What’s On: Saturday 17th August

Emily Chappell

Cyclist and Creative Writer

11.00am, Bayley Room


Inscribing the landscape: The curious connection between cycling and writing

Emily Chappell is an author, adventurer, and an advocate for diversity in cycling. She spent several years as a cycle courier in London, before setting out to cycle across Asia, a journey that took her through some of the highest mountains, coldest winters, and hottest deserts the continent has to offer. Having discovered a penchant for cold weather, she has completed winter journeys across Iceland and North America, enduring temperatures as low as -40C.

More recently, she has distinguished herself in the field of long-distance self-supported bike racing, winning the Transcontinental Race across Europe in 2016, a feat that involved cycling nearly 4,000km in 13 days.

Alongside her adventures, Emily has worked constantly to help other people realise their own ambitions, however lofty or humble they might be. She is a popular public speaker, has put together numerous events, workshops, rides and training camps, and worked for three years as a director of The Adventure Syndicate, an organisation that inspires, encourages and enables people – especially women – to challenge what they think they are capable of.

Emily is an award-winning blogger, and her work has featured in Vogue, National Geographic, The Guardian, and almost every cycling publication there is. Her first book, What Goes Around, was published by Faber in 2016, and her second, Where There’s A Will is due out in November.

Patricia Davies, Jean Argles and Simon Robinson

Lancashire ‘Secret War’ Veteran Sisters, interviewed by historian Simon Robinson

11.00am, Academy Room


1,000 Days on the River Kwai

As we mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2, Two remarkable veteran Lancashire sisters, now in their nineties recall their father Colonel Cary Owtram O.B.E and his compelling secret war diary, kept hidden whilst British Camp Commandant of a Japanese POW camp.

Patricia (96) served as a WRNS Special Duties Linguist & Interceptor and former BBC producer, and her sister Jean (93) served in the FA.N.Y / S.O.E as a Code & Cipher officer in Cairo and Italy and were both involved in code-breaking during the war.

They are joined by historian Simon Robinson, who interviews them about their memories of the war, and their father’s experiences in the hands of the Japanese and his efforts to protect and improve the morale the POWs in his charge. This was all carefully recorded in his wartime diary and kept hidden under pain of death. Now almost 75 years on his historically important memoir has at last been published. This is a unique and rare opportunity to hear from war veteran sister’s who both signed the official secrets act and their war hero father who was later to serve as High Sheriff of Lancashire.

Patricia Davies was recently awarded Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur in 2019 for regnition of her role in the preparation for D-Day.

J.R.R Tolkien and Tales of Middle Earth

Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J.R.R Tolkien’s legendarium. His stories chronicle the struggle to control the world and the continent of Middle-earth: on one side, the angelic Valar, the Elves and their allies among Men; on the other side, the demonic Melkor or Morgoth and his minions, mostly Orcs, Dragons and enslaved Men. In the later ages, after Morgoth’s defeat and expulsion from Arda, his place was taken by his lieutenant, Sauron.

Join us as we explore Tolkien’s tales of Middle-earth through the ages, maps, languages and people.

Olivia Beirne

Novelist in Women’s Literature

11.45am, Long Room


In Conversation with Olivia Beirne

Olivia Beirne is a 26 year old writer, who previously worked in casting. She lives in Tulse Hill, London with her friends and their resident mouse, and grew up in Buckinghamshire. The List That Changed My Life is her debut novel and she is currently working on her second novel, due to be published in the Autumn.

Simon Callow CBE

Actor, Author and Director

1.00pm, Academy Room


Simon Callow is an actor, author and director. He studied at Queen’s University, Belfast, and then trained as an actor at the Drama Centre in London. He joined the National Theatre in 1979, where he created the role of Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. His many one-man shows include Tuesday’s at Tesco’s, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, Being Shakespeare, De Profundis, A Christmas Carol, Inside Wagner’s Head, Juvenalia and The Man Jesus.

He has appeared in many films including his one man version of A Christmas Carol, A Room with a View, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Phantom of the Opera, Viceroys House, and Hampstead.  Recent credits include Blue Iguana, Victoria & Abdul and The Man Who Invented Christmas.

 Simon’s recent TV credits include Dead Room, Henry Palmer in The Rebel, Death in Paradise, The Duke of Sandringham in the television series Outlander, Galavant and The Life of Rock With Brian Pern. He directed Shirley Valentine in the West End and on Broadway, Single Spies at the NT and Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, as well as the film of The Ballad of the Sad Café.

He has written biographies of Oscar Wilde, Charles Laughton and Charles Dickens, and three autobiographical books: Being An Actor, Love Is Where It Falls, and My Life in Pieces. The third volume of his massive Orson Welles biography, One Man Band was published in 2015; Being Wagner: the Triumph of the Will a biography of Wagner, was released in 2017.  Music is his great passion, and he has made many appearances with the LPO, the LSO and the LMP.

Winner of a record three National Book Awards and million copy bestselling author

Dr Martin Richardson

Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Durham and the architect of ‘Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion’

2.00pm, Long Room


Harry Potter: Reflections on a Literary Phenomenon

Triple Durham graduate, Martin Richardson is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Durham.  He is the architect of Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion, the first university module of its kind in Europe. As well as his writings and public lectures, Martin regularly gives interviews on the Potterverse to media outlets around the world.

