Author Archives: Emma

About Emma

Emma Wright, sometimes known as editorialgirl, is a digital content editor, prolific diary keeper and founder of Oh Dear Diary.

Oh Dear Video Diary

Like a phoenix from the flames (kinda), something wonderful is rising from the ashes of Oh Dear Diary.

Yes, in collaboration with our friends at Birmingham’s brilliant film festival, Flatpack – it’s Oh Dear Video Diary!

VHS video tapes

For the last few months, the good people of Flatpack have been asking you to explore your attics and seek out those old videos you made when you were a teenager.

You know the ones – the remake of Titanic where you play Rose and your brother plays Jack, or those episodes of Heartbreak High you ‘reinterpreted’ and committed to VHS many moons ago and forgot about.

Well some of you were prepared to admit such things exist, and amazingly some of you were even happy to share them with an audience! We salute you, and we’ll be laughing along with you on the night.

Compering this evening’s nostalgia trip is Richard Soames whose show Let’s Make a Movie was the inspiration for this event.

Event info

When? Friday 3 May, 20:00 – 21:30

Where? Flatpack Hub – underneath the arches at the Custard Factory

Tickets £ 6.00 / £ 4.00

Click here to book Oh Dear Video Diary tickets from Flatpack

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October show: cancelled :(

It is with a heavy heart that I’ve had to cancel the next Oh Dear Diary show, planned for 7th October at the Old Joint Stock. If you have already bought tickets: sorry. Old Joint Stock will be in touch very soon to refund you.

As we often joke, it’s easy to find people to come and watch Oh Dear Diary, but not so easy to find people to read.

Despite numerous call-outs over the last four months, we just haven’t found enough people with teenage diaries to share with us at the OJS theatre in October. To put on a good show, we need at least six people… this time, we were only able to confirm two.

I’m really sorry to those who will be disappointed by the cancellation – not least the guys at the Old Joint Stock box office and Birmingham Comedy Festival, who work hard and could very much do without a festival show pulling out. I feel terrible for letting people down.

To those who have offered to help with a renewed call-out over the last week: thank you. However, it’s not just a question of finding people with diaries who are free on that date. I work hard to make sure that Oh Dear Diary is a good show, and more than just a bunch of people reading out random stuff… and that takes time. Usually at this point in the process, four-and-a-bit weeks away from the show date, I would be meeting up with readers to advise on filtering and extracting their best bits(!), choosing photos and music, putting together slideshows for each reader and working out a running order that I hope will keep people laughing throughout the evening. Even if we did miraculously find four or five new people over the next couple of weeks, I simply wouldn’t have time to prepare a good night. (And yes, I often say “we”, but it is just me.)

If you have a teenage diary that you’d like to share at a future date, do get in touch anyway. I am very keen to keep Oh Dear Diary going and would love to plan another event for next year. If we can find enough willing volunteers!



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Tickets now available for Birmingham, 7th October 2016!

Apologies but due to a lack of participants we have had to cancel the October show. Sorry for any disappointment.

Doesn’t time fly? It only seems a minute since we were last at the Old Joint Stock, hoping that people would come and listen to us reading out loud all those secret things we wrote as teenagers. And it’s actually been a year! Or it will have been… by October.


bhamcomfest2016_300dpi_200x150pxWe’re back at the Old Joint Stock for another Oh Dear Diary! It will be on Friday 7th October, as part of the Birmingham Comedy Festival.

Click here to buy tickets from the Old Joint Stock box office, or give them a ring on 0121 200 0946.

Have you got a diary?

If you’d like to read from your teenage diary at this event, please let me know as soon as possible. Yes, we’re still looking for readers! But it’s not an open mic and we do require diary readers to register in advance. (It means that you get to sit in the green room before the show… and I’ll even buy you a stiff drink, because you’ll probably need one.) Ah, go on. You know you want to.

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It’s that time of year again…

…Actually, it’s always that time of year. Because we are ALWAYS looking for new people to read at Oh Dear Diary!

TessWe’re currently planning the next live diary reading event, which will be at the Old Joint Stock in Birmingham city centre in October. If you’ve ever thought about taking part, now’s the time to tell us!

We’re looking for people who kept a diary between the ages of 12 and 20 (and still have it, of course). Wouldya, couldya think about reading some extracts from it to our friendly audience?

