Literature & Ideas Festival - programme launched

AMAZING: Councillor Janet Emsley with the new Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival programme.

With seven weeks to go, the 20-page programme for Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival has been released.

Now in its fourth year and with more than 30 events covering workshops, music, theatre, readings, children’s shows, talks and more, the festival runs from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 24 October and aims to excite audiences of all ages.

More than 900 tickets have already been sold and Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council said it is looking like being a record year:

“Initial ticket sales are strong and I am really excited to see how this festival is growing each year.  I am pleased to say we have another intriguing and interesting programme - an amazing combination of international names and local talent that really will live up to its name and expand your mind!”

Acts in this year’s programme include political commentator and journalist Owen Jones, comedians Jenny Eclair and Mark Steel, internationally acclaimed crime writers Mark Billingham and John Connolly and million selling author Ann Cleeves.

Poet, playwright and broadcaster Ian McMillan returns, alongside his son Andrew. The duo has been commissioned by the festival to write two new poems which local choirs will perform to music by Manchester-based composer, Michael Betteridge.

Benet Brandreth, son of Gyles, will be talking about his debut novel The Spy of Venice and Lesley-Ann Jones will be discussing her recently published tribute to her hero, David Bowie. 

The festival also features the Chocolat author Joanne Harris MBE, renowned storyteller Ursula Holden Gill, philosophy expert Amy Ramsay, Community Arts North West, historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick, playwright Ian Townsend and author Nikesh Shukla. For young people there’s an exciting Generation Z programme including one man human beatbox Testament and theatre shows The Devil Speaks Trues and  21,000 Miles of Rail.

For children and families there’s a Roald Dahl themed programme of events.

Warm-up events will be held from 22 September.

The festival aims to celebrate and promote the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage in reading and thinking. It will include events at venues in Rochdale town centre and borough-wide. It is funded through the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, who originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature, and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

For the full line-up and to book tickets, visit www.rochdaleliteraturefestival.co.uk   You can also book in person at Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre.

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest, ticket sales and sponsorship First UK Bus, JGM Agency, Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre and Hopwood Hall College.

The programme is available in a variety of formats.  You can view it day-by-day online.  You can order a paper copy by emailing Rochdalelitfest@rochdale.gov.uk or pick one up free from your local library, or other many stockists across the area, including:

Rochdale - Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre, Number One Riverside, Rochdale Town Hall, Rochdale Bus Station, Number Ten Gift Shop Baillie Street, The Baum, Rochdale Pioneers Museum

Littleborough - Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre

Heywood - Heywood Civic Centre

Middleton - Middleton Arena, Middleton Library

Greater Manchester - Libraries, Tourist Information Centres, Museums and galleries, Theatres, Victoria and Piccadilly railway stations


26 Aug 2016