Marlborough LitFest celebrates its 15th year

Round & About

The first announcement for the 2024 line-up is LitFest Patron, Sir Simon Russell Beale

Marlborough LitFest is set for its 15th year and runs from 26th-29th September and the festival programme is currently being put together to provide an exciting mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s authors and free family activities over the festival weekend. Sir Simon Russell Beale will be talking about his memoir, A Piece of Work, on the evening of Sunday 29th September.

Sir Simon Russell Beale has had a longstanding and stellar career both on stage and screen. The critically acclaimed actor was knighted in October 2019 and won a Tony Award for his role in The Lehman Trilogy in 2022. He now lives in Marlborough, becoming LitFest’s first Patron in 2020. Russell Beale’s first book, A Piece of Work, is due to be published on 5th September, recounting his acting career with a focus on playing Shakespearean characters.

Russell Beale will be interviewed at LitFest by Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford, who has published and lectured widely on William Shakespeare. She has written on Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) and is interested in the cultural impact of the playwright over four centuries. She is an associate scholar with the Royal Shakespeare Company, has contributed to radio and TV programmes and written extensively for newspapers and magazines, as well as being a published author. Her recent book, This Is Shakespeare: How to read the world’s greatest playwright, was a Sunday Times bestseller and Portable Magic: A History of Books and their Readers was shortlisted for the Wolfson Prize in 2023.

Genevieve Clarke, Festival Chair, said: “This feels like a very fitting event for our 15th festival – our patron in conversation with a top Shakespeare scholar and book enthusiast.  Meanwhile we’re working hard to bring a raft of authors to Marlborough in September to appeal to all ages and interests.”

Friends of Marlborough LitFest benefit from priority booking for festival events and a brochure in the post. The full programme will be announced in July when tickets go on sale. For more information and regular 2024 festival programme updates click here.