Winter Shorts is the first in a new series of quarterly literary salons from local collective Quart Short. The intimate readings kick off on July 5 and pair some of Adelaide’s top performers with contemporary Australian stories in the papery surrounds of The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange.
“It’s an intimate and moody space, pretty much perfect for readings,” Quart Short co-founder Annie Waters says. “We approached them after scoping the space and they locked us in straight away.”
Founded by Waters and fellow literature lovers Ben Brooker and Janet Thomas, Quart Short pays homage to the much loved and now-defunct storytelling series Spineless Wonders, which was a cult favourite among Adelaide’s literary scene.
The inaugural event features work by six emerging and established writers: Benjamin Chehade, Merran Jones, Gay Lynch, Allee Richards and Anita Sanders, as well as co-founders Brooker and Thomas. The stories will be brought to life by actors Patrick Frost, Claire Glenn, Elliot Howard, Tamara Lee, Brittany Plummer and Lucy Slattery. Local folk musician Garden Ruin will break up the readings with his own set of sonic storytelling.
The format bridges a gap between the often insular and introspective world of writing and the public nature of self-expression and performance.
“I think that a writer reading their own work can be really intimate and personal, and a wonderful experience, but they don’t necessarily cross over into the spoken scene,” Waters says.
The actors dig it too, because they get a chance to perform pieces they wouldn’t normally.
“They’re not quite monologues but they’re not quite play pieces, or dialogic pieces so it really tests them,” Waters says. “They really have to get into a character, and it’s always interesting to see how someone else adapts your work, so it allows for a bit of interpretation as well, which is really cool.”
Winter Shorts begins at The Bibliotheca Bar and Book Exchange, 1/27 Gresham St, Adelaide at 7pm on July 5. Entry is $5 at the door.