Cheltenham Literature Festival: Who to see

Hillary Rodham Clinton may well be stealing the headline spot for this year’s Literature Festival, but there is definitely much more to see. From talks on British History, Arts and Politics to famous celebrities and public figures, the festival undoubtedly offers something for everyone. Here, we run down the events you do not want to miss:


Speeches That Shape the World – Philip Collins

Where: The Inkpot

When: Mon 9th Oct 7:45pm – 8:45pm

Cost: £8

Business and political speechwriter Philip Collins takes to the Inkpot stage to discuss what makes a great speech. His latest book When They Go Low We Go High praises the power of speaking publicly to protect democracy, serving as an important reminder of how speech can impact the world. Collins will be talking about his own experience in speechwriting and sharing the secrets of the trade, showing how a good speech can truly change the world; this man knows what he is talking about.



Paradise Lost: Study Day

Where: Town Hall, Pillar Room

When: Tue 10th Oct, 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Cost: £20 (incl. refreshments)

Celebrating the 350th anniversary of John Milton’s iconic poem, the Times Literary Supplement brings an afternoon presented by several Milton experts. Professor Emeritus at the University of Oxford John Carey hosts The Essential Paradise Lost with readings by Andrew Bate and Alice Vellender; here Carey explores aspects which inspired Milton’s work, whilst Joe Moshenska follows the influence that Paradise Lost has had on modern culture. Finally, Hannah Crawforth explores the art which has been inspired by the poem and its imagery. This event is a must-see for any fans of classic literature.


Kirstie Allsopp

Where: Town Hall, Baillie Gifford Stage

When: Tue 10th Oct 6:15pm – 7:15pm

Cost: £10

Tim Hubbard talks to British lifestyle icon Kirstie Allsopp on Tuesday night following her lunchtime appearance at the festival. Moving into the kitchen with new cookbook Kirstie’s Real Kitchen, Allsopp appears to cover all aspects of home life, following her work in Location, Location, Location and Kirstie’s Homemade Home. An inspiration to many homeowners, she will be sharing her top tips and discussing her new book.


Al Murray the Pub Landlord: Let’s Go Backwards Together

Where: The Times Forum

When: Thu 12th Oct 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Cost: £25

Point-blank publican Al Murray presents his new stand-up show Let’s Go Backwards Together, campaigning for a revamp of Great Britain and bring back what made it great in the first place. Murray stands up to the madness which has descended upon our country, in the midst of fortnightly bin collections and Brexit. His outrageous approach makes him an outspoken figure, providing a night of outstanding comedy, in Cheltenham for one night only.


Inua Ellams: An Evening with an Immigrant

Where: The Hive

When: Fri 13th Oct 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Cost: £8

Inua Ellams arrives in Cheltenham this year to perform his critically-acclaimed solo show recounting his unique story. Born in Boko Haram territory, Ellams left Nigeria for England aged 12. His story is both inspirational and ridiculous, following his escape from fundamentalist Islam and incredible lifestyle transformation leading to drinking wine with the Queen. Ellams’ show is hilarious and heart-warming, making it unmissable.


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