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Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Eclectic bill of over 40 acclaimed writers and musicians
Great British Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh, MOBO Award-winning pianist Zoe Rahman and Man Booker Prize-nominated author Donal Ryan are among the guests lined up for the third Kenilworth Arts Festival, taking place at various venues between September 20 and September 29, 2018.

Also on the eclectic bill are over 40 other acclaimed writers, musicians and artists, including US songwriter S. Carey, nature writer John Lewis-Stempel, and novelist Fiona Mozley.

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018, Ruby Tandoh, Donal Ryan, Zoe Rahman, S. Carey, John Lewis-Stempel, Fiona Mozley
Eat Up!: Ruby Tandoh

The festival kicks off on September 20 with an appearance from Great British Bake Off 2013 finalist Ruby Tandoh at the Talisman Theatre. The revered food writer will be talking about her latest book, Eat Up!, which celebrates the fun and pleasure of food, and arms readers against expensive fad diets and food crazes.

Music events include a trio of concerts at the newly renovated St John's Church, beginning with MOBO and Jazz Award-winning pianist and composer Zoe Rahman (Sept 21). She's followed by appearances from Elbow-approved Californian singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop (Sept 28), and Bon Iver associate S. Carey (Sept 29), whose growing fan base includes Sufjan Stevens and Taylor Swift.

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018, Ruby Tandoh, Donal Ryan, Zoe Rahman, S. Carey, John Lewis-Stempel, Fiona Mozley
Acoustic duo: Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

Meanwhile, Kenilworth Castle's Tudor Stables welcomes acoustic duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker (Sept 27), while multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper takes his mesmerising blend of classic, alternative and electronic music to St Nicholas' Church (Sept 26).

A new addition to the festival programme this year is a weekend of literary events (Sept 22-23), held at Priory Theatre. Highly regarded and inspiring authors will be in attendance, including Kamila Shamsie, the winner of this year's Women's Prize For Fiction for Home Fire (a thrilling retelling of Sophocles' Antigone), best-selling children's author Kiran Millwood Hargrave, and Fiona Mozley, who became an overnight literary sensation when her debut novel, Elmet, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018, Ruby Tandoh, Donal Ryan, Zoe Rahman, S. Carey, John Lewis-Stempel, Fiona Mozley
In conversation: Donal Ryan (pic: Anthony Woods)

Also present will be Irish writer Donal Ryan, whose From A Low And Quiet Sea is nominated for this year's Man Booker Prize (his second nomination following a listing for 2013's The Spinning Heart). He will be in conversation with Birmingham-born Kit de Waal, whose third novel, The Trick To Time, was long-listed for the Women's Prize For Fiction 2018.

The weekend will also feature a book launch for Sarah Moss' Ghost Walk, as well as a number of other panel discussions and showcase events.

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018, Ruby Tandoh, Donal Ryan, Zoe Rahman, S. Carey, John Lewis-Stempel, Fiona Mozley
Nature writer: John Lewis-Stempel

Other highlights across the 10 days include best-selling nature writer John Lewis-Stempel (Sept 25, Talisman Theatre), an art and craft market in Abbey End (Sept 23) and family theatre from Bristol-based The Wardrobe Ensemble (Sept 23, Kenilworth School), while leading regional guests include poets from Birmingham-based Verve Poetry Press, Leamington Spa's Harriet Cummings, Warwickshire writer Patrick Kincaid, and Birmingham's Mike Gayle whose The Man I Think I Know is set in and around Coventry and Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018, Ruby Tandoh, Donal Ryan, Zoe Rahman, S. Carey, John Lewis-Stempel, Fiona Mozley
Family theatre: The Wardrobe Ensemble

Lewis Smith, the festival's Creative Director, said: "At the heart of Kenilworth Arts Festival is a desire to celebrate high quality, original work within the contemporary arts. I'm very proud of this year's line-up, which features four Man Booker prize nominated novelists, plus a dazzling array of internationally-acclaimed musicians, writers, and visual artists from around the UK and beyond. With over 30 events taking place during the festival – including a range of fantastic family activities – this year's programme is our biggest and best yet. It promises to be a very special 10 days."

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018 listings:

Sept 20

Ruby Tandoh – Talisman Theatre

Sept 21

Zoe Rahman – St John's Church

Sept 22

Kiran Millwood Hargrave – Priory Theatre foyer
Lost Words Storywalk with Chris Jelley – Abbey Fields
Fiona Mozley in conversation with Anita Sethi – Priory Theatre
Storybook Workshop with Ashley Crowley – The Almanack Michael Donkor & Sharlene Teo – Priory Theatre
Rough Trade Books Showcase – Priory Theatre
Book Launch: Ghost Wall (Sarah Moss) – Priory Theatre

Sept 23

Writing Workshop with Anita Sethi – Tree House bookshop
Mike Gayle, Harriet Cummings & Patrick Kincaid – Priory Theatre
The Wardrobe Ensemble presents…The Time Seekers! – Kenilworth School
Fair Trade Books? Discounting & The Future of Publishing – Priory Theatre
Kit de Waal & Donal Ryan in conversation – Priory Theatre
Rihab Azar in concert – Tree House bookshop
Kamila Shamsie on Home Fire – Priory Theatre

Sept 24

Emily Francis Trio – Holiday Inn

Sept 25

An Evening with John-Lewis Stempel – Talisman Theatre

Sept 26

Erland Cooper – St Nicholas' Church

Sept 27

Sophie Mackintosh in conversation with Sarah Moss – Kenilworth Books
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker with Toby Hay – Tudor Stables, Kenilworth Castle

Sept 28

Verve Poetry Press Showcase – Tree House bookshop
Jesca Hoop – St John's Church

Sept 29

Baby Rave! – Sports & Social Club
Drawing Tree Houses: A Workshop with Nick Rhodes – The Almanack
S. Carey with Billie Marten: St John's Church.
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Why? Authors and musicians unite for arts festival
When: September 20 - 29, 2018
Where: Kenilworth
Cost: Prices range from £7 (for one-off events) to £45 (for a Literary Weekend Pass).
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by dpm on 02/08/2019
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