‘How the Light Gets In’ – Light Night teaser | Helping Elbow

By September 11, 2014

Theatre & Dance. Leeds.


On October 3rd, Leeds-based, award-winning writer Clare Fisher will be running a brand new interactive storytelling installation for Leeds Light Night – ‘How the Light Gets In.’

As part of ‘How the Light Gets In’, actors will perform micro-stories on the theme of light, dark and how we find our way from one to the other, whilst audiences can contribute their insights and reactions to a display wall. Clare has written these stories through running a series of creative workshops and sparking creative conversations on twitter, thanks to funding from the Arts Council as part of the SHINE emerging artists scheme. Clare’s final workshop (And the light said to the dark) takes place this weekend as part of NEXUS art festival.

Leading up to Light Night, TSOTA are exclusively publishing a small selection of 4 of Clare’s micro stories that will feature in the installation.

The first of these is Helping Elbow

Helping Elbow

People talk about helping hands but they never talk about helping elbows. Well maybe no one ever elbowed anyone the way she elbowed me. I’m not saying ‘she’ to be rude: I never learned her name. It was the bus stop outside the Corn Exchange; they call it a shelter but it don’t shelter you from much – not from the pee or the wind or the rain or anything that may or may not be going on inside you and sometimes, sometimes, you wonder like is there something dirty and wrong with the fact that you even exist, because what kind of life is this?

Anyway that’s exactly how I felt when she elbowed me in the tit – right in the squishiest middle of my tit, and I said, ‘what do you think you’re doing you clumsy bitch? This world ‘ent just for you.’

She was so gobsmacked, she dropped her Harvey Nicks bag; tiny silver balls rolled all over the pavement. I reckoned they was pearls or summat. I picked one up, rolled it between my thumb and finger. It was all oily and I said so.

That’s when she stared over my shoulder like behind it was some window to some other place (not just the scratched-up out-of-date bus timetable) and said, ‘it’s bubble baaarth. It’s for my sister in law. I thought it would make her like me but it won’t. She will never like me, and to be honest, I don’t really like her, and I guess that’s alright. Anyway, I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t hurt you.’

We didn’t become best mates; nothing like that.

She walked off, her bubble baths rolled and rolled until people stepped on them, until more people stepped on chips and then stepped on the ones that was left; by the time my bus bothered to show up, there was no shine on the pavement that anyone else could see. But as the bus rattled past the huge darlek building, I looked down at the dirty fingers at the end of the hands at the end of the person that way too many people had said was no good and I could see it. I could see the shine alright. I still can.

Claire Sita Fisher


‘How the Light Gets In’ will run from 5pm – 10pm, October 3rd at the Local Artists Space, Central Library, Leeds.


Clare Fisher is Leeds-based writer, blogger and creative-writing teacher. She writes mainly fiction, and in 2013 Clare won the Spread the Word Writing Prize and the Cinnamon Press Writing Prize. With a firm attachment in both Leeds and London, Clare is currently working on a novel set between the two cities.