well together to deliver a brilliant event.
Instead of listing off the qualities and techniques that make a good storyteller, Groskop read short excerpts from a novel, ‘The Gun’ by Mark Haddon, in a number of different ways. Groskop, clearly a fantastic comedian as well as an accomplished author, read these with flair and humour, emphasising in her readings where she was going wrong and what techniques readers should avoid. At the end of each reading, Azzopardi, co-host and executive producer of Literary Death Match, would gently let Groskop down, telling her, as if she was a contestant on her show, where her reading had let her down. It was very funny to watch, as well as interesting to find out exactly what the professionals want.
There were numerous questions following their session, which were all answered with enthusiasm and intelligence. The pair were able to give sound advice to numerous performers and authors on a personal level, which is exactly what they wanted to take away from this show. It’s a shame that it was a one off performance, though. As a sell-out night, I’m sure many more people would have liked to see the pair and I know I would have recommended going to see their performance. All in all, funny, instructive and intimately performed, Groskop and Azzopardi were lovely hosts who certainly knew how to make the most out of this short hour-long performance.