Play on Words Festival

Type:Literary Events

Palace Theatre, Palace Avenue, Paignton, Devon, TQ3 3HF

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Play On Words Festival, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Devon

About

Lovers of books and writing will enjoy our third annual literature festival, taking place throughout our beautiful theatre. Hear about the topics that have inspired local writers to put pen to paper and try your hand with a creative writing or writing family history workshop. Choose to book a single ticket or get one free when you buy two talks as part of the literature festival. Day tickets and festival tickets are also available for talks (offer does not include workshops).

Thursday 25 April 2024

10.30am-11.30am: Devon History Matters with Dr Todd Gray (Auditorium)

Only by examining the past can we hope to grasp the nature of modern society and anticipate the future. In this far-reaching lecture Dr Gray calls upon more than forty years of unparalleled archival work which has resulted in some fifty versatile and highly-original books on Devon. He will demonstrate how the discovery of previously unknown documents has significantly altered how we view Devon’s past and will reveal others that challenge our assumptions about ourselves and the past. Click here to buy tickets.

12pm-2pm: Exploring and Writing Your Family History workshop with Alison Huntingford (Stage Left)

This will be a participatory workshop with the chance to look at elements of your own family history and think about the most interesting parts to follow up. The workshop, with historical fiction author Alison Huntingford, will look at census records, certificates of births, marriages and deaths, institution records and more to create a rounded picture of one particular ancestor.  Click here to buy tickets.

12.30pm-1.30pm: Mothers of the Mind with Rachel Trethewey (Auditorium)

Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie and Sylvia Plath are three of our most famous authors, this talk explores the story of the remarkable mothers who shaped them. Born and educated in Torquay, Rachel Trethewey read History at Oxford University, where she won the Philip Geddes Prize for Student journalism. After working for the Daily Express, The Daily Mail and Westcountry Television, she did a PhD at Exeter University. She has written four non-fiction books. Click here to buy tickets.

2.30pm-3.30pm: History Tours of Torquay with Phil Badcott (Auditorium)

Local historian Phil Badcott provides an entertaining and informative talk using digitised magic lantern slides from the Torquay Museum pictorial archive for a virtual circular tour of Torquay including the Museum, the Strand, Seafront, Cockington, Chelston, Watcombe and Meadfoot with lots of fascinating photos and historical facts. Click here to buy tickets.

7.30pm-10pm: Enid Blyton – Noddy, Big-Ears & Lashings of Controversy (Stage Left)

Everybody of a certain age has read an Enid Blyton book. She was loved by children but vilified by the BBC, teachers, critics and librarians. She sold more than 600 million books, despite being banned by the BBC, libraries and schools. She was accused of many things including being a racist.  Her love-life was interesting and she had numerous affairs including with her children’s nanny. She died of Alzheimer’s in 1968 aged 71, mourned by millions of readers. Liz Grand (previous shows ‘The Second Best Bed’, ‘Where Is Mrs. Christie?’ and ‘Mrs. Churchill – My life With Winston’) plays this remarkable and controversial woman and brings you her story. An On a Role Theatre Company production. Click here to buy tickets.

7.30pm-10pm: Bijou Theatre Productions presents Gaslight (Auditorium)

Bijou Theatre Productions bring a classic Victorian thriller to our stage, a dark tale of a marriage based on deceit and trickery, and a husband committed to driving his wife insane in order to steal from her. The suave and confident Jack Manningham appears to live a comfortable life with his wife Bella. But a quiet malevolence and casual misogyny lurks beneath the surface.  He is slowly, deliberately driving his wife, Bella, insane. He has almost succeeded but as Bella begins to doubt her own sanity, help arrives in the form of a former detective, Rough, who believes Manningham to be a thief and murderer. Click here to buy tickets.

Click on this link for the full programme of talks and workshops taking place on Friday 26 April.

