Review: Story event Orthros: A Night of Aconite… Prose


When I heard writers Steve Toase and LMA Bauman-Milner were bringing their story event Orthros: A Night of Aconite… Prose to Leeds’ Hyde Park Book Club, I registered to attend straight-away. I missed their performance at the Ilkley Literature Festival last October, and was pleased to have a second chance to see their event.

Both authors write in a dark fantasy style, with stunning imagery and fascinating plots. The stories are the perfect length to keep an audience captivated and wanting more. Each story / flash fiction piece was entirely unique. Sometimes short pieces by the same author can appear samey after a while, but this was definitely not the case. I was completely entranced by every performance.

I’ve seen LMA Bauman-Milner perform at open mic nights previously, and it’s always a joy to listen to her. She doesn’t just read out a story – she performs it, allowing the reader to enter the stunningly dark worlds she has created. Her characters’ voices shine through, and every word tangled round me like a spiderweb, drawing me into the story. Her tone of voice is simply beautiful.

Steve Toase was also brilliant. His stories are fantastic, with such great imagery. Again, I was drawn in to every word. His presence as a storyteller commanded attention, and I was fascinated by his work.

There was also a short open mic section. It was unusual to see a “story only” open mic, but this really worked and fitted in to the overall theme of the evening. Each of the open mic performers were extremely talented, and I’ll hopefully be seeing them host their own events in the future!

Both Toase and Bauman-Milner have recently published their work, so readers can further enjoy their stories.

I’d urge anyone to see Toase and Bauman-Milner’s next event – watching them is watching a masterclass of how to perform a story aloud.