TAL Festival Ltd

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TAL Festival Ltd

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Telephone : 0871 288 3420


Thame Arts & Literature Festival

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11th to 15th October 2017

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Sunday 10.00am-1.00pm

Chris Lloyd : The History of Science over 10,000 years

10.00am : Town Hall : Adults £6.00 Children £4.00

Returning for the 3rd year, the very popular and hugely entertaining Chris Lloyd returns with his massive charts and bubbly personality. As one of our stewards put it last year “Blimey, if only I had had teachers like that when I was at school - I learned more this morning than I ever did at school

Chris’ talks are always worth getting up on a Sunday morning for - suitable for all ages from 7 to 170!!

Hugh Thomson  : One Man and a Mule

10.00am : Players Theatre : £6.00

For centuries mules were used to transport goods across Britain. Strong, sturdy and able to carry a great deal of weight, they made ideal walking companions – as long as you didn’t ask them to do anything they didn’t want to do!  

Now Wainwright-Prize winner Hugh Thomson revives that ancient tradition, using his experience of hiking with pack mules across the Andes to have what he calls ‘a South American adventure in England’.

Recounting the stories of the characters he meets along the way, this wonderfully vivid and witty account brings to life the ancient landscape of the north in a way few other contemporary travel writers attempt.  This is an unashamedly personal story, combining Hugh’s trademark insight and humour with lyrical intensity. One Man and a Mule paints a stunning portrait of Britain and its history.

Human Story Theatre  : Scenes From…

1.00pm : Players Theatre : £8.00

Human Story Theatre, run by Amy Enticknap and Gaye Poole, focuses on new writing with a health and social care issue at heart.

This is a workshop featuring extracts from two new plays by playwrights, Zena Forster (The Last Dog) and Gaye Poole (DRY) brought alive by professional actors.

The extracts are followed by an open discussion with the writers & actors on how such issues are brought to the stage and the value of  doing so to help us understand the Human Story better.

The Last Dog: A feminist comedy about prostate cancer. Who says women don't have a sense of humour?  Zena Forster has written dramas for both Radio 3 and Radio 4 but has recently moved into theatre.stage adaptation of Kate Clanchy’s Antigona and Me, was described by Daily Info as a ‘superb, life-affirming play”.

DRY: The Wilsons may be middle class and middle aged but there is  nothing middling about their alcohol intake. Can they keep the ‘toxic' out of ‘intoxicated' and keep the family together, or is it a ‘case' of sorrows drowned.  Gaye Poole has written many plays, including Connie’s Colander about Dementia which is still successfully  touring and Flat 73 about loneliness and the Samaritans.

TAL Festival is delighted to host this amazing company of actors and writers. Come and spend a very enjoyable hour with them and learn about their unique approach to theatre.

Dan Manea & The Thame/Sinaia Twinning Association : Sinaia, a brief history   

1.30pm : Barns Centre (Small Hall) : £free with a ticket

The origins, destiny and development of Sinaia are connected with the Royal House of Romania. Sinaia has the most historical monuments per capita in Romania and is known as The Pearl of the Carpathians. A recognised stop-over point for the Orient Express, Sinaia seemed to concentrate everything valuable in Romania throughout the darkest recent periods of the country’s history. Representatives from all the major European royal families have visited its palaces and now we invite you on a virtual tour.

Sinaia is twinned with Thame and TAL Festival is pleased to play our part in helping to cement this relationship.

Dan Manea is a prize-winning Romanian architect with a long career in the design of buildings across the country. His particular study of Sinaia is driven by its unique and ancient architecture that has survived much of the modern privations that have swept the country

In addition, our very good friends Jim & Sally Turnbull from Chinnor will also be in attendance. They help to run a farming and food enterprise in Romania called “Taste Transylvania” and sell the produce in the UK. Checkout their wonderful work at www.fooddevco.como

Taste and buy their excellent jams, chutneys, cordials and other foodstuffs - all made in Romania

Click here to book Tickets

Britain’s answer to Bill Bryson

Simon Heffer  : The Age of Decadence (1880-1914)

1.00pm : Town Hall : £9.00 (Concessions £8.00)

The folk-memory of Britain in the years before the Great War is of a powerful, contented, orderly and thriving country. She commanded a vast empire. She bestrode international commerce.

Yet things were very different below the surface. In The Age of Decadence Simon Heffer exposes the contradictions of late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. He shows how attempts to secure vital social reforms prompted the twentieth century’s gravest constitutional crisis and coincided with the worst industrial unrest in British history. He describes how politicians who conceded the vote to millions more men disregarded women so utterly that their public protest bordered on terrorism. He depicts a ruling class that fell prey to degeneracy and scandal. And he concludes with the crisis that in the summer of 1914 threatened the existence of the United Kingdom – a looming civil war in Ireland.

He lights up the era through vivid pen-portraits of the great men and women of the day – including Gladstone, Parnell, Asquith and Churchill, but also Mrs Pankhurst, Beatrice Webb, Baden-Powell, Wilde and Shaw – creating a richly detailed panorama of a great power that, through both accident and arrogance, was forced to face potentially fatal challenges.

Simon Heffer read English at Cambridge and took a PhD in modern history. His previous books include: Moral Desperado: A Life of Thomas Carlyle, Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell, Power and Place: The Political Life of King Edward VII, Nor Shall My Sword: The Reinvention of England, Vaughan Williams, and Strictly English. In a thirty-year career in Fleet Street, he has held senior editorial positions on The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, and is now a columnist for The Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.