No need to commit just yet – but please email Emma to register your interest and tell us more.

We’re especially interested to know:

  • How old were you when you wrote your diary?
  • What year(s) does it cover?
  • Where were you living at the time?
  • What sort of subjects does your diary cover? (School? Family? Love life? Current affairs?!)

(If you don’t have diaries, but you have other stuff you think might be funny to read out, let us know anyway. The reason we like diaries is that they were never (usually) intended to be made public, and the confessional element is what makes the show tick. But ask us anyway… if it’s funny, it could work.)

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Thank you Flatpack!

Thanks to everyone who came along to Oh Dear Diary at Flatpack on Friday. We were astonished to see over a hundred people packing the 80-seater Gas Hall venue on the night!

Special thanks to our brilliant readers, who once again defied my expectations with some truly random teenage nonsense. You saw:

Alice reading from her diaryHetta – who went to parties and had no face
Emma H – who stalked Quentin Tarantino and was sure he liked her too
Alice (right) – who loved her naughty horse Tom more than boys
Elle – who had the 90s-est photos and loves her docs
Ben – who threw the cat at the lampshade
(and of course me, Emma W. I was the one who documented a five minute bus journey in minute detail and had a list of Daves.)

We also saw the wonderful Republic and heard from the Directors, Olie and Neil. Massive thanks to them for being there to introduce it (and sorry I gabbled at you when you introduced yourselves – I was surprised!) I’ve since found that some of the audience were originally from Blyth and had travelled from wherever-they-live-now especially to see it too! Worth the trip – a very funny and poignant film. You can view the Republic trailer on Vimeo here.

Special thanks must go to the Flatpack Festival organisers, especially Selina, for recommending ODD as a Flatpack event; Lucile and Sam who “got” ODD straight away, came up with the format for the evening and chose the perfect film to go with it; Mark for making sure we would have everything we needed tech-wise; and Stuart for his calming influence on the night, running the slideshows, getting the mic and light levels right and showing the film.

There was also a team of amazing Flatpack people there on the night running front-of-house, getting extra chairs in, making sure we were aware of timings, directing people, etc etc. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve forgotten the name of the main person, thanks to my terrible nerves on the night, but I think she was called Holly. This was the first show where I haven’t had to worry about any of the venue logistics, so thank you especially for that.

Want to read at the next Oh Dear Diary?

We’re looking for people who kept a diary between the ages of 12 and 20 – and still have it! – to read at the next Oh Dear Diary show in October. If you think you’d be up for it, email and let me know. Include a bit of info about the type of diary you have – the age you were when you wrote it, whether it’s a long form diary or a line-a-day, the sorts of topics you covered, why you think it’s funny now, etc. I’ll be in touch!

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An Oh Dear Diary with a difference: ODD 5 at Flatpack 10

In case you missed it, the next Oh Dear Diary show will be part of the Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham at the end of April. So we’re mixing it up a bit this time.

As well as some stonking diary readings, from brave volunteers – most of whom have never shared their teenage diaries with anyone before! – we’ll be screening a short film: Republic (2013; 42 mins).

The film was chosen by Flatpack’s Programmer Sam, who saw it earlier this year and not only fell in love with its dry humour, but immediately saw how brilliantly it would fit in with Oh Dear Diary. It was filmed in the 90s, by a team of teenagers, as Directors Neil Richardson and Olie Griffin explain: “In 1991 we were living in Blyth, a small town in Northumberland which was voted the worst town in Britain. We got our hands on a Hi8 video camera and began to document what we saw around us. 20 years later the film can finally be seen.”

We’ve only seen the trailer but we think you’ll agree it would seem to be very much up the Oh Dear Diary alley. Do come along on 22nd April and enjoy the whole thing with us!

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Announcing Oh Dear Diary 5!

Another Oh Dear Diary, you say? Oh, go on then. Yes, you can look forward to more diary readings at a venue near you (um, if you’re in Birmingham) on

Friday 22nd April 2016.

Flatpack Film FestivalWhat’s more, we are delighted to announce that April’s Oh Dear Diary will be part of Flatpack Film Festival – in the festival’s tenth anniversary year, no less! So you can expect a slightly different format, with some extra additions to the diary readings to add a bit of variety. Exciting, non? We’ll be releasing the details in good time (ie when we’ve got them).

