Poet Pam Ayres and former Chester MP Gyles Brandreth are just two of the acts lined up for this year’s Malpas Arts and Literature Festival.
A packed programme of events has been announced for the fifth year of the popular event known as Malfest, including a special Downton Abbey feature with Jessica Fellowes, the niece of the show’s creator Julian.
As the author of three companion books on the subject, Jessica will speak in depth about the history of the show, how it’s made and the social history behind the lives depicted during the four-day festival which runs in various parts of the village from May 14-17.
Other highlights of Malfest include a Bishop Heber High School art exhibition, works by The Malpas Writers Group and an In Conversation with Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the Royal Family where he will reveal what everyday life was like at Buckingham Palace.
Fiona Midwood, one of Malfest’s organisers, said: “We are very excited to announce the lineup of this year’s festival and we have some top names to entertain audiences including Pam Ayres who needs no introduction; she will be performing her brilliant one woman show, and we are also very lucky to have Gyles Brandreth perform his super Edinburgh Fringe hit ‘Looking for Happiness’, which is clever, highly entertaining and not to be missed.
“We are also delighted to be putting on a village play this year, written by award-winning TV writer John Oakden. In it, local stars of all ages will be acting out ‘Malpas Tales at a Canter’ which is very loosely based on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The songs in it have been written by the multi talented Mervyn Stutter, to add even more wit and professional know how to proceedings!”
Elsewhere at the festival, The Vale of Clwdd Singers will be performing exquisite acapella harmonies, Nigel Daly will talk about his new book ‘The Lost Pre-Raphealite - The Story of Robert Bateman’, while music fans can enjoy performances from BBC’s Mark Radcliffe and his new band Galleon Blast, and London folk and roots band Police Dog Hogan.
A full list of performers and ticket prices are available on the Malfest which you can access by clicking here. Tickets are on sale now. Alternatively you can buy them from Pet Stop, The Cross in the village.