Michael Pennington’s career has spanned a wide variety of leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and the English Shakespeare Company. Alongside regular performances on the West End stage, on television and in film, he has also published successful books with Shakesperian themes. His acclaimed one man show, ‘Sweet William’, gives the audience an unprecedented portrait of William Shakespeare through dramatic characterization and insights.
Stephen Moss is one of Britain’s leading nature writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers. His TV credits include the BAFTA award-winning Springwatch, The Nature of Britain and Birds Britannia, while his books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds, Wild Kingdom and The Robin: A Biography. “The Secrets of Songbirds: the Robin, Wren and Swallow” features a series of readings and revelations from Stephen’s three ‘bird biographies’.
Lesley Smith has created another absorbing tale of a woman in history. Unlike most of the famous characters that Lesley portrays, Peggy Knight was an understated heroine, who lived in the shadows as a member of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. This young woman was a shorthand typist in 1944 at 24 years of age who after just two short weeks of training was parachuted into enemy-occupied France. Learn more of Peggy’s immense courage and patriotism as she looks back on her experiences.
Actor Carole Boyd is well known to the listeners of “The Archers” as the character Lynda Snell. Carole’s “Life’s a Soap Opera” provides insights not only into being one of radio’s most divisive characters, but also the multiple roles she has performed including voicing every woman and child for the programme “Postman Pat”.
Michael Mears is best known as an award-winning performer of his own original solo plays for theatre and radio. ‘The Mistake’ is a new play he has written for two actors, one British, one Japanese, to mark the 20th anniversary of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The play is a powerful and compelling drama about what happens when scientific discoveries unlock the awesome power of nature and “the genie is let out of the bottle”.
In “From Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles” historian, writer and presenter of Radio and TV documentaries, Tom Holland, tells the story of how we came to be what we are, and how we think the way that we do. Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC to the migration crisis in Europe today, this intriguing work explores the transformation that has taken place in our understanding of what it is to be human.
Max Keen has portrayed 14 historical characters at Bewdley Festival and his 15th sees his forensic historical eye turned upon Sir William Marshall 1146 – 1219. William Marshall, born during the 12th century civil war of King Stephen and Empress Matilda, found fame and riches on the brutal European tournament circuit as a knight. He faithfully served Kings Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and John, and served as regent for the young Henry III.
Allegri Quartet is Britain’s longest-running chamber music ensemble, sustained over six decades by successive generations of performers. The current quartet consists of Martyn Jackson, Rafael Todes, Dorothea Vogel and Vanessa Lucas-Smith.