Lunedi Lunacy

I am a big fan of Letters Live as I’ve shown in past postings. However, and you faithful reader knew there would be a however*, sometimes lately I find that the oddest things make their audiences laugh and that the readers often play to those laughs. I am vaguely familiar with Keegan Michael Key from some TV show in North America and am told he his a comedian. In this reading he does try to prove it but I think the letter is funny enough without the “nudge… nudge… wink.. wink .. catch my drift” delivery.

Now whither that letter is apocryphal or not I was assured a long time ago that show and tell days were the bane of every museum curator’s existence.

Another startling trend these days is the change in the definition of “political satire”. It is no longer necessary to exaggerate things on the political scene – just report the facts and that’s satire enough. Certainly that is true here in Canada and in the United Kingdom.

Former Tory Cabinet Minister Rory Stewart reads a letter about a political figure who, I think, has never developed past the School Yard at Eton.

By the by the link above (left click if you will) to Mr Stewart’s profile reveals an interesting career and character.

The word for March 7th is:
Apocryphal /əˈpäkrəfəl/: [adjective]
1.1 (Of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true.
1.2 Of or belonging to the Apocrypha which is outside the approved canon of Scripture.
Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apocrypha (scripta) ‘hidden (writings)’, from Greek apokruphos, from apokruptein ‘hide away’.

Lunedi Lunacy

Her frequent NSFW appearances on the Graham Norton Show have tended to overshadowed Miriam Margolyes’ abilities as an actress. But the irrepressible Miriam is indeed a fine one with an impressive list of stage, television, and film credits. Here she displays both her sense of timing and a pretty damned good Northern Irish accent.


But I really have to include one of her exchanges with the highly irritating Mr Norton and two of his guests that is amongst the few that is shareable on a family blog like this one.


The word for November 29th is:
Irrepressible /ˌi(r)rəˈpresəb(ə)l/: [adjective]
Not able to be controlled or restrained.
Irr+ – assimilated form of in “not, opposite of” Repress – late 14c., “to check, restrain (sin, error); to overcome, put down, subdue (riot, rebellion)” from Latin repressus, “hold back, curb.” +ible Middle English from Old French –ible and directly from Latin adjective suffix –ibilis “capable of”.
That would be Miriam – there’s no holding her back.

Lunedi Lunacy

Since it’s inception in 2013 Letters Live has presented an array of performers, such as could only be found in London, reading letters from an all-encompassing range of writers from the famous to the infamous to the unknown. The letters being read can stretch from the mundane to the earth-shattering as the purpose of the events is to simply celebrate, in all its forms, “… the enduring power of literary correspondence.”

Comedian, broadcaster and writer Alan Carr reads an uncredited correspondence from a gentleman who’s insurance claim has been questioned!

On a more historical note, actress Olivia Colman and actor/musician/broadcaster Adrian Edmondson pair up to deliver “diplomatic notes” exchanged between Mehmed IV and the Zaporozhian Cossacks. Just as a warning the Cossacks were less – much less – than polite in their reply. NSFW.

The word for November 15th is:
Letter /ˈledər/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1.1 A character representing one or more of the sounds used in speech; any of the symbols of an alphabet.
1.2 A written, typed, or printed communication, especially one sent in an envelope by mail or messenger.
2. To inscribe letters or writing on
Middle English: from Old French lettre, from Latin litera, littera ‘letter of the alphabet’, litterae (plural) ‘epistle, literature, culture’.

Reactionary Love?

I’ve mentioned before that I continually enjoy delving into the treasures found in the Archives at Letter Live. Though the choice of readers can be a bit odd at times the talent that brings to life missives from the famous, the infamous and the not-at-all famous is remarkable.

I’m only familiar with Sanjeev Bhaskar from clips of his two series on British Television but his TV, film and stage appearances have been many and varied. Surprisingly in this excerpt he takes on the persona of the Little General – Old Bonie. But more surprisingly, and very much against type, the silent role of his great love Josephine is taken by the irrepressible Mariam Margolyes. I suggest that you go to YouTube and full screen with this and watch her expressions – without speaking a word she steals the entire reading.

The word for February 28th is:
Type-cast /ˈtīpˌkast/: [verb]
1.1 Assign (an actor or actress) repeatedly to the same type of role, as a result of the appropriateness of their appearance or previous success in such roles.
1.2 Represent or regard (a person or their role) as a stereotype.
First known use as it applies to performers 1937; type as in the sense of dates from 1847 and is perhaps a deliberate pun on the verbal phrase in the printing sense “to found types in molds.”

Lunedi Lunacy

I love Letters Live, the marvellous British celebration of the written word featuring major performers and personalities reading letters. Some of them are from famous people others are just everyday folk writing to friends, family, foes, corporations or in this case newspapers.

In 2014, a series of letters were sent to the Guardian newspaper in response to one of the more pressing geopolitical issues of the day. One Nicholas Lizard had asserted that dogs were “inherently fascist”. A good old fashioned “letters to the editor” exchange took place.

And this little gem from Olivia Coleman – who when she performed it at Union Hall apologized that the only American accent she could do was Southern, though she was sure that wasn’t the same as one from Montana.

On March 24th of 1958, 22-year-old Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army and some of his adoring fans were so concerned they wrote directly to President Eisenhower. This letter is just one of thousands the poor, no doubt slightly bewildered, Ike received.

The word for December 28th is:
Letter /ˈledər/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1.1 A character representing one or more of the sounds used in speech; any of the symbols of an alphabet.
1.2 A written, typed, or printed communication, especially one sent in an envelope by mail or messenger.
2. To inscribe or writing on.
Middle English: from Old French lettre, from Latin litera, littera ‘letter of the alphabet’, (plural) ‘epistle, literature, culture’.

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