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Thame Arts & Literature Festival

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11th to 15th October 2017

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Saturday AM

Simon Brett OBE : The Art of Crime Writing

10.00am : Town Hall : £9.00 (Concessions £8.00)

Interviewed by Nicole Russell Simon will discuss the art of writing crime fiction across the genre.

Simon Brett, OBE FRSL is one of our most popular crime writers and was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger accolade in 2014 for his body of work which includes the Charles Paris, Mrs. Pargeter, Blotto and Twinks, and Fethering crime novels. Other recipients of this award have included PD James, John Le Carre and Ian Rankin. He is also writes for stage and penned 'After Henry' which starred Prunella Scales.  

Simon Brett is one of British crime’s most assured craftsmen, with idiosyncratic characters proving winning creations... A feast of red herrings, broadly drawn characters, and gentle thrills and spills litter the witty plot. Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment.’ THE GUARDIAN

Ray Brooks - Actor - Me & My Shadow

10.30am : Christchurch : £9.00 (Concessions £8.00)

From Kathy Come Home to Eastenders, Ray Brooks has been on our screens since the late 1950s. He is also the voice of Mr Ben. Listen to Ray’s fascinating lifetime of experiences in the British film and TV world as he talks about Me & My Shadow

Ray will be in conversation with Mark Fellowes

Jenny Uglow  : Mr Lear

12.00noon : Town Hall : £9.00 (Concessions £8)

We know Edward Lear as a genius of nonsense, full of shocks and surprises, and as a poet of strange loves—“The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,” “The Dong with a Luminous Nose.” We may know him, too, for his paintings of parrots and owls, or for his luminous landscapes. But do we know that he taught Queen Victoria to draw, travelled alone across the wild Albanian mountains, and waded through muddy fields with Tennyson?

Lear lived all his life on the borders of rules and structures, of disciplines and desires. Children adored him and adults loved him, yet somehow he was always alone. In this beautiful volume, a fresh and joyful appreciation by the award-winning and compulsively readable Jenny Uglow, we follow Lear from his troubled childhood to his striving as an artist, tracking his swooping moods, passionate friendships, and restless travels. And, as we travel with him, his “nonsenses” are elegantly unpicked—without losing any of their fun.

Jenny Uglow’s books include award-winning biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hogarth, and Sarah Losh. Nature’s Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick won the National Arts Writers Award, and A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her most recent book is In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon’s Wars, 1793–1815. She lives in Canterbury, England

Thame Cinema 4 All : A Monster Calls  

10.30am : The Players Theatre : Adults : £6.00 Children £3.50

I was curious when I walked into A Monster Calls, the new film from director J.A. Bayona. As the story of a young boy who conjures up a monster to help him deal with his mother’s ongoing illness, A Monster Calls seemed like a logical next step for a filmmaker interested in merging the fantastic with the human.

Two hours later, when I’d finally stopped crying, I realized Bayona had made the most beautiful, moving film I’d seen all year.”  The Verge

Richard Maguire : I dream in Autism   

12.00noon : Christchurch : £6.00

Growing up in 1970’s England, meant no one knew I was autistic. It simply didn’t exist. What did exist was a tantruming toddler, odd child, bad boy, lazy teenager, boring man. ll these labels stick.

To this day people say with visible shock on meeting me, ‘But you seem so normal!’

What they do not see is the result of growing up with an enigma. I endured the school bullies like everyone else and the lifestyle of a social outcast. However, I did not understand why I was being mocked or, for that matter, different.

I finally received society’s forgiveness in the form of a diagnosis and a job in social work to help another ‘me’. My career in this sector lead to an NVQ Level 3 qualification in social care, a degree in theology and experience of being in life changing situations for over thirty years.

So what about me… did I marry and live happily ever after? Well, an obsession with bicycle maintenance played in my favour and I found a way to talk to interested bystanders without engaging eye contact. My wife (yes, my wonderful wife of 30 years) tells me she remembers a non-communicative schoolboy that could so easily be our son today. However, Josh is aware of his strengths and that his parents love him – because we tell him daily. So many ‘syndrome-people’ think they are not worthy of life or love.

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Please note that, due to his popularity, we have moved Richard’s event to Christchurch in Upper High Street Thame.