In the meantime… did you keep a diary when you were aged between about 12 and 20? Could you bring yourself to get up on stage and read some of it to us? It’s not as scary as you think, honest! If you think you’d be up for it, and you can make it to Brum city centre on the evening of 22nd April, we’d love to hear from you. Email and tell us a bit more about yourself and your diary.

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Back in Brum! Next event: 3rd October 2015

Yes, we’re back in our comfort zone for another round of awkward cringeworthy diary readings. It’s Oh Dear Diary time again!

click here to book tickets now

After the previous two Birmingham Oh Dear Diary events sold out, we decided we’d better move to a bigger venue. So we’re delighted to tell you that the next Oh Dear Diary will be at the Old Joint Stock Theatre, which is on Temple Row West (by the cathedral) in town.

We also had some feedback from people saying they wanted to be able to stay out later, so this time it’s on a Saturday! Woohoo!

Oh Dear Diary is proudly part of the Birmingham Comedy Festival 2015

Oh Dear Diary 4
Saturday 3rd October
Old Joint Stock Theatre
Temple Row West

Tickets are £7.50 and you can book over the phone (no booking fee) from the Old Joint Stock box office on 0121 200 0946, or online via the Old Joint Stock website.

If you’ve never been to an Oh Dear Diary event before, you’re missing a treat, if we do say so ourselves. The idea is very simple: brave grown-ups read things they wrote as teenagers… things that, on the whole, they never intended anyone else to hear. Things like this…

(If you’re reading this and wondering whether to bring along your own diaries – please do! But PLEASE drop us a line first. We book the readers in advance; it’s not an open mic.)

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Manchester: one week to go!

Yep, it’s come around quickly – there’s only one week to go before we take Oh Dear Diary to Manchester!

We’ll be at Gullivers, on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter, from 7.30 on Tuesday 14th July and you can buy advance tickets here.

Our readers have already started gnawing their knuckles as they wait to share their diaries. We’ve seen a few of the things they’re planning to read and to be honest we’re already cringing ourselves – the topics include annoying friends, snogging traumas and awful family holidays, to name a few.

Basically, if you were ever a teenager, you’ll find something familiar at Oh Dear Diary. Come along and share our teenage woes!

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“Why are we so fascinated with water?”

Fiona’s list of story ideas – ideas the then 19 year old fledgling journalist thought she might be able to pitch to magazines – made us laugh so much when she read it out at the last Oh Dear Diary, we asked for permission to reproduce it here… in all its Alan Partridge-esque glory.

  1. Weather in layman’s language: tornadoes, hurricanes, aurora borealis. Intriguing aspect of the gods playing games.

  3. What are the people who travel the bus really like?

  5. How do you cope with the realisation of our relative insignificance?

  7. Journalists! A writer’s defence.

  9. How important is money? Are our values corrupted? Is the pursuit of attaining money blown out of all proportion?

  11. The mind: some true facts.

  13. Witchcraft today. Yes, it does exist!

  15. If intelligent life exists elsewhere, then how come we have no ocular, indamnable proof?

  17. Why have denominational religions? It’s so picky and petty!

  19. Will the Third World ever catch up? Do they want to?

  21. Telekinesis. Can you do it?

  23. Why do stereotypes vary from one country to another?

    • Italians: passionate, fiery, hot-blooded
    • French: romantic, sexy
    • English: staid, awkward, cultured
    • Americans: loud, brash, don’t care, fun-loving
    • Chinese: wise
    • Irish: warm hearted, backward, generous

  25. Chivalry, billet-doux, courting, wooing, asking for the girl’s hand. Does the man at large still practise these thoughtful traditions?

  27. The changing face of parties.

  29. Legal ages: are they correct or do they need changing?

  31. Why are we so fascinated with water?

  33. What’s going to happen when the human race runs out of things to taint, pervert, explore and create? STAGNANCY may be a future reality.

  35. Exploding the myths about poetry.

  37. Armies. A cause of war?

  39. The fun of rebelling: in school, in camp*, in work, in society, in life. The stigma of being unconventional.

* Fiona tells us the diary was written in Camp Windigo in Indiana, 1987.

You can watch the Fiona’s full reading from that night on YouTube (the list starts at about three minutes in).

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