Don’t miss the opportunity to come and see the University of Chester at the city’s annual literature festival, which returns next month with more than 60 events in total.
On Wednesday, October 12 at 5pm, Hilary Mantel and the Road to Wolf Hall is the topic of conversation, when Dr Eileen Pollard from the university’s department of English will be in conversation with Mike Poulton, who adapted Mantel’s Booker prize-winning novels for Royal Shakespeare Company stage production.
They will discuss key dramatic moments in both the BBC and RSC adaptations by considering the relationship between these scenes and the original text and the very different challenges of the two mediums for the leading actors, Ben Miles and Mark Rylance, respectively.
For those who are fans of Mantel’s work, this will prove an event not to be missed.
The Extraordinary Significance of January 1871 will be explored by Dr Simon Grennan of the university’s centre for narrative drawing on Monday, October 17 at 5.30pm.
In that key month, a stage adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novel Ralph the Heir garnered comments of indecency in the press.
It was quickly followed on stage by Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old, the first operetta of Gilbert and Sullivan. Cartoonist and actress Marie Duval published a comic strip in Judy, or the London Serio-Comic Journal.
Dr Grennan unfolds a fascinating series of connections that reveal the new entertainment industry of the late Victorian age.
Two of the most interesting figures of intellectual life in France – Edouard Louis and Geoffrey de Lagasnerie - will come under the spotlight on Tuesday, October 18.
New engagements in French literature and politics has been arranged by the University’s Department of Modern Languages, and will offer a unique chance to listen (in English) to the acclaimed novelists.
Edouard Louis‘ novels En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (The End of Eddy, 2017) and Histoire de la Violence have been translated into numerous languages while Geoffrey de Lagasnerie’s works are dedicated to sociological questions.
In 2015, both authors signed a manifesto for the re-foundation of the French Left.
On Friday, October 21, Dr Graham Atkin’s talk Staging Shakespeare, another of the University of Chester’s Shakespeare@400 events, will consider early modern staging of Shakespeare’s plays and how it was that Elizabethan and Jacobean acting companies created theatre.
Dr Atkin’s talk will look at three distinct areas: the fabric of the theatres; the body on the stage; and the sensory stage (sounds, smells, touch and taste, and spectacle).
Student actors from the university will assist in illustrating some of the material.
All the Uni at the Festival talks are free and take place at Chester Town Hall.
Most of the events take place at 5.30pm, apart from the lecture on Wednesday, October 12, which begins at 5pm.
In addition this year there is also the department of English’s visiting writing fellow Dr Francesca Haig’s workshop on Writing Dystopian Fiction on Sunday, October 9 at 11.30am.
This workshop at the Town Hall will discuss why authors and readers keep returning to dystopian stories and will push you to consider how you can make your own dystopian fiction striking and new. Tickets cost £12.50.
At the Chester Literature Festival Fringe, another Shakespeare@400 event takes place when English Literature lecturer Raymond Salter will speak on Shakespeare and Religion.
The lecture will focus on Shakespeare’s habit of thinking, on his philosophical and religious outlook, and whether that outlook can be understood in terms of definite religious categories to which he can be thought to adhere.
The event is presented by the Chester theological society on Thursday, October 20 at 7.30pm. It takes place at the Beswick Lecture Theatre, on the University’s Parkgate Campus in Chester. Entry costs £3 on the door (£1 for students).
Head of English at the University of Chester, Dr Sarah Heaton, who is coordinating Uni at the Festival, said: “The Uni at the Festival events are an exciting part of the annual Chester Literature Festival.
“There is always a rich diversity to what is on offer and this year is no exception from the significance of a single month in 1871, Hilary Mantel’s work, Shakespeare, and a new manifesto for French leftists.
“These talks are free, unique and always fascinating. I am also particularly pleased to see the department of English being involved in both the main events as well as the Fringe Festival. Come along and meet our experts who all want to discuss with you their literary and story-telling passions.”
The Chester Literature Festival 2016 is produced by Storyhouse and runs from October 8 to 23 at the Chester Town Hall and Library.
Full details about all the events taking place can be found at www.storyhouse.com/literature/