Major Literary Festival comes to Chiswick

Top writers and performers to celebrate the written word

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Nicholas Parsons will present a portrait of the nonsensical genius, Edward Lear

Bedford Park Book Corner

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Lots of well-known writers and performers are taking part in the first Ealing Literary Festival, which is to be held in Chiswick next month. They include stars of TV such as Richard Briers, Nicholas Parsons and gardening expert Gay Search, and celebrated novelists Gautam Malkani, Lynne Reid Banks, Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal and Celia Brayfield.

Local resident Richard Briers will open the festival at noon on Saturday September 1st. Events are free and take place on both afternoons in large tents on the Acton Green, opposite Turnham Green tube station. There are events for all the family, including talks, readings, discussions and workshops. Refreshments will be on sale.

The Festival is organised by the London Borough of Ealing as the newest event in its annual Summer Festival. It is supported by the Arts Council of England, and by the organisers of the local Bedford Park Festival, which takes place in June.

"We were thinking of starting our own book festival, so it's great that Ealing have had the same idea" said Torin Douglas, co-ordinator of the Bedford Park Festival. "There'll be several performance tents, one of which will be the Bedford Park Book Corner. We're also going to be holding a Readers and Writers Party in St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and St Michael's repainting fund."

Councillor Elizabeth Reilly, who represents the local Southfield ward, said "It's very exciting and we're delighted the festival is being launched in this part of the borough."

Full Programme of Events

Saturday 1 September

Time: 11am-7pm

Main tent

12pm-12.10pm: Festival address – by Richard Briers

12.15pm-1pm: Lynne Reid Banks: Reading and Q & A
Best selling author, Lynne Reid Banks (Harry the Poisonous Centipede and Indian in the Cupboard) will give a presentation to children age 7+, and their parents. 

1.10pm-2.10pm: Nirpal Singh Dhaliwhal - Tourism reading and Q & A
Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal (pictured right) will read from his acclaimed debut novel Tourism, and talk about the influences and inspirations that led him to write it.

2.30pm-3.30pm: Nicholas Parsons – How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear
Nicholas Parsons presents a portrait of the nonsensical genius, Edward Lear.

3. 45pm-4.30pm: Adam Zamoyski - The Mad, the Bad and the Unexpected in the Making of History
Best-selling historian Adam Zamoyski considers how so much of what we believe to be the result of deliberate policy and reasoned decisions is in fact the consequence of misguided assumptions, cultural fixations, miscalculation, obsession, jealousy, spite or sheer chance.

4.35pm-4.55pm: Ruth O'Callaghan – Poetry reading
Both humorous and serious, formal and free verse with themes of, amongst others, love and death.

5pm-7pm: Apples & Snakes – Spoken Word Performances:

Max Golden Ebele:   East London Nigerian with bundles or stage-presence and wit. If poetry was a woman, she'd be Ebele.

Minista Poets: Self-confessed hip-hopaholics from King's Cross.  One eye on the world's problems and always keeping it real.

Kenny Baraka (compere): New York hip-hop artist, currently in demand in London as a poet-in-education. Walks it like he talks it.

Open mic: You are the poetry star.  Bring your raps, rhythms and rhymes and take that mic.

Workshops tent

Beginner's writing workshops with Spread The Word
Open to everyone 16 and over. Maximum of 12 places per workshop. Please sign up for your preferred workshop on the day.

12pm–1.30pm: Tapping the Creative Current with Cath Drake
This creative writing workshop will stimulate your senses, stir ideas for stories and poems, and help you discover creativity from surprising places.

1.45pm–3.15pm: Write Up Your Street with Judith Bryan
Guidance on starting to write, how to structure a short story, and how to gain inspiration from real-life stories of people and places around you.

3.30pm–5pm: Start Scriptwriting – with Ashmeed Sohoye
A definite for those interested in writing scripts for TV, radio, or stage, but don't know where to start.

Children's storytelling

12.30pm-14.30pm: Margaret Bateson-Hill
Lao Lao of Dragon Mountain, Masha and the Firebird (Winner of the English 4-11 Awards 1999) and Five Little Ducks Went Out One Day

2.30pm-4.30pm:  Children's storyteller - to be confirmed
Come along on a journey through stories, myth and magic.

