Events 2018

Wednesday 30th May 2018

Ilminster Memory Cafe ~ Favourite Poems Read Aloud

Venue: The Minster Rooms
Date: Wednesday 30th May 2018
Time: 10.00am
Tickets: FREE

For anyone living with or supporting someone with the onset of dementia, this is a fortnightly, pop-in cafe open from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon.

Just call in during Literary Festival Week to share your favourite poems.


Laurie Graham ~ Murders Most Horrid

Venue: The Warehouse Theatre
Date: Wednesday 30th May 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.00

For one night only, Whitechapel music hall doyenne Miss Dot Allbones will tell a story of murders most horrible.  She will be assisted by pantomime veteran, Mr Peter Page, and by Ilminster’s very own thespian extraordinaire, Mr Mike Lanigan.

Miss Allbones appears by permission of her creator, Laurie Graham, from whose novel, The Night in Question, she has escaped into 21st century Somerset.

After the interval Mrs. Graham will be pleased to answer questions on the WBook nowhitechapel murders or on writing in general.

Patrons are kindly requested to abstain from cursing, spitting or giving the bird.


Thursday 31st May 2018

Paul Goodwin ~ When Can You Trust a Forecast?

Venue: Monks Yard
Date: Thursday 31st May 2018
Time: 4.00pm
Tickets: £8.00

This event is kindly sponsored by Monks Yard

Britain’s 2017 election result, the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, the Great Credit Crash of 2007 – surprise seems to follow surprise. Is the world becoming more unpredictable?  Have forecasters lost the ability to make accurate predictions? This talk looks at when we can trust a forecast.  It will discuss some fascinating findings from research that show when ignorance is an asset in prediction, and when our intuition can outperform a computer.

Paul Goodwin is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bath and author of  Book now Forewarned: A Sceptic’s Guide to Prediction. He is an Honorary Fellow of the International Institute of Forecasters.


Robert Parry ~ “Oh, Whistle……” Two Ghost Stories

Venue: Nyanza Lodge, Ilminster
Date:
Thursday 31st May 2018
Time:
7.30pm
Tickets:
£12.00

This event is kindly sponsored by Nyanza Lodge

Over a century after their first publication, the ghost stories of  M R James retain their power to terrify and amuse.  They are performed here by Robert Lloyd Parry of the Nunkie Theatre Company.

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad – a tale of nocturnal horror on the Suffolk coast – is considered by many to be the author’s masterpiece. It is beautifully complemented here by The Ash Tree, a story of witchcraft and vengeance down the generations.

“Lloyd Parry was utterly hypnotic, holding the audience in thrall…
The Orcadian Book now

WARNING: CONTAINS MOMENTS OF PLEASING TERROR!


Friday 1st June 2018

Bethany Askew ~ Ideas, Inspiration and Imagination, the Instruments of an Author

Venue: Ilminster Football Club
Date: Friday 1st June 2018
Time: 12.30pm
Tickets: £6.00 including drink

Bethany Askew writes contemporary women’s fiction and is the author of five novels: The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days and Poppy’s Seed.  She is currently working on a new novel to be published later this year.

Her talk explores what gave her the initial urge to write, where she finds inspiration and the issues that interest her. Reading extracts from her novels, she will examine how a story progresses from first ideas to the final finished book. Book now

 


Chris Mullin ~ “Hinterland”

Venue: The Shrubbery Hotel
Date: Friday 1st June 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10.00, including tea and biscuits

This event is kindly sponsored by The Shrubbery Hotel

Chris Mullin, author, journalist and former MP, a minister in three departments and chairman of the Home Affairs select committee. His books include three highly acclaimed volumes of diaries, A View from the Foothills, Decline and Fall and A Walk-On Part; also the novel A Very British Coup which was made into an award-winning television series.

He is an accomplished public speaker, and has recently published a volume of memoirs entitled Hinterland.Book now

A judge of The Man Booker Prize, 2011.


Saturday 2nd June

Brian Freeland ~ “The View from the Wings” and “Playing the Clown”

Photo: Mac McNamee: Images Photography

Venue: The Warehouse Theatre, Ilminster
Date: Saturday 2nd June 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.00

The View from the Wings is a sideways look at theatrical productions from the stage manager’s point of view. By its very nature live theatre is unpredictable: you can never know what might happen next. After almost sixty years of theatre experience in Britain and abroad, Brian remembers some of the occasions when “it wasn’t quite alright on the night”. Humorous; nostalgic; poignant – and a little bit saucy.

