Shoreham’s Wordfest gets under way

Shoreham’s Wordfest promises a starry arts and literature programme for autumn 2021, with the theme of Fast Forward, a celebration of words and ideas.

Murray Lachlan Young
Murray Lachlan Young

It runs from September 24, starting with Radio 4’s Any Questions and finishes on October 17 with Colin Grant, Yvonne Bailey-Smith (mother of Zadie with her first novel) and a finale party.

In between there will be David Olusoga, Cerys Matthews, authors William Shaw and Elly Griffiths, Murray Lachlan Young and Emerald O’Hanrahan, the voice of Emma Grundy in the Archers, performing Jane Austen at Home.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Programme director Rosalind Turner said: “Environmental concerns are a major theme of the festival; there is a whole day conference on Ending The War on Nature, featuring Isabella Tree of Knepp Estate and Tony Whitbread, president of Sussex Wildlife Trust.

“David Olusoga, the high-profile social commentator, is talking about The Job of a Historian.

“There is an evening in conversation with Radio 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, and the comic poet Murray Lachlan Young will be offering his humorous take on life as well as a family event of Cautionary Tales for Children.

“There will be discussion with political journalists Katy Balls (The Spectator) and Stephen Bush (New Statesman), and former foreign correspondent Robin Lustig offers an international perspective.

“Authors include William Shaw and Elly Griffiths, Sally Bayley (Girl with Dove, Radio 4 Book of the Week), and Yvonne Bailey-Smith, mother of Zadie Smith, with her first novel, interviewed by Colin Grant.

“Jane Austen at Home is performed by Emma O’Hanrahan, voice of Emma Grundy in The Archers. This one-woman drama takes place in the ancient St. Nicolas Church, visited by Jane Austen herself while staying in Worthing.

“There is mesmerising story telling by Mara Menzies and five family shows, including a children’s detective game with author Gavin Milnthorpe.

“There is music from Laura Ward and Risen Road, creative writing and a whole day celebration of National Poetry Day on October 7.”

For full details, visit the website