Friday 26 April 2024

10am-11.30am: Creative Writing Taster Session with Chris Woodhouse (The Prop Store)

This free ‘taster’ workshop with Chris Woodhouse is for adults who would like to explore their interest in creative writing. It is suitable for beginners who would like to try out and build on their skills as well as those who already enjoy writing for pleasure. Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance.  Please note that the workshop taster will take place in The Prop Store and there are several steps to access this space. Click here to book your free place.

10.30am-11.30am: Daughters of Devon with Rosemary Griggs (Auditorium)

With a unique blend of theatre, history and re-enactment which draws on extensive research into 16th century Devon Rosemary will introduce her Daughters of Devon series of historical novels and her new book The Dartington Bride. Historian, author and speaker Rosemary Griggs has been researching Devon’s history for years. She tells the stories of the forgotten women — the women beyond the royal court; wives, sisters, daughters and mothers who played their part during the tumultuous Tudor years: the Daughters of Devon. Her first novel A Woman of Noble Wit, tells the story of Sir Walter Raleigh’s mother. Genre: Historical fiction set in 16th century Devon. Click here to buy tickets.

12.30pm-1.30pm: Readings by the Resident Palace Theatre Creative Writing Group (The Prop Store)

The resident Creative Writing group at the Palace Theatre led by tutor, Chris Woodhouse present a series of short readings. The group meet regularly on a Wednesday morning as part of the ongoing Write Time Write Place creative writing series, where they try out and build on their creative writing skills, writing for pleasure in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.
Chris Woodhouse has taught in and managed Adult and Community Learning, as well as having devised and run numerous literary workshops and creative writing courses throughout her twenty five year, successful career. Click here to book your free place.

12.30pm-1.30pm: Romance with Mary Georgina De Grey (Auditorium)

Writers are in the unique position of being able to reflect on society and investigate its evolution. The romantic novel, revealing the changing dynamics of relationships, reaches a wide public. Mary Georgina will use published novels to show its importance. Genre: Romance. Click here to buy tickets.

7.30pm-10pm: Bijou Theatre Productions Gaslight (Auditorium)

Bijou Theatre Productions bring a classic Victorian thriller to our stage, a dark tale of a marriage based on deceit and trickery, and a husband committed to driving his wife insane in order to steal from her. The suave and confident Jack Manningham appears to live a comfortable life with his wife Bella. But a quiet malevolence and casual misogyny lurks beneath the surface.  He is slowly, deliberately driving his wife, Bella, insane. He has almost succeeded but as Bella begins to doubt her own sanity, help arrives in the form of a former detective, Rough, who believes Manningham to be a thief and murderer. Click here to buy tickets.

Click on this link for the full programme of talks and workshops taking place on Saturday 27 April.

Saturday 27 April 2024

10am-11am: Storytelling and Crafts Workshop for Children with Clare Helen Welsh (The Prop Store)

Suitable for children aged between 3yrs and 8yrs. Clare is a former teacher, now award-winning children’s author, from Torbay. She has published over 40 books and has more publishing in the next few years. When Clare isn’t writing stories, she is inspiring children to write their own. Clare loves all opportunities to meet and inspire young readers. Come along for some Saturday morning fun with thrilling storytelling and craft activities. Genre: Storytelling and Crafts for Children. Click here to buy tickets.

10am-11am: Mindfulness in Fiction with Abigail Yardimci (Stage Left)

How mindful stories help us grow. Author of contemporary, uplifting fiction, Abigail Yardimci, will speak about the themes of mindfulness in her stories and how they are central to the growth and development of the characters. The talk will include a mini mindfulness meditation and compelling readings from her books including the latest release, My Little Ramadan. Genre: Women’s Fiction. Click here to buy tickets.

10.30am-11.30am: In Conversation with Adam L. G Nevill (Auditorium)

Adam L.G Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is an author of horror fiction. Of his novels, The Ritual, Last Days, No One Gets Out Alive and The Reddening were all winners of The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel. He has also published three collections of short stories, with Some Will Not Sleep winning the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection, 2017. Imaginarium adapted The Ritual and No One Gets Out Alive into feature films and more of his work is currently in development for the screen. In conversation with Martin Thomas, who has lived in the local area for over 20 years, and has worked for different organisations including the Heritage Fund, Arts Council and National Trust and is a trustee of the Agatha Christie Festival. Genre: Horror Fiction. Click here to buy tickets.