Brian decided on a theatre career after seeing Peter O’Toole in a production of Shaw’s play Man and Superman. He subsequently became involved with numerous plays by – and about – George Bernard Shaw.  Playing the Clown is his ‘homage to Shaw’; a quick canter through the career, the writings and the complicated love life of “Britain’s second-greatest playwright”, the story told – as Shaw himself so often told it – with a whimsical sense of humour.

“It seemed to me that it didn’t matter if I was occasionally vulgar, so long as I made people laugh. I was merely playing the clown” – G B Shaw.
Book now
“We laughed a lot, and learnt a lot”. Byre Theatre, St Andrews


Sunday 3rd June

Fay Weldon CBE ~ “Death of a She Devil”

Photo: Sebastian Willnow, DDP

Venue: The Warehouse Theatre
Date: Sunday 3rd June 2018
Time: 3.00pm
Tickets: £10.00

This event is kindly sponsored by Broomhead and Saul’s Ilminster Office

Faye Wheldon will also be in conversation with Malcolm Young.

Novelist, playwright and screenwriter Fay Weldon was brought up in New Zealand and returned to the United Kingdom when she was fifteen. She read Economics and Psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and worked briefly for the Foreign Office in London, then as a journalist, and subsequently as an advertising copywriter.  She later gave up her career in advertising, and began to write full-time.  Her first novel The Fat Woman’s Joke was published in 1967. She was Chair of the Judges for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1983, and has received numerous honorary doctorates. Fay Weldon’s work includes over thirty novels, seven collections of short stories, several children’s books, non-fiction books, magazine articles and a number of Book nowplays written for television, radio and the stage, including the pilot episode for the television series Upstairs Downstairs. Her latest novel is Death of a She Devil, a sequel to her best-selling The Life and Loves of a She Devil. Fay is a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.


Martin Bell OBE ~ “War and the Death of News”

Venue: The Warehouse Theatre
Date: Sunday 3rd June 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.00

This event is kindly sponsored by Broomhead and Saul’s Ilminster Office

Martin Bell has been a soldier, a war reporter and an Independent MP. In his book War and the Death of News he reflects on half a century in the unquiet corners of the world, from Vietnam to Bosnia and beyond; on the present state of journalism and politics; on the emergence of fake news and alternative facts; and on a tradition of war reporting that has died and been laid to rest. He recalls a note that he wrote to himself at the height of the Bosnian war: ‘Everyone’s lying but it doesn’t matter, because no one’s listening either.’
Book now

 


Monday 4th June

Philip Wilkinson ~ Phantom Architecture: The Great Buildings that Were Never Built

Venue: The Shrubbery Hotel
Date: Monday 4th June 2018
Time: 2.30pm
Tickets: £10.00

This event is kindly sponsored by The Shrubbery Hotel

A skyscraper one mile high; a dome over downtown Manhattan; a building snaking for several miles through central London: the history of architecture is full of structures too bold, too forward-looking, or too expensive to get off the drawing board. In this illustrated talk, Philip Wilkinson, author of Phantom Architecture, explores some of these remarkable buildings, explaining how they came to be designed, why they were never built, and how they still haunt us today. Whether it’s the Great Pyramid of London, the Triumphal Elephant of Paris, or the St Paul’s Cathedral that Sir Christopher Wren really wanted to build, ‘phantom architecture’ is often bizarre and always spectacular. Book now

 


Rob Barratt ~ Comic Poetry and Some Wine Tasting

Venue: Seavington Store & Cafe
Date: Monday 4th June 2018
Time: 7.00pm
Tickets: £12.00

This event is kindly sponsored by Seavington Village Store & Cafe

TWO EVENTS IN ONE – a really good, fun evening

A glass of fizz on arrival, then 45 minutes of laughter with Rob Barratt humour.  Rob is back by popular demand due to his impressive performance last year, and knack of making fun of a whole range of daily issues.  Wash this down with more fizz and then straight into a wine tasting introduced and explained by Ian Gibson. Ian has a diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and 23 years experience in the wine trade.  His enthusiasm for wine appreciation is as obvious as his knowledge.  We finish off the evening with a superb surprise wine.

Rob Barratt is a Dudley-born, brain-tickling, word-mangling comic poet, author, humourist and singer from Cornwall. He combines clever word play and song with satire, parody and audience participation. Rob deals with such important topics as squid, Neanderthal politics, the weather in Scotland, data-driven education, distressed furniture and tuk-tuks but often beneath the comedy lurk serious issues. He has appeared at arts, literature and folk festivals all over the UK and in Ireland and Australia. 

