Tickets Now on Sale for Chiswick Book Festival

Highlights include Alan Titchmarsh, Clive Myrie, Nadiya Hussain & Jess Phillips

A selection of the author's appearing at this year's festival
A selection of the author's appearing at this year's festival

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July 24, 2023

Tickets went on sale this weekend for the 15 th Chiswick Book Festival.

75 events will be taking place over eight days this September with highlights including talks by Alan Titchmarsh, Jacqueline Wilson, AN Wilson, Clive Myrie, Nadiya Hussain, Marcus Brigstocke & Jess Phillips.

Other authors recently signed up to take part include Phyllis Logan, Janet Ellis, Andy Nyman, Jeremy Vine, Chris Tarrant, Louise Minchin

The full 8-day programme from 6 – 13 September can now be viewed on the Festival's TicketSource pages.

The Chiswick Book Festival aims to bring together top authors and their readers for a week of history, biography, creative writing, fiction, thrillers, food, wine, politics, children’s books and lots more. Proceeds are donated to reading charities and St Michael & All Angels Church, which runs the festival. The 75 sessions include talks, discussions, walks, workshops, children’s events, film and theatre performances and a quiz evening.

It is taking place in 10 venues around Chiswick including St Michael & All Angels Church & Parish Hall, Chiswick House & Gardens, ArtsEd, Chiswick Library, The Chiswick Cinema, The Theatre at the Tabard, Hogarth’s House, the George IV Boston Room and Orchard House School.

Jo James, the Festival’s programme director, said, “To celebrate our 15th birthday, we’re delighted that two distinguished authors from our first ever festival are returning – Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Frayn. But we have a wealth of new and exciting voices too, reflecting the best of the autumn publishing and the wealth of talent we have within the area. There is definitely something for everyone!”

Phyllis Logan, who recently joined the cast of BBC One’s Shetland, will take part in a live recording of the podcast Twice Upon A Time, in which writer and broadcaster Janet Ellis invites well-known people to discuss their favourite childhood books. Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, creators of the hit play and film Ghost Stories, will talk about their new collaboration, The Warlock Effect, which combines magic and espionage.

Jeremy Vine will interview Donna Freed, who appeared on his Radio 2 show, about how she discovered she was the daughter of a pair of infamous con artists, in one of the biggest true crime stories to grip 1960s America. Former BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin discusses her new book Fearless about women who are breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes.

Chris Tarrant, former breakfast show host and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? presenter, will tell stories from his 50 years in TV and radio, as told in his book It’s Not a Proper Job. And actor Paterson Joseph tells the story of the 18th century composer, Charles Ignatius Sancho, from his birth on a slave ship to moving in high circles, in his debut novel, The Secret Diary of Charles Ignatius Sancho.

They will join other well-known names including Dame Jacqueline Wilson (The Best Sleepover in the World), Michael Frayn (Among Others), Alan Titchmarsh (Chatsworth), Clive Myrie (A Memoir of Love, Hate & Hope), Nadiya Hussain (Nadiya’s Simple Spices), AN Wilson (Confessions), Daisy Goodwin, Gavin Esler (Britain is Better Than This), Peter Frankopan (The Earth Transformed), David Baddiel (The God Desire), Shaparak Khorsandi (Scatter Brain), Tim Marshall (The Future of Geography), Rory Cellan-Jones, Jane Garvey, Marcus Brigstocke, Jess Phillips MP, Oliver Soden (Masquerade), Steve Richards (Turning Points), David Hepworth (Abbey Road) and Mark Ellen.

Once again, the Festival will feature many local authors, including several on its newly updated Chiswick Writers Trail, which celebrates 36 notable dramatists, novelists and poets who lived in Chiswick.

  • In the centenary year of WB Yeats’ Nobel Prize for Literature, Jane Wellesley will tell the story of his great friend - and her grandmother – Dorothy Wellesley: poet, gardener, traveller and lover of Vita Sackville-West.
  • Chiswick author Pat Owtram (known locally as Pat Davies), who wrote Codebreaker Sisters with her sister Jean, has just received a telegram from the King on her 100th birthday, and will talk about her new book, Century Sisters.
  • 2023 is also the centenary of Chiswick, the history by Warwick Draper, and Val Bott and James Wisdom of the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society will discuss Chiswick’s fascinating past.
  • Twenty other writers will take part in the Local Authors Showcase at the George IV pub, where they each have just two minutes to ‘sell’ their books (watch for separate announcement).
  • And there are five local walks this year, including the first ‘Chiswick Rocks’ music walk (with Blue Badge guide Guy Fairbank) and a Battlefield Trust walk on the site of the Battle of Turnham Green (also commemorated by Charles Cordell in a talk on his new novel, God’s Vindictive Wrath .

