unnamed-110 – 26 October 2014

Tickets on sale from 18 August www.chesterliteraturefestival.co.uk

Chester Performs have announced the programme for this year’s Essar Chester Literature Festival which will host more than 40 events and feature many big names, including John Lydon, Ranulph Fiennes, Paddy Ashdown, Charles Spencer and Sheila Hancock.

The festival opens on 10 October with punk-rock legend John Lydon, former lead singer of the Sex Pistols who will be talking about his new autobiography on the day after its publication. Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, will be joining the line up on Sunday 12 October, to discuss his new book Killers of the King, which explores the fates of the men who signed Charles I’s death warrant.

On Monday 14 October, ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’ Ranulph Fiennes will discuss his new book about the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, and politician Paddy Ashdown will discuss his new book at the Town Hall on Wednesday 15 October The Cruel Victory, which tells the little known story of the French Resistance’s rear-guard action on D Day.

Renowned British novelist, Esther Freud (great granddaughter of Sigmund and daughter of Lucien) will be at Chester Town Hall on Thursday 16 October, talking about her new novel Mac and Me about the artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the evergreen Shelia Hancock will be interviewed by writer and sociologist Laurie Taylor on Thursday 16 October, about her first novel Miss Carter’s War. On Friday 17 October Laurie Taylor will also interview the author of children’s classic Goodnight Mr Tom, Michelle Magorian, about her latest novel, Impossible!. Friday 17 October also sees former England batsman, Geoff Boycott talking with cricket writer David Frith about his new autobiography The Corridor of Certainty.

unnamed-2As well as talks from writers, the festival will also welcome the Dylan Thomas Shed, a replica of the famous Welsh poet’s writing shed, which has been touring the country to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. Look out for it in Chester city centre at the start of the festival. The festival finishes with an evening dedicated to Dylan Thomas on the eve of his 100th birthday with readings of favourite pieces featuring actors from Theatr Clywd.

This year, the festival also welcomes the return of the ‘Uni at the Fest’ programme, a partnership with the University of Chester, featuring free lectures by the university’s lecturers on a variety of interesting subjects. On Saturday 25 October the festival decamps to Chester University for the day with events including Tennessee Williams’ biographer John Lahr (son of Bert Lahr, the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz!) speaking about the playwright to be followed by a screening of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando.

Throughout the festival, there is also a series of workshops covering everything from book-binding to historical fiction to poetry and there is even a Poetry Pub Crawl around Chester on the evening of Thursday 23 October.

Paul Lavin, Festival Manager said ‘This is another programme that we believe offers something to suit all tastes; the Festival has always had a wonderful audience and I’m sure this year will be no exception. We hope that our wide range of events will attract people who already love our festival and people who have never been before.’

Booking opens on Monday 18 August, for more information including how to book visit www.chesterliteraturefestival.co.uk