This popular event has limited tickets available due to space restrictions so book early to avoid disappointment.
Book now

 


Tuesday 5th June 2018

David Andrews ~ “From Reg to Mabel” – Letters from a WWI Soldier

Photo: Sophie Andrews

Venue: Whitelackington Village Hall
Date: Tuesday 5th June 2018
Time: 2.00pm
Tickets: £6.00

World War One – Stories, Songs & Sighs From Reg to Mabel. Looking at a soldier’s experiences through Reg’s letters – descriptive, funny, sad – and singing the songs he would have known…….Reg shared his experiences with Mabs and now he shares them with us…….

David – an ex-teacher/headteacher, antique dealer, pub singer – learned to play Book now the guitar as a teenager in the 1950’s, and thus has enjoyed entertaining in one way or another all his life.

(Refreshments will be available after this talk)


Keith Marsh ~ Abandoned!  The Story of One Soldier Who DIDN’T Get Rescued at Dunkirk

Venue: Whitelackington Village Hall
Date: Tuesday 5th June 2018
Time: 4.00pm
Tickets: £6.00

The book The Lucky Shilling and Keith’s talk centre around his father William, who was awarded one of the first valour medals of the Second World War whilst fighting with the British Expeditionary Force in Belgium. He was one of the soldiers NOT to be rescued at Dunkirk.  Having been left for dead he was captured, brutally treated, witnessed scenes of sickening depravity and experienced the worst and best in his fellow men.  As the war ended he escaped to Prague and witnessed the civilian uprising. Book now

Keith served in the Royal Artillery, and is currently dividing his time between house renovating and writing.


Georgie Newbery ~ Growing Flowers for Pleasure and Profit

© Les Wilson

Venue: Ilminster Football Club
Date: Tuesday 5th June 2018
Time: 7.00pm
Tickets: £8.00 Including Tea & Coffee

Georgie started the Common Farm Flowers business between Bruton and Wincanton in 2010 and has been spearheading the resurgence in interest in locally grown flowers ever since.  Georgie and her team grow 250 different varieties of flowers and foliage for use in the 1,500 bouquets by post, up to 60 weddings, and in the workshops she teaches at the farm.

Georgie will talk about what she grows, how she plans her growing year, how she cuts and conditions her flowers, and will demonstrate one of her signature hand-tied bouquets with flowers from her garden.  There will be ample time for questions.

Georgie has latterly developed a passion for writing and has  written several novels and non-fiction books.  She formerly managed the features department of American “Vogue” in Paris.
Book now

 


Children’s Poetry Recital Final

Venue: Greenfylde School
Date: Tuesday 5th June 2018
Time: 6.00pm
Tickets: Not Required

This event is kindly sponsored by The Ilminster Bookshop

After highly acclaimed Poetry Recital Competitions in 2016 and 2017, Greenfylde School will be hosting another competition in 2018.  Children of all school ages will be performing a chosen poem, adding intonation, action, and excitement.  We hope to see many young people from the area bringing performance poetry to life!


Wednesday 6th June 2018

Stephen Moss ~ “Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler”: How Birds Got their Names

Venue: The Shrubbery Hotel
Date: Wednesday 6th June 2018
Time: 10.30am
Tickets: £8.00 including tea & biscuits

This event is kindly sponsored by The Shrubbery Hotel

The words we use to name birds are some of the most lyrical and evocative in the English language. They tell incredible tales: of epic expeditions, fierce battles between rival ornithologists, momentous historical events and touching romantic gestures.

In Mrs Moreau’s Warbler Stephen takes us on a remarkable journey through time.  He shows how birds’ names reveal as much about ourselves and our relationship with the natural world as they do about the creatures they describe.

Stephen is one of Britain’s leading nature writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers. A lifelong naturalist, his TV credits include Springwatch, and The Nature of Britain; his books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds, and Wild Kingdom Book now . He also authored the National Trust’s 2012 ‘Natural Childhood’ report on reconnecting children with nature. He writes a regular ‘Birdwatch’ column for the Guardian, and is President of Somerset Wildlife Trust.


