5X15 is five speakers with fifteen minutes each to speak in front of an audience. Ruby Wax kicks off and talks as if the audience were an old friend. She is a skilled practitioner in being who she is. Her notes fell from the podium but she continued off script to the end. This set the tone, the benchmark, for the evening.
Ruby was followed by a scientist and then me. I hadn’t written a script. I’d written notes but they flew out the window. “I came to this street in London, to The Childrens Legal Centre when I was seventeen…” From then on everything was off script. It felt liberating to leave the page and surf the wave of an idea.
Kate Daudy delivered a captivating talk on Chinese poetry alongside her amazing dress. The LucindaBelle Orchestra were brilliant. I can thank LucindaBelle for getting me out of my jeans. And Louise Doughty’s talk on her Romany bloodlines was beautiful and moving. The evening ended with Mark Haddon and an astounding outstanding speech on creativity: a speech of TED quality. One of the ace things about being a performer is seeing others in their element at the top of their game.