Towersey prepares to get ‘Lit Up’

• Spread The Word programme announced
• Storytelling, poetry, live literature, workshops, ‘pop up’ sessions, and more…

Towersey 2013 ‘Word Wrangler’ Debs Newbold

Towersey Festival is preparing to be ‘lit up’ this August Bank Holiday with the arrival of Spread The Word.

Part of the Oxfordshire festival’s Beyond The Music strand, which also includes theatre, visual arts and a range of workshops, Spread The Word presents a range of literature, poetry, and comedy performances and workshops at venues across the festival site.

Former Towersey Festival Resident Writer Paul ‘Shez’ Sherreard will be joined by Esther Poyer, David McGrath and Cherry Potts, plus Towersey 2013 ‘Word Wrangler’ Debs Newbold, and Thame lad Tom Banks for a range of activities and events.

These include storytelling for grown-ups and late night poetry at a special Live Lit night on Saturday (24 Aug), a series of surprise ‘pop up’ sessions in the Ceilidh Tent, Big Club and Village Hall, plus a range of workshops filled with tips and tricks for aspiring, emerging and experienced wordsmiths.

In addition, there’s also an Open Mic Night, where all writers inspired by the workshops and performances over the weekend can share their work in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

“We’ve very pleased to bring together such an acclaimed and experienced group of storytellers, poets, writers and performers,” says Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap. “Shez was our resident festival writer for 2011 and 2012, while Deb’s was voted one of the Top 10 Towersey artists by festival attendees last year – the first time we’ve had a spoken word artist in our Top 10.”

Towersey Festival runs from Thursday 22 to Monday 26 August 2013 at Towersey, Oxfordshire. Headline acts include The Blockheads, The Unthanks, Bellowhead’s Spiers and Boden, Show Of Hands, Home Service, featuring War Horse composer John Tams, and Swiss cajun punk trio Mama Rosin. Day tickets begin at £10, with full five-day festival tickets from £55. Under 5’s free. Camping and concessions available. Discounts for Towersey and Thame residents.

For further information and to book tickets, call 023 8071 1818 or see: 

About The Writers & Wordsmiths: 

Esther Poyer
Esther writes and performs poetry and fiction from a rich Guyanese legacy, alongside the imagery and every day experience of the UK. Born and bred in a working class area of London in the 1980’s, she draws on her emotional responses to a tapestry of experiences, familiar relationships and unfamiliar environments. Esther tells the stories and poems that are otherwise hidden from view – her compelling and absorbing work inspires people to listen to and relate to one another.

David McGrath
David’s work is, as he puts it, for pubs and crowds that want a laugh. Last year David rode a rickshaw around London and collected stories about the people he met and the places he took them to. He then cycled the rickshaw through France and took a ferry to Dublin from Cherbourg, collecting stories and camping as he travelled. This year he put the stories all together into a collection that will form the basis of his live performances at Towersey.

Cherry Potts
Cherry is a writer and performer of short stories and flash fiction. Her work crosses a wide range of genres: from fantasy and science fiction, to historical and children’s stories. Recently, Cherry has started work on a theatre piece which explores her love of music and words – she sings in her local community opera chorus, and various folk choirs. Cherry has also launched her own publishing imprint, Arachne Press.

Paul (Shez) Sherreard - Spread The WordPaul ‘Shez’ Sherreard
Hailing from Thame, Oxfordshire, Shez is a poet and a writer-performer of flash fiction and nanofiction (very short, and very very short, stories; genres which suit Shez amazingly well because of his lack of writerly work ethic). He is a lively and experienced workshop leader – regularly running sessions with a range of writers from different community backgrounds and with a wide spectrum of skills and experience. Shez was Writer in Residence at Towersey for 2011 and 2012, and was also a Resident Poet for Guy’s Hospital from 2008 – 2011. He is now developing a nanofiction residency with Guys Hospital, as well as working on three screenplays, two books and a collection of poetry. Sometimes.

Debs Newbold
Towersey Festival’s Resident Word Wrangler, back by popular demand after her appearance in Towersey Festival 2012’s Top 10 poll of artists – the first spoken word artist to do so. Debs is a dynamic and unforgettable performer with a growing international reputation. A contemporary teller of traditional folktales, original stories and Shakespearean epics alike, her style is unique and has seen her captivate The Wales Millennium Centre, sell out (twice) at the Hay Literary Festival and lead 200 grown adults into mischief at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Described as “a whirlwind, flying the flag for storytelling” (fRoots), Debs is a performer with one foot in tradition and the other pointed firmly at the horizon. Her repertoire stretches from medieval folk tales and ancient legends to urban myths and encounters with 21st century barstool philosophers, all delivered in an authentic and defiantly modern voice.

Tom Banks
Tom has mainly worked in the theatre throughout his adult life, running a small company called the Network of Stuff with friends and making up and telling stories to young people and adults. He has also worked with the acclaimed children’s theatre company Tall Stories, devising and performing in shows such as The Gruffalo and Them With Tails all over the world. As well as all this he has worked as a question writer for TV quiz shows, a Tudor huntsman, an ineffectual bookseller, a youth theatre director and, a long time ago, as a secret shopper for a Trading Standards department, with a camera in his backpack and a keen sense of justice. Raised in Thame, Tom now lives in London.

Thursday 22 August to Monday 26 August 2013
Towersey Festival
Thu 22 Aug:
The Blockheads, The Gloworms
Fri 23 Aug: The Unthanks, Orkestra Del Sol, Vin Garbutt, Dan Walsh, Manière des Bohémiens, Vamm
Sat 24 Aug: Show Of Hands, Martin Simpson, Gas Mark 5, Lucy Ward, Moulettes, Manière des Bohémiens
Sun 25 Aug: Home Service, Mama Rosin, Martin Carthy & Eliza Carthy, Nidi d’Arac, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, Banquet of Boxes, Roy Bailey, Polkaworks
Mon 26 Aug: Spiers and Boden, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, Roy Bailey, The Poozies, Tyde, Lisbee Stainton, James Delarre and Saul Rose, Tickled Pink
Various venues, Towersey, Oxfordshire OX9
Tickets: Full Festival
Admission only: adult £125; adult concession £104; youth £88; child £55.
Admission with camping: adult £145; adult concession £124; youth £108; child £55.
Under 5’s free.
Special Offer: Buy 10 adult full festival tickets for the price of nine.
Day Tickets
Fri 23 Aug: adult £30, youth £20, child £10.
Sat 24-Mon 26 Aug: adult £40, youth £30, child £20
The Blockheads: (Thu) adv. adult £17; youth/child £9; (£20/ £10 on the door).
Tel: 023 8071 1818
Twitter: @towerseyfesti 
Facebook: Towerseyfestival

NB: Concession = students, Job Seekers and those 60+. Proof of status must be shown on ticket collection. Youth = 12-17 yrs inclusive. Child = 5 -11 yrs inclusive. Under 5 = FREE.
Ticket prices above valid from 1 June 2013. Advance prices quotes unless stated.
Towersey and Thame Residents: Special price Full festival tickets are available to residents of Thame and Towersey. Please call 01629 827016 for discount details. This offer is only available by phone.

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