Daisy Waugh ~ Tarot and the Detective

Venue: Monks Yard
Date: Wednesday 6th June 2018
Time: 2.30pm
Tickets: £10.00 Cafe open

This event is kindly sponsored by Monks Yard

Daisy will talk about the Tarot and how she uses the cards as an author and teacher of creative writing to aid creative thinking. She will talk a little about the cards themselves, and about her own work as a professional Tarot reader.  And she will try to explain how the cards ‘work’ for Dolly Greene, heroine of the Tarot Detective novels, written under the pseudonym Ev Harte.  Her new book, The Case of the Fool, will be published in May.

As Daisy Waugh she has written several sad, historical novels, several contemporary, comic novels, a few non-fiction books and a lot of newspaper articles and columns.  Her desk overlooks the River Thames, and, since starting her detective novels, Ev Harte has spent many hours stBook nowaring out of the window, scouring the water for floating corpses. So far, she has found one. Except it wasn’t floating, it had washed up on the bank, and the police had already cordoned off the area……


Thursday 7th June 2018

Dr John Powell ~ “Why We Love Music”

© Kim Jurgens

Venue: Monks Yard
Date: Thursday 7th June 2018
Time: 2.30pm
Tickets: £8.00 Cafe open

This event is kindly sponsored by Monks Yard

Music has the power to alleviate depression, reduce pain, cure insomnia, minimise stress and fill your life with emotions from nostalgia to joy.

In his talk John, a musician and scientist, will discuss these positive benefits of music as well as revealing how music is linked to human survival.

The talk will also cover some of the quirkier aspects of music psychology such as the fact that music can change the taste of wine or make you spend more in restaurants.

DBook nowo you want to hear more about the Mozart effect? Or how Barry Manilow songs have been used for crowd control? Then come along!


Rachel Godfrey ~ Creative Writing Workshop (for Adults)

Venue: The Green House
Date: Thursday 7th June 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.00 includes tea and coffee

A fun and relaxed two-hour workshop on the theme of ‘Telling our Stories’.

Rachel is a teacher, teacher trainer and published author. Currently doing an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, she is particularly interested in autofiction Book now and what happens when we write and share stories in groups.

 


Grahame Lloyd ~ Fifty Not Out: The Six Sixes Revisited

© John Jenkins

Venue: Ilminster Cricket Club
Date: Thursday 7th June 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10.00 Bar available

This event is kindly sponsored by Ilminster Cricket Club

To celebrate Garry Sobers hitting an historic 36 runs off one over at Swansea in 1968, Grahame Lloyd recalls both the famous feat and the mysterious fate of the the ball bowled by Malcolm Nash. An iconic moment, a disturbing tale of fake news and a whodunnit? – with a ball instead of a body.

Grahame Lloyd has been a freelance broadcaster and journalist for nearly 37 years. He has written eight books and produced two one-man shows about football and cricket. He is also a published short story writer and poet. Book now

 


Friday 8th June 2018

Alastair Sawday ~ “Travelling Light”

Venue: The Shrubbery Hotel
Date: Friday 8th June 2018
Time: 2.15pm
Tickets: £10.00 Includes tea, coffee and biscuits

This event is kindly sponsored by The Shrubbery Hotel

A pioneer in the environmental world, Alastair Sawday has had a remarkably miscellaneous and varied career, which has taken him to the most far-flung corners of the globe: he headed up a VSO programme in Papua New Guinea, ran a disaster relief team in Turkey, and has run a small travel company, conducting walking tours throughout Europe.  It was this that inspired him to publish his first travel guide, French Bed & Breakfast, after discovering various ‘special’ B&Bs and the extraordinary people that run them.

En route on his travels he has unearthed a multitude of stories – stories of people ploughing their own furrows, of travellers’ tales, ruminations and reflections about places, people and ideas. In this deeply charming, erudite and spirited book, he shares his experiences and explores the value of travel. Book now

“Alastair Sawday has built a reputation as the go-to guide for special places to stay” Daily Telegraph


One-Act Play & Supper ~ “Melody” by Deidre Kinahan, Directed by Celia Crookes

Venue: Whitelackington Village Hall
Date: Friday 8th June 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10.00 Bar available, includes supper

The play is set in Ireland and is about Kathleen and William who meet while spending their lunch times on a bench in the park during a glorious hot summer. They form a strong friendship which is sorely tested by gossip and speculation, but they learn to face the challenges and accept their blessings.

Melody is a poignant and funny play; music plays a large part as it sets the scene, enhances the story and is a challenge. It also draws the characters together, for they both go to the park to hear the music.

So enjoy watching Kathleen and William having their variety of lunches in the park, while you too eat, drink and be merry! Book now

” Melody” is note perfect”. – The Irish Times