Big names and tapas at initmate festival

Literature, music and Spanish tapas are all on the menu at Voewood Festival this month.

The four-day event, which is being billed as the arts garden party of the year, will take place in the intimate surroundings of Voewood House - an early 20th century arts and crafts building at High Kelling, owned by Simon Finch.

The programme includes talks by well-known artists, authors, and film directors as well as musical performances by British Sea Power, Billy Bragg, Beth Rowley, HMS Sweet Charity and former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.

Among the highlights are Turner prize winning artist Antony Gormley in conversation with the creative director of the White Cube Gallery Tim Marlow; author and former drug smuggler Howard Marks doing the 'spoken word'; the Oscar nominated director of The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things and My Beautiful Launderette Stephen Frears in conversation with Rowan Pelling and poet Simon Armitage, whose book of poetry about walking the Pennine Way has topped the best seller list.

Authors Hanif Kureishi, Diana Athill, Rachel Joyce and Kate Mosse will also be appearing at the event.


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Other attractions include Alison Ouvry, who will stage a puppet operetta adaptation of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; 'bibliotherapy' session with Ella Berthoud, where 'patients' can pour out their problems and be prescribed a list of books to read as a treatment; and Idler Academy tutors, who will coach visitors in beekeeping, darning and Latin.

For hungry festival-goers, Spanish restaurant Brindisa will be serving a selection of tapas in its pop-up restaurant. The menu will include Brindisa's famous chorizo burger, which reputedly attracts queues more than 300-people long when it goes on-sale at London's Borough market every Sunday. There will also be a bar run by Hendrick's Gin.

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The event will run from Friday, August 24 to Monday, August 27, and co-curators Clare Conville and Patrick Keogh are promising 'a very special experience'.

Mr Keogh said: 'It is going to be amazing. The grounds are Grade I listed and the house is an arts and crafts building. They form a really spectacular back drop to the event.

'We have tried to create something really beautiful, small and intimate, where people can spend genuine time with some of their heroes in nice surroundings with wonderful food and drink. The authors and artists are all staying in the house and will be mingling with the guests. They will also be bringing their friends so you never know who you are going to bump in to.'

Visit www.voewoodfestival.com.

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