Saturday, April 06, 2013
I knew I was going to love seeing Miriam Margolyes open the Newcastle Writers Festival. But I did not expect to fall deeply, head-over-heels for her. I didn't expect that I would soar to dizzying highs of hysteria, to tears of empathy, to clasping my hands together in sheer delight.
What a magnificent woman.
What a voice.
What a face.
What a once-in-a-lifetime-experience.
When Rose-Marie Milsom, organiser of the Newcastle Writers Festival spoke she said: "Once I had Miriam, I knew everything else would fall into place."
No wonder. Miriam took us all into her heart, and had us eating from her palm. Speaking of Why Words Matter, Miriam said: "Voices and words are what truly connects us as human beings. Clearly words matter dreadfully; they express joy, anger and passion. Vowels carry the emotion, consonants carry the sense. So it's important to not mumble!"
My favourite quote was this: "The arts hold the soul of a nation which is why it is CRIMINAL to reduce their budgets. Let's get that into the heads of the government and councils." This was spoken to tremendous applause from an audience clearly in favour of the Newcastle Art Gallery Redevelopment, and still in a state of shock that some of our councillors don't understand its value.
What a start to a fabulous festival, all the product of one person's passion, and a powerful team behind her. Bravo Rose-Marie, and thank you for organising this rather fabulous festival. I can't wait to see what else it has to offer.