Once upon a time in a very swish, ultra-modern Brighton hotel, sat a dashing young Scottish gentleman in stripy designer pyjamas…
In partnership with City Reads and as continuation of his highly successful transatlantic ‘Reader in Residence’ sessions, Damian Barr will be reading excerpts from this year’s City Reads book of choice – Ian Fleming’s ‘From Russia With Love’- whilst a small audience of four people sip the most alcoholic vodka martinis in existence. Shaken, not stirred of course.
The readings are taking place hourly from 6pm on Thursday evenings during April in the stunning third-floor ‘Carousel’ penthouse suite at Myhotel, Brighton. At £450 per night, this is probably the only way I’ll ever get to enjoy this room short of a lottery win.
Greeted by Damian and a softly-playing James Bond soundtrack, we sat down in plush leather chairs whilst being mixed cocktails by our own personal barman (unfortunately, he doesn’t come with room). Although initially I thought the whole scenario would be a little odd, being read to aloud felt like the most wonderful mix of adult Jackanory meets book group – there’s something incredibly comforting yet intimate about it. If my English Literature seminars at university had been more like this I’m sure I’d have taken far greater pleasure in them. Especially if they came with martinis.
Of course, with something like this you have to have the right kind of person reading to you – I’m sure that had it been Joe Pasquale sitting there the effect wouldn’t have been the same. Damian clearly knows what his strengths are (in this case, his wonderful Scottish accent and clear passion for a damn good story) and this is yet another inspiring idea in addition to the fantastic Silent Cinema and forthcoming Starlite Urban Drive-in.
If you love stories, lush penthouses, martinis and consider yourself just a little bit of a literature geek, then this is definitely something to catch while you can – truly a unique experience.