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‘Writing Beyond the Written Word’

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Dan Abnett, Stewart Lee, Tom Moyser and Jack Hackett
Dan Abnett, Stewart Lee, Tom Moyser and Jack Hackett

On Monday, we welcomed back four Aularians to an event for current students that included talks, question and answer sessions, and a film showing.

The evening was organised by Professor Lucy Newlyn, Fellow and Tutor in English, and followed on from February’s ‘Celebration of Writing’ day, at which many former Hall students, who are now professional writers, returned to talk about various aspects of writing and the place of creative writing in education.

Podcasts are available from the ‘Celebration of Writing’ day, but unfortunately the talks by comic book writer Dan Abnett (1984, English) and stand-up comedian Stewart Lee (1986, English, and now also an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall) were lost.  However, proving that every cloud has a silver lining, Dan and Stewart kindly offered to return and perform a re-run of those talks, with some entertaining ad-libbing and updating, in front of an audience of current students.

Dan’s talk was entitled “Ka-Boom! (And Other Made-Up Words)”, while Stewart spoke “On Not Writing”.  Lively question and answer sessions followed, taking in everything from a discussion of comic book style rules to the value of culture in society.

Learning from past mistakes (we hope!), we also invited a professional in to video the talks for us and they will be available shortly on the University’s iTunes site and on the St Edmund Hall YouTube channel.

The second part of the evening featured a showing of a one-hour film adaptation of As You Like It, directed by Rob Williams (Brasenose), with screenplay by Jack Hackett (2008, English) and produced by Tom Moyser (2008, English). Questions followed, and the trio discussed their approach of combining Shakespearean language with a modern setting and complementary imagery.

There’s a good picture of all four participating Aularians in the Oxford Mail.

For further discussion of the event, please visit the 'News, Announcements, Events, Prizes' section of the Hall Writers' Forum. The Forum's aim is to foster creative writing, dialogue, and collaboration amongst the students, staff and alumni of St Edmund Hall. All members and alumni of the Hall can register as members, and there is also an area for public discussion which can be viewed without logging in.

Thanks to all our speakers, and to Lucy for co-ordinating a very enjoyable evening.

Below: (left to right) Tom Moyser, Rob Williams and Jack Hackett answer questions about their version of As You Like It

Tom Moyser, Rob Williams and Jack Hackett
Tom Moyser, Rob Williams and Jack Hackett