Fringe Box



The Guildford Book Festival’s Silver Anniversary – ‘Bigger and Better Than Ever’

Published on: 21 Sep, 2014
Updated on: 23 Sep, 2014

GBF2011-webBy Ruchi Srivastava

This year sees the 25th Guildford Book Festival. The organisers say that it promises to be bigger and better than ever with an impressive line up of celebrity guests and special events taking place from October 12-19.

The famous name attractions include: Sheila Hancock, Charles Spencer, Richard Madeley, Kate Adie, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Merton and Andrew Marr.

Pietersen, Madeley, Spencer 480

Three of the famous names: Kevin Pietersen, Richard Madeley and Charles Spencer

Those attending can expect themselves to be treated to a world of history, fantasy, mystery and literary culture, as Guildford proudly presents a series of talks and activities across a range of venues.

Sheila Hancock

Sheila Hancock

Kicking it all off with a little bit of history, Sheila Hancock, the distinguished actress a nationwide favourite will be seen at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on 12 October, as she celebrates the publication of her first novel, Miss Carter’s War. The novel is a historical one, as it paints a poignant picture of post-war Britain.

Kate Adie

Kate Adie

Also drawing upon the experiences of war, will be the Katie Adie. The award-winning broadcaster and war-zone reporter, will grace The Electric Theatre on 14 October. This event will undoubtedly attract swelling numbers at the festival as Katie discusses the role that women played in the First World War (in Fighting On The Home Front).

Offering her own insights about the role women in a post-war Britain (Spare Brides) these household names will also be joined by Guildford’s very own local author, Adele Parks. Joined by fellow novelist, Anna Hope, at the Guildhall, on 16 October, this should prove to be another interesting event.

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr

History off course would remain incomplete without political intrigue which is why Andrew Marr, one of the most popular political broadcasters attempts to shed some light on the working of parliamentary bodies (Head of State). Weaving a thrilling tale of power along with black humour, lucky visitors will be offered a glimpse of the man himself at The Mandolay Hotel (15 October).

Speaking about some of the most special talks of the year’s festival, the Creative Director of the Guildford Book Festival, Jim Parks said: “The wonderful Kate Mosse makes a welcome return again this year following on from two sell out events last year.

“We also have Alysoun Owen, the Editor of The Writers’ & Artists Yearbook which the publishing industry’s 100 year old reference for aspiring writers giving a new workshop on ‘The Perfect Manuscript’.”

The Electric theatre will be hosting the eagerly awaited Kate Mosse this year on 17 October. As one of Britain’s most believed author, she will be talking about how her childhood visit to the Museum of Curiosities inspired her next psychologically thrilling, gothic novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter.

Jim Parks

Jim Parks

Jim Parks also talked about some of the most eagerly awaited celebrities at the festival. He said: “Every year we try and bring exciting events from leading lights in the publishing world and this year has some treats in store. Kevin Pietersen will be giving a rare talk about his life in cricket and is an opportunity not to be missed.”

However, not to be outdone by fiction, the Guildford Book Festival also indulges the more scientific bend of mind at The University of Surrey on 15 October. BBC Radio 4 science expert, Professor Jim Al-Khalili will be joined by fellow University of Surrey Professor Johnjoe McFadden, as they explore how quantum biology is seeking to solve some of life’s most mysterious puzzles (Life On The Edge).

Children’s interests have not been neglected in this festival, as the former Children’s Laureate and bestselling author, Dame Jacqueline Wilson celebrates the publication of her 100th novel, Opal Plumstead.

For families, there’s an opportunity to go adventuring with the Famous Five, and to take part in a Beast Quest tournament. Schools across the Borough will hear from favourites Clementine Beauvais, Matt Brown, Yasmeen Ismail, Alex Scarrow, David Shelton and Christopher William Hill.

paul merton

Paul Merton

And on the last day of the festival, October 19 at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, you can see Paul Merton, well known for his intelligent and often surreal humour, and his weekly appearances on BBC1’s Have I Got News For You – as well as Radio 4’s Just A Minute and his travel documentaries.

We have seen him become an artfully rebellious fixture in our lives for over 25 years but he also has a real story to tell. Join the comedy legend for an evening of laughter as he takes us takes us on an evocative journey from his working-class Fulham childhood to the present day.

So whether you want a fun day out with the family or are passionate about reading and want a chance to meet people who share your feelings on various topics, the Guildford Book Festival has a little something for everybody.

The advice is… better hurry up and book those tickets if you don’t want to miss out.

To see the full line-up and to book tickets:

Tickets can also be booked at Guildford’s Tourist Information Centre and the Electric Theatre.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *