This week our summer season kicked off not with a bang, but with a whisper. Well, what else would you expect from a programme dedicated to storytelling and the power of words?
“A moving & entertaining celebration of books, reading, libraries, and fellow readers.”
Memories of Fiction: The Living Library, the opening event of Whispers from the Walls, is well underway. The week has been stuffed with books, cosy reading nooks, listening posts, bespoke storytelling, physical theatre and more. Audiences have been loving the production, so make sure you catch Memories of Fiction before it closes on Sunday!
We asked artists and theatre makers participating in Whispers from the Walls, as well as some of Omnibus’ own lovely staff, what they are reading right now.
“I’ve just read Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. I completely devoured it on holiday – it’s a complicated and emotional first-person account of messy relationships. It’s beautifully written and gives a good punch to the gut!” Jemima Foxtrot, Engine Room
“I keep re-reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf. My favorite quote from the book is ‘He who robs us of our dreams robs us from our life.’ I have enjoyed the book as much as I have because I am directing the play adaptation of it next year. It’s an amazing book full of images and the fantastic story about a man who changes into a woman, it’s very cool.” Marie McCarthy, Artistic Director of Omnibus Theatre
“I’m currently reading The Drawing of the Three, book two of Stephen King series The Tower. It’s brilliant and horribly dark with haunting images. It’s epic. King wrote the series over much of his life. At the end of their lives, people used to write to Stephen King and ask ‘but what happens? I’ll keep the secret’. He said he would but he didn’t know the answer himself yet. I’m looking forward to finding out.” Katy Schutte, Engine Room
“I’m currently reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I’ve read and loved some of Zadie’s more recent stuff but finally committed to taking it back to the source! What I love most about Zadie’s writing is how she mixes hilarious dialogue with engaging commentary on a plethora of social issues. Every page is peppered with transportive description, fascinating characters and meaningful insights into what is means to be a woman, a person of colour or working class in the UK and beyond. 10/10! Go Zadie! It’s also super exciting that the Kiln Theatre have just announced a stage adaptation of this book – totes gonna see that.” Shaun Evelyn, Marketing Coordinator at Omnibus Theatre
“I’m currently reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It’s fast paced, beautifully written and pretty terrifying. The characters Atwood has created seems very real and Offred, the book’s protagonist, is brave, funny and strong. I’d recommend this book to everyone. It’s an incredible piece of work.” Katie Arnstein, Bicycles and Fish
“The last really exceptional book I read was Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s framed as a letter to his son, exploring his own experience of growing up as a young Black man in the United States. It’s a tender, incisive and stunning exploration of white supremacy and racist violence. Really moving, important stuff!” Jeremy Wong, Development Officer at Omnibus Theatre
“Ben Haggarty is reading Poetry and Prophecy by Nora Chadwick. the best bits so far are references to Miss E. J. Lindgren and her personal communications about reindeer Shamaness dancers and their skirts constricted of 40LBS of iron!
Our programme manager is trying to read Conciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett, but she keeps opening the book then closing it again, so she wouldn’t like to comment yet. She chose it because of an interesting conversation with her father…
And our marketing officer just read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, and thinks the chapter where she explains how society undermines women’s power by making them ashamed of their bodies should be compulsory reading for year 8/9s in every school!” The Crick Crack Club, The Fate We Bring Ourselves
“I’m reading my sister’s book The First Dance at the minute as it’s just been published! By Catherine Law. It’s a great 1930s period romance/drama! You can currently purchase it at Sainsbury’s for £3!” Rebecca Law, Finance and Box Office Manager at Omnibus Theatre
“I’ve just finished reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It was a gripping, heart-wrenching story that hooked you in within the first few sentences, as you want to understand the eccentric central character and her murky past. It has a great twist, an interesting take on mental health, and I would heartily recommend it! Other than that, I’d recommend Perfect – the book that my new show is adapted from. I read it about once a week at the moment and despite, it’s limited text, the beautiful illustrations change the story for me every time.” Tessa Bide, Perfect
“I’m currently reading Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. It’s a magical vision on the current refugee crisis.” Sue Dorey, Director of Music at Omnibus Theatre
“I’ve just finished reading The Book of Dust (La Belle Sauvage) by Phillip Pullman. I absolutely loved it! Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy are some of my favourite books, and I can’t wait to read the next instalment. And obviously I’m a big fan of Stuart Spendlow’s series of Penguinpig books too!” Jane Crawshaw, Penguinpig
“I just finished reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids which I would highly recommend – it’s totally beautiful and manages to be heartbreaking and heartwarming all in one go.” Lucinda McLean-Bibby, Assistant Producer at Omnibus Theatre
“I’m currently re-reading Les Misérables. You can totally read it as a post-Trump, post-Brexit survival manual, which is super needed in 2018. Police Brutality, children dying of malnutrition, women fighting for their rights…. it’s everything.” Nemo Martin, Working Title
“House of Games by Chris Johnston – I read sections each week – it’s full of brilliant inspiration for our workshops with young people across Lambeth!” Rhian Davies, Producer (Creative Learning) at Omnibus Theatre
Whispers from the Walls features over 25 events across 2 months – explore the season HERE