Monmouth Literary Festival 2015 – Monday 22nd to Friday 26th June

June 10, 2015

Book your tickets now!

There is something for everyone in this year’s public programme for the Monmouth Literary Festival, building on last year’s inaugural event. Buy your tickets now and be a part of a week that celebrates literature in all its forms. £5 a ticket with concessionary tickets for under 18s—£2. Tickets are available from Monmouth School, Monmouth Comprehensive, HMSG, Rossiter Bookshop, and Monmouth Library, also from the Savoy Theatre for two productions (see below).

2015 Programme

Monmouth Literary Festival Logo 2015Britain’s Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, is to headline Monmouth Literary Festival next month.

The Scottish poet and playwright will be performing with musician John Sampson at a public event hosted by the Savoy Theatre on Wednesday, June 24, at 6pm.

She is joined on the festival’s programme by a host of top writers, musicians and entertainers, who will be appearing at venues all over town between June 22 and June 26.

They include international pianist Nick Van Bloss, former Cambridge Blue and ex-Wales captain Eddie Butler, award-winning author Owen Sheers, and the UK’s most popular writing double act for young people, The 2 Steves.

The festival, organised by pupils from Monmouth School, HMSG and Monmouth Comprehensive, aims to celebrate literature in all its forms.

Download the full public programme here: Public Programme Flyer rev 3 (PDF – 695Kb)

For updates, follow the festival on Twitter @MonmouthLitFest


THE 2 STEVES: 6-7.30pm, Blake Theatre

Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - The 2 StevesSTEVE BARLOW is tall and hairy, STEVE SKIDMORE isn’t! They are known as THE 2 STEVES, the UK’s most popular writing double act for young people, specialising in comedy and adventure. They perform regularly across the world, in schools and libraries, delighting audiences of all ages. As part of the festival, they will be performing iHero – an interactive literary game show based on their iHero books. (Suitable for families with children 7+).
“Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore are one of the most entertaining acts you will ever see on the author circuit.”


Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - Nick Van BlossInternational concert pianist, Nick van Bloss, was bullied and mimicked at school because he suffered from Tourette syndrome. Eventually he discovered that playing the piano made him “tic-free” and he went on to have an international performing and recording career. Nick will be playing the piano and talking about his struggles with his condition and his book Busy Body, which is a remarkable insight into a much-misunderstood condition, allowing us into the heart and mind of a wonderfully witty and talented man.

* Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond his control, Nick Van Bloss has had to cancel his event which was due to take place at The Blake Theatre on Monday 22nd June as part of the Monmouth Literary Festival. For refunds, please contact the venue you bought any tickets from.



Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - Eddie ButlerFormer Cambridge Blue and ex-Wales captain Eddie Butler, is a highly respected rugby correspondent and Monmouth School old boy. Knowledgeable, witty and erudite, he is The Observer’s chief rugby writer, and BBC 1’s international rugby commentator, whilst he also makes regular appearances on BBC Wales’ rugby program Scrum V. The Greatest Welsh XV Ever was published in 2011 and was a bestseller that Christmas. Eddie will be talking about his novel The Head of Gonzo Davies, an affectionate and humorous story about an ex-Welsh rugby international who is invalided out of the professional game but returns to his struggling village club, little knowing that he is embroiled in a darker more troubling world.


Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - The Suitcase Theatre CompanyAn enchanting collection of witty music and skits about the Bard. Devised for, and first performed by, the Royal Shakespeare Company, this show has been a hit with audiences all over the world. It includes songs and sketches by Alan Bennett, Noël Coward, Stephen Sondheim, Fry and Laurie, Monty Python, Victoria Wood and many more.Tickets exclusively from the Savoy Theatre



carolMesmerising words and atmospheric music combine in this collaboration between Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and musician John Sampson. The first female, Scottish Poet Laureate in the role’s 400 year history, Carol Ann Duffy’s combination of tenderness and toughness, humour and lyricism, has won her a very wide audience of readers and listeners. John is an Edinburgh-based professional musician, composer and actor. (Followed by a book signing).Tickets exclusively from the Savoy Theatre



Meet the Authors is a joining of friends to discuss their books, the role of mentorship and the different ways to get into creative writing. Questions will be welcomed in what will be an entertaining and intimate afternoon.

Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - Julia GregsonJulia Gregson has two passions in life, writing and horses. She is an international journalist and award winning short story and novel writer. Her most recent book, Jasmine Nights was described by Woman and Home as “Exotic, decadent, dangerous and terrific storytelling”. East of the Sun was “without doubt one of the most simply and profoundly enjoyable books to ever win the (Prince Maurice) prize.” – Sebastian Faulks.

Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - Abbie RossAbbie Ross moved from London to North Wales aged two and lived there until her family moved to West Gloucestershire when she was twelve. She has a Psychology degree from Cardiff University and worked for Aardman Animations as a senior commercial producer. Abbie is launching her first novel, Hippy Dinners: A memoir of a rural Childhood which has been described as “an absolute joy … It is both sweetly moving and killingly funny.” Abbie was educated at HMSG and now lives in Bristol.

Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - Christopher WaklingChristopher Wakling has published six novels. His most recent book, WHAT I DID is ‘Horribly plausible … brilliantly captures parent-child relations in the raw’ – The Independent; ‘Gripping, hilarious, tender and a whole lot more, this is, without doubt, one of the books of the year’ – Daily Mail. He is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow, teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and Curtis Brown Creative, and is a regular contributor of travel journalism to the national press.


Monmouth Literary Festival 15 - Owen SheersAward-winning author, poet and playwright Owen Sheers introduces his new novel, I Saw A Man, being launched at the Hay Festival. Owen’s first novel, Resistance, was translated into ten languages and adapted into a film. The Dust Diaries, his Zimbabwean non-fiction narrative, won the Welsh Book of the Year. His awards for poetry and drama include the Somerset Maugham Award for Skirrid Hill, The Hay Festival Poetry Medal and the Welsh Book of the Year for Pink Mist and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for his play The Two Worlds of Charlie F. He is Professor in Creativity at Swansea University.

A big thank you to our sponsors: Savoy Theatre, The Nimbus Foundation, Book Trust, Monmouth Town Council, Monmouth Rotary Club, Shire Hall, NUT, Goethe Institut, Blake Theatre, Rossiter Books, Monmouth Town Council, Border Association for Language Learning, Monmouth Comprehensive Friends Association.