With speakers including Amartya Sen, David Nicholls, Tom Stoppard, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Wayne McGregor, Monty Don, Colm Tóibín, Peter Carey, Helena Kennedy and Maggi Hambling, this year’s festival of literature, art and ideas is a cultural cornucopia. Returning for its 26th year within the tranquil country home of the Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, the festival will once again bring internationally acclaimed writers and thinkers to the Sussex countryside. This year Bloomsbury has provided more inspiration than ever for various artforms, from a ballet to a series of BBC TV films. Charleston’s own first musical co-commission with Sussex based Rathfinny wine estate, pays homage to Virginia Woolf and Benjamin Britten. As well as the premiere of this new work, the Festival plays host to artists who have been inspired by Bloomsbury; from choreographer Wayne McGregor to BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Amanda Coe. During its 10-day run, the stellar line-up of events for 2015 will explore themes as old as Magna Carta and as modern as current fiction; as life enhancing as gardening and as important as freedom of expression; as historic as the Battle of Waterloo and as contemporary as phone hacking; as raffish as Bohemianism and as glamorous as front-row fashion; as magical as Alice in Wonderland and as magisterial as T.S. Eliot. Spanning theatre and the visual arts to literature and the law, as well as re-imagining Bloomsbury for the 21st century, programme highlights include:
Diana Reich, Artistic Director of Charleston Festival, comments: ‘Our canvas is especially broad this year: from Napoleon to Monty Don; from Magna Carta to brain surgery; from the Directors of the Serpentine Gallery to Antony Beevor and how we crossed the Rhine; from Alice in Wonderland to Suffragettes; from Tom Stoppard, our latter day Bard, to Michael Frayn’s Matchbox Theatre. An embarrassment of cultural riches.’ View the full programme with details how to book
Informal reading and discussion group, exploring Bloomsbury texts and themes. First Sunday of every month.
Melvyn Tan will perform alongside Joely Richardson and the Škampa Quartet
CRESSIDA BELL talks to her sister, Virginia Nicholson, about Charleston, her design work and curating ‘In Colour.’