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Helen Oyeyemi

In March 1961 the author of Waiting for Godot (1955) Samuel Beckett (aged 54) mysteriously booked a room for two weeks at the Hotel Bristol on the Upper Leas in Folkestone under his middle name, Barclay Beckett. Beckett was keen that his Folkestone marriage to his long time partner Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil remain a secret and so during his stay he was deliberately stealthy for fear of being recognised.

To mark the 60th anniversary year of Beckett’s wedding in all its intrigue, The Shape of Things to Come festival has commissioned an indoor-outdoor promenade event which audience members experience one at a time. This includes three short five-minute fictional monologues specially written by acclaimed writers, Helen Oyeyemi, Rupert Thomson and Eimear McBride in which they portray three Folkestone residents who observed (or nearly observed in one case) Beckett during his stay - a receptionist at the Hotel Bristol where he stayed, a local journalist for the Daily Express who believed he’d discovered about Beckett’s marriage in advance, and a witness, possibly invited from off the street, to the wedding at Folkestone Registry Office.

Each audience member walks through the same streets as Beckett, stopping at three venues to watch the three monologues. As they walk they will listen on headphones to three Beckett life sketches that touch on three works gestating in his mind at the time: his marriage play Happy Days, his adultery play Play (featuring two Kent place names at a critical juncture) and his film Film steeped in paranoia and in the fear of being perceived.

This is a dual event, for a limited live audience in Folkestone and as a specially commissioned film for a world-wide digital audience. The film will seek to allow the digital audience an equal, if different, experience of this curation.

Age recommendation 18+

 

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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Paperback, 09/02/2017, £9.99
£8.99
A remarkable collection of short stories from one of our most gifted writers, Helen Oyeyemi.

Gingerbread

Paperback, 05/03/2020, £8.99
£8.09
Helen Oyeyemi, the prize-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What is Not Yours is Not Yours, returns with a bewitching and inventive novel about motherhood, family legacy and . . . gingerbread.

White is for Witching

Paperback, 02/04/2010, £9.99
£8.99
Angela Carter meets Edgar Allen Poe in this mesmerizing spine-tingler from the talented author of The Icarus Girl.

Mr Fox

Paperback, 10/02/2012, £9.99
£8.99
Helen Oyeyemi draws on myth, fairytale and fable for this extraordinary novel exploring the female muse.

Peaces

Hardback, 04/11/2021, £14.99
£13.49
Peaces is the story of Otto and Xavier Shin, a couple who embark on a mysterious train journey that takes them far beyond any destination they could have anticipated. As the carriages roll along they discover each is more curious and fascinating than the last, becoming embroiled in this strange train and its intrigue.

The Icarus Girl

Paperback, 06/02/2006, £9.99
£8.99
Jessamy Harrison is eight years old. She spends hours writing, reading or simply hiding in the dark warmth of the airing cupboard. As the half-and-half child of an English father and a Nigerian mother, Jess just can't shake off the feeling of being alone wherever she goes. This is a novel about spirits, twins and an extraordinary little girl.

The Opposite House

Paperback, 05/05/2008, £9.99
£8.99
A stunning new novel about a young jazz singer from the acclaimed author of The Icarus Girl

Boy, Snow, Bird

Paperback, 10/09/2015, £9.99
£8.99
Boy, Snow, Bird is a haunting and beautiful retelling of the Snow White myth, from author of the award-winning White is for Witching.

 

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Canterbury Festival 2020
  Canterbury Festival