James Macdonald-Lockhart : Raptor - A Journey through Birds Christchurch Sunday
16th 4.00am £7.00
James Macdonald Lockhart serves up our British raptors on a journey that begins
in Orkney and ends in Devon. He is a wonderfully modest presence in his own narrative,
often to be spotted hiding in a hedge or crushed into a hilltop cleft, where he can
rest unseen but watch his beloved birds better. When he first glimpses a hobby, a
gorgeous little summer-visiting falcon, he shouts out as if we are there with him:
‘Hobby! At last! Shooting low over the heath, long sharp wings a hundred times faster
than a kestrel.’
Lockhart brings out both the birds’ ecstatic gifts of flight but also the tragedy
and triumph of their predatory lifestyle. For the raptor that is less than perfect
in ear, eye and aerial skill is, by definition, a dead raptor. It is perhaps this
precarious power of the birds that is at the heart of our wider preoccupations.
Jason Lewis : Dark Waters - The Expedition Town Hall Sunday 16th 5.30pm
“Arguably, the most remarkable adventurer in the world today.” THE DAILY MAIL
Jason Lewis is an award-winning author, explorer, and sustainability advocate. He
is recognized by Guinness World Records as the first person to circumnavigate the
Earth by human power—without using motors or sails. He walked, cycled, and inline
skated five continents, and kayaked, swam, rowed, and pedalled a boat across the
rivers, seas, and oceans.
Taking thirteen years to complete, the 46,505-mile journey was hailed “the last great
first for circumnavigation” by the London Sunday Times
Nicholas Parsons Just a Laugh a Minute Spread Eagle Hotel Saturday 15th
For more years than most of us can remember Nicholas Parsons has been part of our
lives. He served his acting apprenticeship in Repertory at Bromley in Kent. After
two years playing a different part in a different play each week, he proved that
comedy and character roles were his particular strength. Failing to obtain work in
the West End, he moved to the legendary London cabaret circuit in the 1950s. He starred
at Quaglino's, The Allegro, The Colony, the famous Cafe de Paris and many other venues.
In 1952 he became resident comedian at the famous Windmill Theatre for six months,
which was followed by a lot of radio variety. Even now, he is still doing a lot of
solo work, after dinners, one man shows, and more recently his show at the Edinburgh
Festival Fringe - solos comedy and guests - now in its eighth year.
From Television to Radio to personal appearances at TAL Festival, we welcome the
man from “Just a Minute” to reminisce on his Life in the world of entertainment....
Julie Mayhew with Sandra Smith : The F-Words Fact and Fiction Museum Sunday 16th
Author and BBC Radio dramatist Julie Mayhew, in conversation with Sandra Smith, will
explore the way we can incorporate fact in our fiction and how walking in other people's
shoes makes sense of our own lives.
Julie Mayhew originally trained as a journalist and then an actress before she turned
to writing because she hardly ever saw a script with a brilliant female role in it.
She and Sandra Smith will host an interactive discussion for anyone interested in
how the creative process takes form and how the inspiration of real events can lead
to better fiction and how that fiction helps us to make better sense of our own reality!
Julie is the author of Red Ink, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Branford Boase
Award, as well as the critically acclaimed The Big Lie, a book about girls, protest
and revolution, set in an imagined contemporary Nazi Britain. Her latest novel, Mother
Tongue, was published in August 2016. Aside from novels, she is also a prolific writer
for radio and has twice been nominated for Best Original Drama at the BBC Audio Drama
Awards for her plays A Shoebox of Snow and The Electrical Venus.
Sandra Smith is a journalist, freelance writer, author and creative writing teacher.
She appears in many columns across local and national press and she has hosted creative
writing workshops at TAL for many years. We are thrilled that two such qualified
writers should share their experiences with us this year.
Marcus Berkmann : Set Phasers to Stun Christchurch Satuday
15th 3.00pm £7.00
“….These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.” Forty-seven years after NBC
killed it off, Star Trek celebrates its half-century in a state of rude health. Boldly
going where several other people have been before, Marcus Berkmann tells the story
of this sturdy science fiction vehicle from its first five-year mission (rudely curtailed
to three), through the dark years of the 1970s, the triumphant film series and The
Next Generation, to the current 'reboot' films, with a younger cast taking on the
characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and co.
With wit, insight and a huge pile of DVDs, he seeks to answer all the important questions.
Why did Kirk's shirt always get torn when he had a fist fight? What's the most number
of times Uhura said 'Hailing frequencies open, sir' in a single episode? (Seven.)
And what's the worst imaginable insult in Klingon? (Your mother has a smooth forehead.)
Marcus Berkmann was born in 1960 in north London, and lives there still. Freelance
since 1988, he has been an acclaimed TV critic for the Daily Mail and the Sunday
Express, and written sports columns for Punch, The Independent on Sunday and the
Daily Express. For 28 years, he wrote a monthly pop column for The Spectator. These
days he writes a weekly column for The Independent magazine, contributes regularly
to Private Eye and is film critic for The Oldie. His books include Rain Men and Zimmer
Men, Fatherhood – The Truth, and A Shed of One’s Own. He is still taller than his
two children, although not for long.
Matthew R Hall The Case of the Crusading Coroner Museum Saturday 15th 10.30am
The cause of any sudden or unexpected death - the ‘how, when, and where’ - must be
determined by the coroner. If not obvious, a coroner must inquire and decide on a
cause before death can be certified. So a coroner has to be part- judge and part-investigator
– and novelist Matthew R. Hall’s Bristol coroner, Jenny Cooper, certainly takes the
investigator’s role seriously. From the first Coroner book, when she investigates
the death in custody of a young boy, to the latest, when she digs into family death
in a fire, she is on the case even when it threatens her own life.
‘Hall shows that a coroner is just as able to be a detective as the forensic pathologists
of Cornwell and Reichs’ (The Sunday Times).
An award-winning crime writer, Matthew R. Hall began his career as a television screenwriter
and producer, writing episodes of Kavanagh QC, Dalziel and Pascoe, A&E, Foyle's War
andBlue Murder and legal series, Wing and a Prayer, amongst others,before writing
the acclaimed Coroner books.
The Coroner was shortlisted for theCrime Writers’ Association Dagger for best crime
novel. Matthew is in conversation with Susan Walker