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Latest news from the 2010 Times Cheltenham Literature Festival


The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival returns in a celebration of award-winning writers, world-renowned thinkers and international star names. With more than 450 events over the ten day Festival, we are delighted to unveil an inspiring feast of Festival treats in the full programme…

The central theme for the 2010 Festival is Dreams and Nightmares which presents an opportunity to discover how the realm of dreams has influenced writers, thinkers and artists and how they expressed fears and hopes in their work. Once more the Festival welcomes a range of Guest Directors who have each programmed a dynamic series of events. Kevin McCloud explores architecture and design, Will Hutton investigates finance, China Miéville shares the best of future fiction, Mary Beard brings to life ancient Greece and Rome and Owen Sheers puts poetry centre-stage.

One aspect which makes Cheltenham unique is the fantastic Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse – the country’s biggest literature venue. Welcoming over 2,000 literary lovers for each event, the Centaur Series on the opening weekend promises some of the biggest names in popular culture and current affairs. The series starts with a sprinkling of comedy genius from double act Armstrong & Miller as they introduce the Armstrong and Miller Book. Current affairs come to the fore as The Times Debate considers if the dream of President Obama has survived, and Peter Mandelson discusses his time in and out of the government. On Sunday leading scientific thinker Stephen Hawking, influential feminist writer Germaine Greer and presenter and comedian Graham Norton all light up the Centaur stage. In a fantastic finale to the series Hollywood superstar Michael Caine joins the line-up to talk about his autobiography Elephant to Hollywood.

At its heart the Festival rejoices in the joy of books, the thrill of debate and the unique interaction between writer and reader and this year welcomes some true literary legends. Salman Rushdie joins the programme to discuss his life and work, highly acclaimed writer A S Byatt explores her novel The Children’s Book, and Sophie’s World author Jostein Gaardner comes to Cheltenham from Norway. Philip Pullman, Audrey Niffeneger, Roddy Doyle, Rose Tremain and Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend all feature.

A host of small screen stars will flock to Cheltenham this October - Stephen Fry, Kim Cattrall, Dawn French, Gok Wan, Fiona Phillips, Jo Brand, Chris Evans, Jenny Éclair, Jerry Hall, Kirstie Allsopp, Dom Joly and Harry Hill are just a few of the big names to spot! From wine and chocolate to baking and deserts, you can really get your teeth stuck into our series celebrating culinary genius. Queen of the kitchen Nigella Lawson, popular Italian chef Antonio Carluccio and Saturday Kitchen regular Olly Smith all offer tempting talks, whilst Rachel Allen is joined by Hardeep Singh Kohli as she demonstrates the secrets of Entertaining at Home. A truly tasty line-up!

Book It!, the festival for younger readers is at the heart of the programme with fun, exciting and surprising events every day of the Festival. Join everyone’s favourite feline, Mog, for her birthday celebrations, meet best-selling author and Festival favourite Jacqueline Wilson or bump into Spot, Peter Rabbit and their friends as they spring to life! Budding young thespians can also discover the secrets of the theatre in a series of workshops with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
This is just a taster of the full, exciting programme – visit the website fordetails of over 450 inspiring events.

Tickets can be booked in person at Cheltenham Town Hall Box Office, by phone on 0844 576 7979, or online.


Explore Gloucestershire
1 September 2010


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