John Humphrys and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage join Shoreham Wordfest line-up

John Humphrys
John Humphrys

Shaping the Future is the theme as the programme for Shoreham’s festival of words and ideas is unveiled.

Shoreham Wordfest runs from September 7 to October 13.

Programme director Rosalind Turner said: “Shoreham Wordfest are launching their ninth literary festival at Shoreham Farmers’ market on July 13. This year they have chosen the theme of Shaping the Future. It will be an opportunity to look at how we can be actively involved in the challenges and opportunities ahead, along with many fun and entertaining events.

“Highlights of the main programme include John Humphrys in one of his first public appearances after leaving Radio 4’s Today programme, our new Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reading from his latest collection and a spectacular event with TV science presenter Dallas Campbell celebrating 50 years since the first moon landing and looking at the future of space exploration.

“Lynne Truss, popular local author and radio broadcaster, is launching her latest Constable Twitten mystery, set in Brighton. Shoreham Beach resident, actress and playwright Janet Behan will be performing her one-woman trilogy and Simon Brett will entertain with his one-man play Entries and Exits.

“Stanley Johnson will outline efforts to protect our countryside, and there is a whole weekend of debate and discussion on climate change opened by TV presenter and charismatic priest Peter Owen-Jones, with a special event for young activists.

“Ivor Garber, professor of political journalism at the University of Sussex, will chair a debate with Polly Toynbee of The Guardian, Isabel Hardman of The Spectator and Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discussing the current and future prospects for Britain’s politics.

“There are a number of events for children and families including a beautiful dramatic production of Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, Molly and Munch the Dinosaur at Lancing Parish Hall and Fishersgate, and When Trees Could Talk at Woods Mills Wildlife Trust.

“Wordfest starts with creative writing workshops throughout September with performance opportunities for new writing at open mic events, and a story telling event on the Verda Houseboat.

“The Wordfest launch event, The Future Starts Here, is on September 27 at Sussex Yacht Club and there is a closing party on October 13 at Ropetackle Arts Centre. Brochures will be distributed widely throughout the area and tickets are available from the Wordfest stall at the farmers’ and artisan markets. For full details and to book on-line for all our events please go to: http://www.shorehamwordfest.com.”

Rosalind added: “Shoreham Wordfest is an entirely voluntary organisation and registered charity. Adur District Council have sponsored their work with schools, children and families and a number of local businesses and sponsored the programme. The Wordfest team is always looking for new ideas and for extra helpers, so if you want to get involved please contact them through the website.”

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