12pm-1pm: Wild Swimming Adventures with Matt Newbury and Sophie Pierce (Stage Left)

Join Matt Newbury and Sophie Pierce, the authors of the best-selling Wild Swimming Walks series, as they take you on an aquatic journey through the South West’s most beautiful places. They’ll be talking about their many adventures – from the sublime to the ridiculous – and showing a series of stunning images which celebrate the beauty of immersing in Britain’s incredible watery landscapes. They will also be chatting about their latest publications – Wild Swimming Torbay and Wild Swimming Walks Exmoor and North Devon. Genre: Travel Writing. Click here to buy tickets.

12.30pm-1.30pm: Why do readers love psychological thrillers? with Susan Wilkins (Auditorium)

Susan Wilkins is a television writer turned novelist, writing crime thrillers that dig deep into human psychology.  After a degree in Law and a stint as a journalist, Susan wrote for television for twenty-five years. She created the pioneering BBC detective drama South of the Border and has over 130 broadcast credits to her name including Casualty and Holby City, Heartbeat, Coronation Street and Eastenders. Susan’s debut novel, The Informant, was published in 2014, and since then she has been delighting readers with gripping thrillers you won’t be able to put down. Genre: Crime Thrillers. Click here to buy tickets

2pm-3pm: Self-publishing with DCR Bond (Stage Left)

Self-publishing my first book: what I learned from that experience. DCR Bond (Debbie) was born in London, but grew up Jamaica, then Zambia, and
dimensions of this international upbringing feature in her writing. In this fascinating talk she will cover many topics including learning the craft of novel writing; from story to manuscript, writing for market not just yourself, submitting to agents and much more. Genre: Women’s Fiction. Click here to buy tickets

2.30pm-3.30pm: Love, Loss and Landscape with Sophie Pierce (Auditorium)

How do we survive the death of those we love and find joy after bereavement? In 2017, Sophie Pierce’s son Felix, who was 20, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Sophie’s memoir, The Green Hill: Letters to a Son, explores the huge impact of this loss, but it is also about renewal, hope, and the restorative power of the natural world. Effectively a love letter to Devon, the book celebrates the beauty of wild landscapes including Dartmoor, the Torbay coast, and the River Dart, and explores the solace they can give. Genre: Memoir, Travel Writing. Click here to buy tickets

4pm-5pm: Total 50s with Don Evitts (Auditorium)

Author Don Evitts returns to the Palace to present another one of his time machine talks.  This time he goes back to the 1950s. It’s a light hearted whistle-stop talk of music, humour and memories of those times and based around book 1 ‘From Copper Tops to Mop Tops’ of Don’s 3-part self published autobiographies. Don will also take questions after the talk on how and why he came to write the books in the first place and pass on any advice to budding authors that are thinking of going down this path! His books have gone on to inspire others, which has led to the British Heart Foundation getting in touch to feature his story in their magazine ‘Heart Matters’ under the title –  ‘Life Doesn’t Have to End after a Heart Attack’, and it doesn’t, he’s here to prove it! Genre: Popular Culture. Click here to buy tickets

7.30pm-10pm: Bijou Theatre Productions Gaslight

Bijou Theatre Productions bring a classic Victorian thriller to our stage, a dark tale of a marriage based on deceit and trickery, and a husband committed to driving his wife insane in order to steal from her. The suave and confident Jack Manningham appears to live a comfortable life with his wife Bella. But a quiet malevolence and casual misogyny lurks beneath the surface.  He is slowly, deliberately driving his wife, Bella, insane. He has almost succeeded but as Bella begins to doubt her own sanity, help arrives in the form of a former detective, Rough, who believes Manningham to be a thief and murderer. Click here to buy tickets.

 

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Opening Times

Play on Words Festival (25 Apr 2024 - 27 Apr 2024)

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