Magical realist storytelling from Festival veteran
This article is from 2009.
‘It’s good to do it again after four years, in front of a live audience,’ says writer/comedian Ben Moor, as he prepares to perform from More Trees to Climb, his recent collection of short stories. Adapted from three of his one-man shows, Moor emphasises the event will be less of a conventional book reading and more of a theatrical performance. ‘It’s magical realist storytelling. It’s funny and poignant and it’s got something to say about love and loneliness,’ he says of the novella Coelacanth which he will be acting out during the one-hour event.
Centring on ‘the sport of tree climbing’, it’s named after a prehistoric species of fish, once presumed to be extinct, but almost fished to its demise when rediscovered in the 1930s. ‘It’s a beautiful metaphor,’ Moor says. ‘The lead character finds something in himself that he thought was extinct. Adapting my shows into the written word was a challenging but satisfying process, and it really came good in the end.’ More Trees to Climb also has an introduction written by fellow comedian Stewart Lee, whom Moor has known for more than 20 years. ‘He’s written a very touching tribute basically saying what a big nerd I am,’ he laughs, adding that he intends to see Lee perform this year but will take as much pleasure from being in Charlotte Square Gardens. ‘It’s an island of tranquillity and a lovely place to sit down.’