For a video guide to the events featuring me wearing a slightly ill-advised leopardskin sequin cardigan, click here
The launch for the Independent Bath Literature Festival is well underway! For a more detailed run-down of the programme, check out the Bath Magazine where I am (not inaccurately) described as a “candy floss lover”. (The brochure features a huge picture of candy floss on the cover.)
Superhot tip for now: buy tickets for Austentatious and Germaine Greer while you still can. My own favourites: the Great Bath News Debate, Jennifer Saunders and our fantastic foodie events with superchef Mark Hix, Jewish food legend Claudia Roden (or at least that’s how I think of her because I love The Book of Jewish Food) and Jane Austen culinary scholar Pen Vogler’s Literary Lunch with Mr Darcy.
Today the full programme for the Independent Bath Literature Festival, 28 Feb to 9 March 2014, is revealed! 10 days, 180+ authors, 20,000+ tickets. I’m the Artistic Director and this is my first year in the job. This year’s theme? Bliss.
New names unveiled today: Alastair Campbell, Rachel Joyce, Patricia Hodge, Jonathan Dimbleby, Jed Rubenfeld, Amy Chua, Gary Shteyngart, Jo Caulfield, Ben Watt, Lucy Porter, Philip Hensher, Michael Rosen, Douglas Alexander, Jonathan Aitken, Gabin Esler, The Incredible Spice Men, Nicky Haslam, Adele Parks, David Lodge, Mrs Moneypenny, Frieda Hughes, AL Kennedy, Boris Akunin, Olivia Laing, Lionel Shriver… Er, is that enough? (That is not everyone. I’ll be blogging regular guides to the programme over the next few weeks as it’s hard to get your head around 180+ events.)
Here’s how to buy tickets: Jennifer Saunders goes on general release for the first time today. I’ll be interviewing her in the Forum about her book Bonkers and whether she is ever going to get around to writing the movie of Absolutely Fabulous. And whether Goldie Hawn is as awful as she sounds. It will be a very intellectual discussion indeed.
On sale as Early Bird releases: Hanif Kureishi, Henry Blofeld, Claudia Roden, Mark Hix, Austentatious, Rowan Williams, Mark Watson and the Great Big Comedy Night (I’m MCing), Joanna Trollope, The Great Bath News Debate with Intelligence Squared featuring Alain de Botton, Jon Snow and Jonathan Dimbleby, Germaine Greer.
All the rest of the tickets you can buy now if you sign up as a Friend of the Festival, from £20. Details here. Membership gets you an advance brochure mailing, priority booking and invitations to exclusive events.
All tickets go on general release on January 20. Enjoy!
New update Events for 2014 including The Night I Died at LOCO Festival on Sunday 26 January, I Laughed, I Cried at the Independent Bath Literature Festival at Komedia Bath at 4.30pm on Friday 7 March, the Great Big Comedy Night with Mark Watson, Mary Bourke and Gemma Whelan at 7pm on Friday 7 March and I Laughed, I Cried: The Show Version 2.0 at Cambridge WordFest on Saturday 5 April. Click here for all Events.
Above: discussion on Soviet propaganda posters at GRAD (Gallery of Russian Art and Design) on 22 January.
Really looking forward to Austentatious’ last performance of the year at the Leicester Square Theatre on 22 Dec.
Looking EVEN MORE forward to them performing for the first time in a Regency ballroom in Bath at the Literature Festival on March 8 — one of the fastest-selling of our Early Bird tickets. Click here to book. Here’s a great piece on them in The Bath Magazine.
Austentatious is my favourite thing at the Edinburgh Fringe — I’ve seen them three times now and every time is different to the last and more fabulous. You never see the same show twice because it’s genuinely improvised and made up on the spot. Although it’s so good that most people don’t believe that this can be true. But it is! It really is!
Tickets have gone on sale for my first programme as Artistic Director of the Independent Bath Literature Festival. This is the first time in Bath’s 19-year history that tickets for the Festival (28 Feb to 9 Mar 2014) have been released before Christmas. Last week ten names went on sale. Today tickets for Jennifer Saunders were released: you can buy them in time for Christmas if you sign up as a Friend of the Festival.
Membership as a Friend (from £20) also gives you priority booking on all our events from 2 January. The whole programme goes on general release from 20 January. Here’s more on Membership here: if you know someone in or around Bath or you fancy a weekend away in early March, it’s a great gift.
About Bath Literature Festival: 10 days, 180+ authors, 23,000 ticket sales. We’ve got literary, comedy and non-fiction names from around the world at our 2014 Festival, where the theme is Bliss. I’m performing in the Great Big Comedy Night on March 7 at Komedia: Live at the Apollo’s Mark Watson headlines.
