Big names for Thame's eighth literary festival

Charles Spencer
Charles Spencer

Charles Spencer, Jenni Murray, Jeremy Vine and Mike Read are some of the top names scheduled to appear at the eighth annual Thame Arts and Literature Festival.

Taking place in venues across the town from Wednesday October 11 through to Sunday October 15, more than 3.500 people are expected to attend 38 events including author talks, plays, concerts, film and an art show.

Highlights include BBC Radio 2 presenter and political commentator Jeremy Vine talking about his new book, What I Have Learnt, at the Spread Eagle Hotel at 7pm on Wednesday October 11.

BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray will also be at the Spread Eagle, at 2.30pm on Sunday October 15 to talk about the 21 women she believes have forged Britain.

Princess Diana’s brother, historian Charles Spencer, will be at the Spread Eagle at 1.30pm on Saturday October 14 to talk about the first attempt at the restoration of Charles II.

To commemorate 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, comedy improv team Austentatious (pictured above) will perform at the Spread Eagle at 7.30pm on Friday October 13.

Melvyn Bragg’s daughter Marie-Elsa Bragg will speak about her debut novel Towards Melbreak in Christchurch at 4.30pm on Saturday October 14. Maria-Elsa’s poetic novel is a hymn both to the landscape of Cumbria and to a disappearing world.

Radio and television presenter Mike Read will be at The Players Theatre at 6pm on Saturday October 14 to reveal his exceptional pop music knowledge.

Further events at the festival include tales of derring do on the African plains (A Baboon in the Bedroom); walking across England with a mule (One Man and a Mule); and riding an old bike across the Russian steppes (The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold).

Starting from Friday September 8 tickets will be on sale from the box office in the Town Hall on most Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays leading up to the festival .