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Ten literature highlights at Norfolk and Norwich Festival

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 May 2018

NNF18 City of Literature programme - Ben Okri is taking part in Yes, We Can!
Image: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

NNF18 City of Literature programme - Ben Okri is taking part in Yes, We Can! Image: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

Norwich’s UNESCO City of Literature status is celebrated with an array of events at Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Writers’ Centre Norwich chief executive Chris Gribble shares 10 highlights with 
Emma Knights.

Noisy Holiday is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival programme.  Photo: Sonya DuncanNoisy Holiday is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival programme. Photo: Sonya Duncan

This year Norfolk & Norwich Festival is presenting its biggest City of Literature programme to date in partnership with Writers’ Centre Norwich.

Already audiences have enjoyed events ranging from a theatrical retelling of Preti Taneja’s novella Kumkum Malhotra in Norwich Castle Gardens to Judy Murray talking about her memoir Knowing the Score at Norwich Playhouse - and there is lots more still to come.

Chris Gribble, CEO of Writers’ Centre Norwich, said they were excited to be presenting 27 events throughout this year’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival, many of which are part of the special City of Literature Weekend taking place in Chapelfield Gardens during the final weekend of the festival from May 25 to 27.

WOW - Women of the World Norwich 2018 - Chris Gribble.

Photo: supplied by Norwich Arts CentreWOW - Women of the World Norwich 2018 - Chris Gribble. Photo: supplied by Norwich Arts Centre

He said: “Every year we look to build a diverse programme that showcases some of the very best writing from our region whilst welcoming voices and stories from all over the world to our UNESCO City of Literature.”

Here Mr Gribble, pictured below, shares 10 highlights not to miss:

• Yes, We Can! – with special guest Ben Okri

NNF18 - Ben Okri. Photo: Kadija SesayNNF18 - Ben Okri. Photo: Kadija Sesay

Saturday, May 19, 10.30am–7.30pm, City Hall, Norwich

“A public takeover of City Hall – what’s not to love! Man Booker prize-winning novelist Ben Okri will headline a day of community action and debate, with topics including wellbeing, the environment, integration and community banking. Come prepared to talk, listen and take action!”

• The Cutting Edge – Jeffery Deaver

NNF18 City of Literature programme - The Cutting Edge - Jeffery Deaver
Photo: Russ KientschNNF18 City of Literature programme - The Cutting Edge - Jeffery Deaver Photo: Russ Kientsch

Tuesday, May 22, 7.30pm, Adnams Spiegeltent, Chapelfield Gardens

“As an avid crime reader, I am particularly looking forward to seeing number one Sunday Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver at the Adnams Spiegeltent – it always has such a special atmosphere. We’ll also be revealing the line-up for the fifth Noirwich Crime Writing Festival so make sure you join us to be the first in the know!”

• To Throw Away Unopened – Viv Albertine

NNF18 City of Literature programme - To Throw Away Unopened - Viv Albertine
Photo: Carolina AmbidaNNF18 City of Literature programme - To Throw Away Unopened - Viv Albertine Photo: Carolina Ambida

Friday, May 25 May, 2.15pm, Adnams Spiegeltent

“Punk musician Viv Albertine presents a fearless follow-up to her Sunday Times Book of the Year, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys.”

• (i) In Memory of Rebecca McManus

NNF18 City of Literature programme - (i) In Memory of Rebecca McManus
Photo: supplied by Writers' Centre NorwichNNF18 City of Literature programme - (i) In Memory of Rebecca McManus Photo: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

Friday, May 25, 3.30pm, Literature Tent, Chapelfield Gardens

“We are very excited to host a collective of the most exciting voices in poetry from UEA’s Creative Writing MA for a performance in memory of fellow student Rebecca McManus.”

• 12 Steps from Genius

NNF18 City of Literature programme - 12 Steps from Genius
Image: supplied by Writers' Centre NorwichNNF18 City of Literature programme - 12 Steps from Genius Image: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

Friday, May 25, 6pm, Literature Tent

“Another original commission and a new way of presenting books through live audience experiences. Story Machine Productions presents a fictional twelve-step AA meeting, which features the work of writers Stephen King, Jean Rhys, and David Foster Wallace.”

• Women on Writing – with Sarah Perry, Fiona Sampson, Peggy Hughes and Caroline O’Donoghue

NNF18 City of Literature programme - Women on Writing - Sarah Perry
Photo: Jamie DrewNNF18 City of Literature programme - Women on Writing - Sarah Perry Photo: Jamie Drew

Friday, May 25, 12.30pm, Literature Tent

“Sarah Perry (author of The Essex Serpent) is joined by special guests for a celebration of three important anniversaries: 80 years of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, the 100th birthday of Muriel Spark, and the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.”

• Disability Writes Back! – with Jackie Hagan, Owen Lowery and Tom Shakespeare

NNF18 City of Literature programme - Disability Writes Back! - Jackie Hagan
Photo: Lee BaxterNNF18 City of Literature programme - Disability Writes Back! - Jackie Hagan Photo: Lee Baxter

Saturday, May 26, 11.15am, Literature Tent

“Our Saturday morning events introduce audiences to a variety of high-calibre writers and performers who may have experienced difficulty in one form or another. UEA Professor Tom Shakespeare always has insightful and interesting things to say and it’s well worth heading to the Literature Tent for what I’m sure will be a lively and informative discussion.”

• 5x15: Bodies

NNF18 City of Literature programme - 5X15: Bodies
Image: supplied by Writers' Centre NorwichNNF18 City of Literature programme - 5X15: Bodies Image: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

Saturday, May 26, 12.30pm, Literature Tent

“We’re teaming up again with 5x15 to present five talented speakers with 15 minutes each to blow your mind! The theme for this year’s event is the mysteries of our bodies and brains.”

• Going Nuclear – with Fred 
Pearce, Sunday, May 27, 11.15am, Literature Tent

NNF18 City of Literature programme - Going Nuclear
Image: supplied by Writers' Centre NorwichNNF18 City of Literature programme - Going Nuclear Image: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

“Prize-winning science writer Fred Pearce presents a truly eye-opening account of humanity’s nuclear adventure, from the dropping of the first atomic bomb to the effect radioactive waste will have on generations to come. Too important for anyone to miss!”

• Bad Girls – with Caitlin Davies

Sunday, May 27, 12.30pm, Literature Tent

NNF18 City of Literature programme - Bad Girls
Image: supplied by Writers' Centre NorwichNNF18 City of Literature programme - Bad Girls Image: supplied by Writers' Centre Norwich

“A fascinating exploration of the real-life stories of incarcerated women in HM Prison Holloway; from suffragettes and spies to socialites and prostitutes, and refugees and freedom fighters.”

Norfolk & Norwich Festival runs until May 27.

For more information, including dates and times of all festival events, and to book tickets, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

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