Big names for small village’s next LitFest

Barry Fryer

Barry Fryer

A stellar line-up of speakers is heading to Bedfordshire for the third annual Ampthill LitFest on July 16 and 17.

Comedy legend Barry Cryer, actor and dramatist Steven Berkoff, author and comedian Francesca Martinez and best-selling crime writers Mark Billingham, Martyn Waites and Hugh Fraser are among those taking part in the event, to be held at Connolly Hall, a new 400-seat venue in Ampthill.

Francesca Martinez

Francesca Martinez

The festival will feature workshops in addition to main stage sessions from morning until evening, with Saturday focussed on crime and comedy writing and Sunday devoted to exploring both adaptations and original writing for TV and film.

The weekend will be hosted by Robert Daws, star of BBC’s Poldark.

Highlights include a writing workshop and competition for adults and children, two Crime Panels, a full day of sessions with British and Hollywood writers and directors, including screenings of their work for both small and big screens, and a workshop opportunity for aspiring writers to develop book ideas with industry professionals.

There will also be an open-air piazza of gourmet street food and drink, in addition to a vintage tearoom and an art exhibition featuring local talent.

Robert Daws

Robert Daws

Festival co-chair Simon Michael said: “If you love reading or writing, if you want to write books or screenplays and learn how to reach your public, this is the festival for you.”

Tickets for individual sessions start at £7. Visit www.ampthillfestival.co.ukto book. Updates to festival plans can be followed on Twitter (Amplitfest), Facebook(facebook.com/amplitfest) and at the Ampthill Festival website.

Steven Berkoff

Steven Berkoff