The fifth Bishop’s Stortford College Festival of Literature
fulfilled its promise to satisfy all the senses, with a wonderful week of
words, pictures, music and spice culminating in a truly memorable finale filled
with awe and wonder. Author-illustrator JAMES MAYHEW wove stories
and painted pictures to music played by the Bishop’s Stortford College
Orchestra. Watching his images take shape and meaning as the music ebbed and
flowed was utterly mesmerising and magical. Sixth Form pupil Halima
Edozie-Akinlade said: “I was utterly transfixed by his performance and
would heartily recommend seeing him live if you get the chance!”
about the experience on his blog (http://www.jamesmayhew.co.uk/2014/02/all-about-the-bishops-stortford-illustrated-concert.html), James said: “The orchestra,
with their conductor Andrew Bruce, gave charming performances of
Vaughan-Williams (The English Folk Song Suite; Rhosymedre; Greensleeves), Elgar
(Chansons du Matin et Nuit; Pomp and Circumstance) and other works by Walton
and Warlock. A challenging and long programme for any orchestra, and a huge
achievement for a college orchestra. They were terrific and I was honoured to
work with them.”
A triple treat was dished up on the
opening day of the feast, with MasterChef
2013 semi-finalist SAIRA HAMILTON
tempting the taste buds between broadcaster
and One Show food reporter, JAY RAYNER
and former Cabinet Minister turned writer and broadcaster MICHAEL PORTILLO.
pursued the truth and performance poet PAUL
COOKSON delivered unforgettable performances of poetry and comedy,
whilst a dose of MARK GRAHAM and a
dash of JONATHAN STROUD produced a
spine-chilling evening of ghostly tales.
and political cartoonist CHRIS RIDDELL and editor of
The New Statesman JASON COWLEY entertained with their conversation
about politics, the media and their own varied careers. Biographer and
historian JULIE SUMMERS gave a fascinating talk about the
formidable women behind the WI and the important role it played during the war
years, whilst debut novelist JOANNA ROSSITER, in
conversation with Jason Cowley, described the extraordinary journey of ‘The Sea
Change’ to becoming a bestselling novel.
storyteller DEBS NEWBOLD returned for
a second year to captivate her Festival audience with a powerful telling of
Shakespeare’s King Lear.
eight different primary schools and five secondary schools visited the seven
open school events during the Festival of Literature, many of these for more
than one event. The programme featured 2013 Carnegie Medal winner SALLY GARDNER introducing her most daring
novel yet, ‘Maggot Moon’ and Puffin’s King of Comedy, JEREMY STRONG describing his writing process.
co-ordinator Rosie Pike said: “Each year sees a unique line up, but the aim of
the Festival of Literature remains the same: to inspire and celebrate a love of
literature, fostering a lasting passion for reading, in young and old alike.
From the enthusiastic feedback we’ve received, the fifth Festival certainly
seems to have achieved this!”
read reviews of some of the Festival events, visit http://www.bishops-stortford-college.herts.sch.uk/events/events-festival-literature-2014-reviews/