Speakers corner
Time: 12pm-5pm

Bedford Park Book Corner

11.15am-12 noon
Children's author Timothy Knapman will read from his latest Mungo book, aimed at 3 to 5-year-olds. 'Mungo and the Spiders from Space' was published on August 2nd.
(Please note: this is before the formal Festival opening by Richard Briers. Afterwards, Lynne Reid Banks will give a talk to slightly older children and their parents, in the main tent.)

Novelist Celia Brayfield (Mr Fabulous & Friends, Wild Weekend and founder of W4Writers) will be discussing the Suburban Novel, with particular reference to Chiswick, with actor Robin Kermode, whose first novel, The Flowerpot Man, is also set in Chiswick.

Readers and Writers Party, hosted by St Michael & All Angels Book Club and W4Writers.
St Michael's Parish Hall (opposite Acton Green). Contributions for refreshments will be invited in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support (Chiswick Committee) and the recent repainting of St Michael & All Angels church. All welcome. Please RSVP by e-mail to: - so they can gauge numbers.

Sunday 2 September 2007

Time: 11am-7pm

Main tent

12.15pm-12.45pm:  Pitshanger Poets – Poetry Reading
The Pitshanger Poets are drawn together from different walks of life by a love of poetry. They will be performing some their own compositions.

1pm-2.30pm: Ros Adler – Jubilate!
  Ros Adler's one-woman show creates five unique characters in this black comedy about controlling other people.

2:40pm-3.30pm: Gautam Malkani – Londonstani Reading and Q & A
Gautam Malkani (pictured right) reads from his acclaimed first novel, Londonstani , and talks about his inspiration for it, including the critical reception he received. 

3..40pm-3.55pm: Akuba – Reading
Under the auspices of Bogle L'Overture/Independent Black Publishers, Akuba will read two poems published by Bogle L'Overture, taken from The Awakening of Elmina and Maureen Roberts' My Grandmother Sings to Me .

4pm-5pm:  Independent Black Publishers - Roundtable discussion and Q & A
Join three experienced independent publishers: Ayebia Books, Mango Publishing and Tamarind Books as they discuss what publishers do best; to develop your ideas through manuscript to published book.

5pm-7pm: Apples & Snakes – Spoken word performances:

Aoife Mannix: Well-respected poet and educator, currently touring her one-woman show Growing Up An Alien.

Jude Simpson:  A streetwise Pam Ayres for the 21st century.

Under da POETree: LG and Just are the new kings of vocal interplay, currently making waves on the London scene.

Richard Allen (compere):   Fast-talking funnyman (he barely pauses for breath) and crowd-controller extraordinaire.

Open mic: Featuring writers from Aoife Mannix's afternoon workshop, and you, the poets in the crowd.

Workshops tent

12pm–1.30pm: Writing a Musical: Seminar with Stephanie McKnight and Tom Armstrong
Stephanie McKnight wrote the book and lyrics.  Tom Armstrong wrote the music.  The resulting musical, Catching the Sun , was performed to great acclaim at the Guildford International Music Festival in March 2007.

2.30pm–4.30pm:  Writing From Memory Workshop with Aoife Mannix
Rediscover your confidence in the power of your imagination as a kid. No previous writing experience necessary.

Children's storytelling

12.30pm-2.30pm:  Children's storyteller - to be confirmed
Come along on a journey through stories, myth and magic.

2.30pm-4.30pm:  Margaret Bateson-Hill
Lao Lao of Dragon Mountain, Masha and the Firebird (Winner of the English 4-11 Awards 1999) and Five Little Ducks Went Out One Day .

Speakers' corner

Bedford Park Book Corner

On the 40th anniversary of Gardeners' World, author and broadcaster Gay Search will discuss TV books about gardening and food. She's had two books out this year - Delia's Kitchen Garden and The Little Book of Quick Fixes for Designing Your Outdoor Space.

Panel session - "Is TV killing books - or keeping them alive?" The panelists will include writer, actress and broadcaster Ros Adler (whose one-woman show, Jubilate!, is in the main tent at 1pm) and the Guardian's comedy writer William Cook, whose new book Morecambe & Wise Untold (including their time in Chiswick) is published in October.


August 19, 2007