In other fiction sessions, Essie Fox’s latest Gothic novel The Fascination has scenes in Linden House, home of the ‘Chiswick Poisoner’ (now demolished, but remembered in Linden Gardens W4) and reached the Sunday Times hardback fiction top ten. She is paired with Kate Griffin, whose Gothic novel Fyneshade is a Sunday Times Historical Fiction Book of 2023.

Greg Mosse’s debut novel The Coming Darkness is a climate thriller and The Burning Time, the latest by Peter Hanington (who went to Chiswick School), is an international thriller with a topical environmental theme. They talk about “Cli-fi” novels to novelist and former journalist, Ava Glass.

Daisy Goodwin (Essential Poems for Children and other anthologies) will present the prizes for the Festival’s 13 th Young People’s Poetry Competition and 9-year-old Miranda Rosales will read from her new book Poems and Stories for Little People (written by one). Jacqueline Wilson, who spoke at the first Chiswick Book Festival, returns to present The Best Sleepover In The World. The Really Big Pants Theatre Company also returns with a new show, Wonky, and there’s a Fashion Upcycling Workshop with Tash Bell, author of the teen novel TheSwish. Other children’s authors include Debra Bertulis, Krina Patel-Sage, Hannah Shuckbrugh, Lisa Read & Kim Ansell, Diane Hofmeyr and Kate Wakeling.

To mark the 400 th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, six very short films celebrate some of the Bard’s most famous words, voiced by Tom Baker, Cerys Matthews and others. They’ll be screened at The Chiswick Cinema followed by a Q&A with their BAFTA-nominated creator Jack Jewers. For the Festival Quiz, prizes will include volumes of the beautiful ‘Chiswick Shakespeare’ edition donated by Stephen Foster of Foster Books. In partnership with The Chiswick Cinema and its Lord Richard Attenborough season, there’s a screening of Shadowlands about CS Lewis, creator of the Narnia books. And the Theatre at the Tabard will be showing a new production of Jane Austin’s Persuasion followed by a Q&A with the writer and cast.

Five events featuring stars of TV, radio and theatre will take place in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre at the performing arts school ArtsEd. On Friday 8 September, comedian Marcus Brigstocke and MP Jess Phillips will share an evening of books, badinage and banter. The next day, at 12.30pm it’s Michael Frayn at 90, followed at 2.30 by Chris Tarrant, at 4.15 Oliver Soden on Noel Coward and at 6pm Phyllis Logan and Janet Ellis recording the podcast Twice Upon A Time.

The Chiswick Book Festival is a non-profit-making community event that raises money for charities: St Michael & All Angels Church, which hosts the Festival, and three reading charities - Read for Good, Koestler Arts and Read Easy Ealing.

This year’s Festival speakers include:

 AN Wilson, Clive Myrie, Michael Frayn, Dr Jim Down, Chris Tarrant, Oliver Soden, Jane Wellesley, Shaparak Khorsandi, Averil Mansfield, Pat Owtram

History: Alan Titchmarsh, Fiona Davison, Val Bott, James Wisdom, Peter Frankopan, Professor Frank McDonough, Laura Thompson, Simon Marsh, Charles Cordell, Paterson Joseph, Chris Lethbridge

Fiction: Peter Hanington, Greg Mosse, Paterson Joseph, Rebecca Rogers, Steve Jones, Charles Cordell, Essie Fox, Kate Griffin, Joanna Quinn, Ava Glass, Victoria Selman, Chris Lethbridge, Harriet Evans, Lucy Atkins

Politics, foreign and current affairs: Jess Phillips MP, Gavin Esler, Catherine Ashton, Simon McDonald, Tom Parfitt, Steve Richards, Tim Marshall, Alex South

Arts, literature and entertainment: Jane Garvey, Rory Cellan-Jones, Caroline Raphael, David Hepworth, Mark Ellen, Paterson Joseph, Jack Jewers, Phyllis Logan, Janet Ellis, Jane Wellesley, Daisy Goodwin, Shadowlands, Persuasion, Oliver Soden, Chris Tarrant, Michael Frayn, Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman

Food, drink, gardening: Nadiya Hussain, Eleanor Steafel, Alan Titchmarsh, Fiona Davison, Sarah Ward

Health, well-being and faith: Carolyn Mayling, WH Searle, David Baddiel, Emma Imeson, Bishop of Kensington, Shaparak Khorsandi, Averil Mansfield, Dr Jim Down, Dr Ben Cave

Children’s events: Jacqueline Wilson, Daisy Goodwin, The Really Big Pants Theatre Company, Diane Hofmeyr, Lisa Read & Kim Ansell, Deborah Bertulis, Hannack Shuckburgh, Krina Patel-Sage, Kate Wakeling

Walks and workshops: Guy Fairbank, Alan Fortune, Duncan , Simon Marsh, Rebecca Rogers, Melissa Addey, Greg Mosse, Rachel Schofield, Robbie Swale

To book tickets for any of these events click here.


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