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An eclectic mix for Festival goers at Gala Theatre


Sep 5, 2016

Literature lovers are in for a treat next month as the Gala Theatre plays host to award- winning poets, the most exciting new voices in fiction, an internationally best-selling writer, one of the UK’s best loved politicians and a Mercury Prize nominated musician – all as part of the 26 th annual Durham Book Festival.

Young readers are set to be delighted when the family show Hey Presto! brings all the fun of the fair to the stage on Saturday 8 October at 10.30am.

This new production features original live music, magic tricks and lots of laughs for children under seven and their families. Based on the picture book by Nadia Shireen, this magical production is adapted by Laura Lindow and directed by Ruth Johnson.

In the afternoon, the Backlisted Podcast, which gives new life to old books, will be recorded in front of a live audience. Set to be a fascinating and funny discussion of a much-loved book, the event brings together the Book Festival’s Reader in Residence Andy Miller (author of The Year of Reading Dangerously) with John Mitchinson (Unbound publisher and QI co-creator) and publisher Mathew Clay.

With award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams’ show An Evening with an Immigrant already sold out, there’s still a chance for spoken word lovers to get their poetry fix as BBC Verb New Voice award-winner Matt Miller combines poetry, music and storytelling in Sticking, a solo show about moving away from home for the first time, on Sunday 9 October at 1.30pm.

Monday 10 October sees a special screening of Ken Loach’s film Kes, which tells the story of a teenager whose bleak life is transformed when he begins training a kestrel he finds on a nearby farm. The screening, which takes place between 2pm and 4.30pm, will be introduced by Andy Miller and Durham University’s Professor Stephen Regan who are both huge fans of the film and will talk about what it means to them 47 years after it was made.

Book lovers and aspiring writers can discover new talent in publisher Picador’s showcase of The Best in New Fiction on Tuesday 11 October at 6.15pm. Enjoy a free Durham Gin and tonic from Durham Distillery and listen to the authors read from their debut novels and talk about their journey to publication.

The Gala Theatre hosts international best-selling author Anthony Horowitz, as he comes to Durham Book Festival for the first time on Wednesday 12 October at 7.30pm to talk about his fascinating career which includes the teen spy series Alex Rider, two Sherlock Holmes novels and the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis. He’ll also be introducing his brand-new book Magpie Murders, a classic crime novel with more than one twist!

The following day at 7.30pm sees one of the country’s best known MPs, Alan Johnson, transport audience members from the corridors of Westminster to the streets of Hull as he lifts the lid on life as a hard working constituency MP.

This year’s major Book Festival commission, a special song writing project with Kathryn Williams and Friends, brings the Book Festival’s events at the Gala Theatre to a close on Saturday 15 October at 4pm. Mercury Prize-nominated Kathryn will collaborate with Michele Stodart from The Magic Numbers, acclaimed singer-songwriter Tom McRae, poetry professor Paul Farley, spoken word artist Salena Godden, journalist and writer of the Sunday Times Best seller The Versions of Us Laura Barnett and author Kirsty Logan.

Tickets for the shows, which range from £4 to £12, can be purchased from Gala Theatre’s website at www.galadurham.co.uk, via the box office on 03000 266 600 or in person at the venue.

To find out more about Durham Book Festival, and to see the full line up of events, please visit www.durhambookfestival.com.

By Emily