STOP PRESS: 7/12/13: JENNIFER SAUNDERS NOW ON SALE EXCLUSIVELY TO FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL FROM NOW UNTIL 2 JAN.
This is the first time in Bath’s 19-year history that tickets have gone on sale in time for Christmas.
I took over as Artistic Director part-time at the Independent Bath Literature Festival earlier this year: it’s my job to put the programme together, with the help of our brilliant Literature Producer Judith Robinson (formerly of Cheltenham Festivals and British Council). We’ve had a lot of fun putting together these names with the aim of making the Festival as eclectic and varied as possible. The theme? Bliss, which has inspired a series of Bliss Lectures, exclusive eighteen-minute talks by writers and thinkers on the one subject they’re most passionate about.
Sat 1 March:
Germaine Greer on her much-anticipated memoir about her lifelong love affair with Australia
The Great Bath News Debate featuring Alain de Botton, Carl Honore, Jon Snow, Ritula Shah, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby: “Is News Ruining Our Lives?”
Henry Blofeld: the cricket legend at his unrestrained anecdotal best
Sun 2 March
Hanif Kureishi talks about his controversial new novel The Last Word
Wed 5 March
Claudia Roden: my favourite cookery writer
Friday 7 March
Rowan Williams: the former Archbishop of Canterbury delivers one of our unique Bliss Lectures: “Bliss is… Tolstoy.”
Mark Hix: award-winning restaurateur and chef talks about his life in food
Great Big Comedy Night featuring Mary Bourke, Gemma Whelan, Mark Watson. Viv Groskop MC.
Sat 8 March
Austentatious: Edinburgh Fringe sell-out sensation returns to Bath — my favourite comedy improv troupe
Sun 9 March
Joanna Trollope: the acclaimed novelist on why Jane Austen is her bliss
I am very excited to be coming to Mad̶chester! In fact I am, as they say, mad for it. This is all part of the Women in Comedy Festival, the first UK festival celebrating women in comedy with 100 events at 16 venues over the whole month. Featuring Lucy Porter, Zoe Lyons, Gina Yashere, Susan Calman and loads of amazing laydeez.
I’m at the King’s Arms in Salford doing the (FIVE STAR — YES!) show of I Laughed, I Cried with What the Frock (click here for the review of the Edinburgh show) at 7pm on Thursday 3 Oct. Tickets are £5. Or slightly less if you buy them in advance — save 60p! Go wild on the money you have saved!
And I’ll be at Waterstones Arndale at 12pm on Friday 4 Oct. This event is free. If I have enough time to make some, I might bring some brownies. (Cakes, not extra daughters. One Brownie in the house is enough.) I am also at Laughing Labia at Taurus Bar, Manchester, on Friday 4 Oct at 9pm. More on all this here.
I’ve just updated the listings (click here) for new events in Shoreditch (although that’s sold out, sorry), Brixton, Manchester and Aylesbury. Coming soon, details for: Teddington (Fri 11 Oct), Wimbledon (Sat 12 Oct), Soho (Mon 14 Oct), Sherbourne (Thurs 17 Oct) and Bath (Wed 23 Oct). I had better put some diesel in the car. *reminds self once again that it is diesel and NOT PETROL*
At the Curtis Sittenfeld launch tonight I had the GREAT EXCITEMENT of seeing I Laughed, I Cried on sale for the first time. (These are super-early copies.) Thank you so much to Lutyens and Rubinstein for that. If anyone is desperate to get hold of a copy before the end of the month, this is the only place in London you can get them until the week of June 27. They’re at 21 Kensington Park Road.
If you’re in Edinburgh late at night on Sunday 18 August or Sunday 19 August, come and see me at Funny Women Pop-Up Fringe!
Tickets have just gone on sale for the Edinburgh show of my stand-up memoir, I Laughed, I Cried: How One Woman Took On Stand-Up and (Almost) Ruined Her Life. It’s an intimate one-woman show about the story behind the book: what happens when you realised you haven’t done what you wanted with your life – and you need to do something to put that right, fast. Click here to buy tickets for Sun 18 Aug, 10.40pm, and Mon 19 Aug, 10.40pm, at Le Monde, Edinburgh.
Also happening at Edinburgh: Upstairs Downton: The Improvised Episode is on every day of the Fringe at Heroes of Fringe, The Hive, 5pm. I’ll be in it from 8 to 12 Aug and 16 t0 20 Aug inclusive. We’re also doing The Night I Died (comics talking about their worst gigs) at Bob’s Book Shop at 11pm on 8, 9 and 10 August. More details soon.