From Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September 2013, the Octagon Theatre will be working with Waterstones Yeovil and the Yeovil Community Arts Association to present the first ever Yeovil Literary Festival with events taking place at the Octagon, the Manor Hotel and Waterstones Yeovil.
The Octagon can now confirm numerous well-known artists who will be joining them for the Yeovil Literary Festival. Michael Morpurgo, former Children’s Laureate, will be reading extracts of his award-winning book whilst accompanied by the outstanding English a cappella trio Coope, Boyes & Simpson, joining exceptional music with evocative narrative in Private Peaceful: The Concert. Jeremy Hardy, best known for his work on BBC Radio 4, will be bringing his infamous comedy to the Festival following his 2010 book ‘My Family and Other Strangers’, chronicling his desperate search for interesting ancestors. Wendy Cope, poet and quiet phenomenon, will be reading the hilarious and ironic poetry that has made her so fantastically popular. There will also be a question and answer session to round off the event after she has charmed and amused audiences with her work.
Former leader of the Liberal Democrats and the international community’s High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paddy Ashdown will be presenting the tale of the legendary ‘Cockleshell’ Raid of 1942 – the real story, through Paddy’s own extensive research, proving to be far more controversial than previously thought. Dame Jenni Murray, leading presenter on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ for 26 years, will be appearing to share her views on some of the controversial issues tackled by the radio programme. Actress Rula Lenska will be in conversation, talking about her extraordinary life including her long and varied theatrical career and David Gower will be challenging his clichéd image to reveal that there is much more to his story than meets the eye.
Sir Tony Robinson will be holding a special schools performance based on his ‘Weird World of Wonders’ series which will involve highlights of some of the strange, amazing and entertaining parts of our world’s history. David and Carrie Grant will be launching their new series of children’s books at the Festival designed to get children singing and dancing.
As well as these big name artists, thinkers, writers and broadcasters there will be a host of novelists, including local writer Tom Fort; a writer’s workshop; the announcement of the winners of the Yeovil Literary Prize 2013 and a special film screening of the film adaptation of Private Peaceful.
The full programme for the Yeovil Literary Festival is now live on the Octagon website: www.octagon-theatre.co.uk.
As a follow on to the Festival itself, the Theatre can also announce that Mary Berry, star of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ will be at the Octagon on Monday 28 October, discussing her long-awaited biography.
The Octagon Theatre is proud to be working with Waterstones Yeovil and the YCAA to bring this exciting cultural event to the town of Yeovil. Adam Burgan, the Octagon’s Arts and Entertainment Manager, said, “Love of literature and appreciation for how a good book can allow you to escape, learn something new or simply put a smile on your face encouraged us [the four festival directors] to bring writers, thinkers, celebrities and broadcasters together in this – our first festival.”
Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture, South Somerset District Council added, “Everyone involved with organising the first ever Yeovil Literary Festival is really excited about the prospect of bringing together well-known artists and those who have a passion for literacy. South Somerset District Council’s Octagon Theatre is a great setting for this festival, along with the Manor Hotel and Waterstones in Yeovil.”
“I really hope that the festival is a success and urge our residents to come and visit some of the great artists who will be coming to Yeovil. A programme can be viewed on the Octagon Theatre website so it is easy to find out what is happening and when.”
For more information about the Yeovil Literary Festival, including an updated list of artists as they are announced, please visit the Octagon Theatre website: www.octagon-theatre.co.uk