You can’t judge the bookish by a cover story…
Try this (& don’t even get me started on e-books): take a stroll though the crime and thriller section of a busy bookshop. Pull out random titles and look at the front cover art.
Ignore the words and favour the graphic.
Despite the very best work of paperback designers you really can’t tell a book by its cover, can you? Odds are that the cover art will either have eyes staring back at you (this is crime and thrillers, after all), or will sketch the story of a central figure, leading you into the book, often in dramatic silhouette with enhanced perspective; a first or third person hero/ine on a quest, heading into danger. Don’t be mislead by the harp and the hand on the hip….
OK, so maybe you can tell a book’s genre by its cover but, as the throbbing graphic of indiscriminate thrilldom beckons you, dear hungry reader, you can’t easily tell them apart, can you?
Now step into Well Thumbed world. Imagine, just for a moment, that you are seeking fresh literary thrills in the serious leatherbound volumes of a classic library. Your quest, heroic reader, is to seek out the guilty pleasures of antique dirty bits.
Q. How can you guess at particular contents? & which blurbless book might suit your requirements?
A. Look at the bindings. Find a well worn spine. Slip it off of the shelf. That book, you can be sure, will fall open at Well Thumbed pages. You are pretty much guaranteed that there is a passage to be found which has excited the interest of a previous reader (warning: if you discover scribbled marginalia you are almost certainly in the wrong book – unless phrases of pertinence to scholastic disciplines really do fill your needs). Your quest here, for the purposes of a fractured metaphor, is to run down the secret passages of a book.
And that, in an ornately carved nutshell, or even dog-eared paperback, is the Well Thumbed concept. A unique theatrical event created by Notional Theatre, in a production that offers a classy blend of acting, reading and singing; mixing comedy with the frankly tragic; the well read and the well rude.
Oh, the picture of the man with the harp standing in a gateway… That’s supposed to be Dafydd ap Gwilym, a Welsh poet of the Middle Ages who is a surprisingly saucy contributor to the Well Thumbed script.
Enough digression. Back to rehearsals.