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The Cheltenham Literature Festival Programme Has Been Released!

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The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival has an absolutely unmissable line up for 2018, with a selection of the most remarkable writers, thinkers and performers of our time.

The theme of this year’s extravaganza is ‘East Meets West’ - meaning many of the events feature exciting, unprecedented insight into new kinds of literature, and a few incredible nods to the Studio Ghibli studio.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

It’s well worth the trip into Cheltenham to catch the events, which span over 10 days from 5th October to the 14th. Events open for bookings next month, prices ranging depending on what you’re doing and who you’re seeing. You can find the full list of events in the ‘what’s on’ section of their website, here.

Speaking with the Festival organisers, they describe how this year the world’s oldest literature festival boasts over 450 events and almost 1000 speakers. The programme spans the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside established literary legends, celebrated chefs, sporting icons and stars of stage and screen. Not only that, but there will be global street food and free pop-up events galore with festivities continuing late into the night.

The Festival starts in fine form, celebrating the appearance of Life on Earth narrator and all-round national treasure David Attenborough with 'David Attenborough’s Jungle Boogie', where you can pay homage to the world’s most beloved biologist in a themed jungle boogie rave. Complete with projections of nature visuals and samples of the 92-year old’s narration - what’s not to love?

You can join Romesh Ranganathan as he takes you through his journey from delivering his first stand-up set at the age of 9 to becoming one of the biggest names in comedy today, starring in shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats and A League Of Their Own.

The ‘East Meets West’ theme means you can take time to celebrate the powerhouse of Japanese animation in The Magic Of Studio Ghibli event. Film critic Mark Kermode heads a panel discussing the studio that produced classics Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro - and separate events feature a showing of new film ‘The Red Turtle’!

Dipping into current events, BAFTA and MOBO award-winning artist (and firm festival favourite) Akala returns to discuss his latest book Native, which looks into how his life has been shaped by race and class issues. Also discussed is the all-important question that plagues every student's mind, in 'Is A Degree Worth The Debt?', a panel including Tara Westover and Andrew Adonis who consider whether a degree offers good value for students - and it is not to be missed.

If you’re unwilling to part with too much money for the star-studded lineup, there are dozens of free events too: back for the third year is the popular Lit Crawl. Created in San Francisco in 2004 and now in Boston, Chicago, Sydney and beyond, this bar crawl with bookish content is a riotous evening getting drunk on words.

In the run up to the Festival keep an ear out for the award-winning Mostly Lit podcast, the Literature Festival’s first ever podcast-in-residence! If you follow them on social media (@mostlylit), they will be posting previews, interviews, behind the scenes info and much more.

Will you be there? Let us know!

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