A seed planted by a chance comment in Austria when he was describing Durham at a meeting sponsored by the EU led to Martin’s Magical Module.  Right from the start his interest in Potter was linked to its connections with the University.  A link made all the stronger when Durham Cathedral was used to film scenes for the first two films. It is also linked to aspects of his childhood: teachers in gowns; the importance of sport; houses; prefects; traditional food; steam trains; and even the weather!

Reading and re-reading; watching and re-watching; discussing and thinking about all things Potter with the Harry Potter generation, the idea of planning and teaching a module on the magical world grew.  Whilst the decision to open with a Sorting Ceremony in the Great Hall of Durham Castle proved inspired, it also brought with it the two-edged sword of global publicity.

Though initially only an idea, and fearful that the module might prove commonplace, over the past ten years it has become increasingly clear that the Potterverse is not only rich in potential, it is also rich in importance.  The moral messages embedded in and inspired by the text are deeply significant for us all.  Though initially dismissed by some as trite and derivative, the impact of the series is unprecedented; and as the module moves into its second decade, the time is right to reflect on this literary phenomenon.

Debbie Horsfield

English Theatre and Television Writer and Producer

3.00pm, Top Refectory


In Conversation with Debbie Horsfield

Debbie Horsfield was born in Eccles, Manchester and has a degree in English Literature from Newcastle University. She is a successful writer and producer, known for Poldark, Cutting It and The Riff Raff Element. She is married to former Stonyhurst pupil and actor Martin Wenner and they have four children together.

Debbie’s works include:

 Theatre: Red Devils, True Dare Kiss, Command or Promise, Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Television: Making Out, The Riff Raff Element, Born to Run, Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll, Cutting It, True Dare Kiss, All the Small Things, Poldark Series 1-5, Age Before Beauty.
Awards: Thames TV Writer’s Award, Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Nomination, 2 BAFTA Nominations (1993 & 2003), 3 RTS Nominations (1993, 1997, 2003), 2 Writer’s Guild Nominations (1998 & 2003), 1 Broadcast Nomination, 1 National TV Awards Nomination (2004), 1 BAFTA Audience Award (2016, Poldark).

Dr Adam Kay

Award-Winning Comedian and Best-Selling Author

3.00pm, Academy Room


This is Going to Hurt:

Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Award-winning comedian and best-selling author Adam Kay shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor in this “electrifying” (Guardian) evening of stand-up and music. The live show has sold out the Hammersmith Apollo, a major nationwide tour, a West End season, and the largest venue at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Intersperses horror stories from the NHS frontline with a catalogue of sublimely silly songs, and some blissfully brilliant wordplay’ ★★★★★ Mail on Sunday

Hilarious and heart-breaking’ Charlie Brooker

Blisteringly funny’ Jo Brand

The accompanying book, This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor has been a Number One Sunday Times bestseller for over nine months, has sold over a million copies in the UK, and is being turned into a major BBC series. This phenomenal book has been translated into 33 languages, is an international number one bestseller, and has won multiple awards including iBooks book of the year, Esquire Book of the Year and Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, and most recently won Book of the Year at the National Book Awards.

David Barnes

An international Emmy Award-winning filmmaker working in documentary and drama

4.15pm, Long Room


Dissecting the Film: The Art and Craft of Visual Storytelling

David is an International Emmy award winning filmmaker working in documentary and drama, producing emotionally engaging stories with cinematic production values. Recent credits include one hour documentaries; Young, Gifted & Broke for Channel 4 and For Folk’s Sake – Morris Dancing & Me for BBC4. David has a passion for analysing character driven narratives and understanding why they work – or don’t. He is the recipient of other accolades including a Prix Jeunesse, Japan Prize UNICEF Award, a Rockie and three Children’s BAFTA nominations.

Henry Jeffreys

Author of two books about drink: Empire of Booze and The Home Bar, and features editor of the Master of Malt blog

4.15pm, Bayley Room


 British History Told Through Booze

Henry Jeffreys worked in the wine trade and publishing before becoming a freelance writer and broadcaster. He specialises in drink and his work has appeared in the Spectator, the Guardian, the Oldie and Food & Wine magazine.

He has been on BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 and Monocle Radio.  He was a judge for the BBC Radio 4’s Food & Farming Awards and for the Fortnum & Mason food and drink awards in 2018.

His book Empire of Booze: British History through the Bottom of a Glass won Fortnum & Mason debut drink book 2017.  His second, The Home Bar, was published in October 2018.

He is currently working on his third book, The Cocktail Dictionary.

In conjunction with online drinks retailer, Master of Malt, who will be providing gin and port to try, join award-winning author Henry Jeffreys for a voyage through Britain’s rich alcoholic history.

Samantha Leach

Former Stonyhurst Pupil and English Teacher

4.30pm, Top Refectory


From Hogwarts to Hobbiton: A Musical Journey

Sam Leach is an English Teacher and former pupil of Stonyhurst, who had the privilege of studying under Dr Martin Richardson at Durham University where she opted for the famous Harry Potter module and then embarked on a dissertation on Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.

To see all tickets for the weekend, including tickets to the Old Chapel Museum please visit: https://www.seetickets.com/tour/stonyhurst-literature-film-festival