Theatre and Arts
Port Eliot Lit Fest
What could be more enjoyable than spending the weekend dancing, singing, writing, reading, listening, watching, directing and eating at the Port Eliot Lit Fest in St Germans, Saltash? Find out more about the event and how you can get involved...
Following a stunning weekend of sunshine and record audiences at last year's Port Eliot Lite Fest, the event returns this July with another celebration of books, art, film, fashion, performance and music.
Entertainment for all ages in the circus
The three-day event has gained a reputation for putting on a very different style of literary festival to any other in the country. Over the past five years, five stages have witnessed everything from hearing the new work of the nation’s best known authors to seeing them dj and dancing all night on the Bowling Green.
Now in its fifth year, the Lit Fest was an idea originally conceived by the Earl of St Germans and his wife Catherine, a writer and national journalist. Lord St Germans was the founder of the legendary Elephant Fayre festival which attracted a major following in the 1980’s.
Port Eliot audiences have been energised by Slam poetry on the Ha! Ha! Stage and puppet shows in the trees, they have dressed up in the Biba Tent in the Walled Garden and watched unseen films from internationally renowned filmmakers in the Film Tent. Every year the festival showcases many original site-specific works from international and local artists.
Swimming in the estuary
2007 will bring major literary voices such as Rosie Boycott (A Nice Girl Like Me, Batty Bloomers and Boycott, All for Love), William Dalrymple (In Xanadu, From the Holy Mountain), and Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Launderette) signed up to talk. Also appearing will be Hisham Martar, who has just won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for his latest book, In The Country of Men.
The 2007 event will see a special showcase of surfing literature at the event. Two of the UK’s and US’ top surfing writers will be appearing for a lively debate. Top US surf journalist and ex pro surfer Jamie Brisick (writer/photographer from California whose work appears regularly in action sports magazines worldwide and author of two surf books. He is presently writing a memoir about his former life as a late ‘80s pro surfer and it is rumoured that this will lift the lid on the seedier aspects of a pro-surfer’s life on the road.
Andy Martin was born in London, teaches at Cambridge, and surfs in Hawaii. He is a former surfing correspondent to the Times and the Independent on Sunday and has recently published ‘Stealing the Wave’, a gripping story of a tragic bitter rivalry between two legends of the Hawaiian Waimea Bay big wave surfing world.
With the rare opportunity to camp in the grounds of one of the UK’s oldest stately homes, visitors can pitch their tents in hundreds of acres of 18th –century parkland landscaped by Repton. Over the last five years festival goers have flocked to the Port Eliot Lit Fest to see featured writers and presenters such as Ralph Steadman, David Mitchell, Hanif Kureishi, Barbara Hulanicki, Gavin Turk, Richard Benson, Louis De Bernieres, Ptolemy Dean and Martin Parr.
In addition, a whole host of new innovations means that hundreds of local children and adults will be getting involved and imaginative South West talent will be showcased alongside some of the greats of UK literature and performance.
With a programme of inspirational workshops (led by professionals) and performances from some of Cornwall’s most exciting young talent, visitors can expect live music, theatre, dance, poetry, puppetry and rap.
And for local aspiring authors, The Port Eliot Lit Fest will offer a unique chance to have their writing critiqued by a market-informed professional writer who has many years' experience. The Literary Consultancy, the UK's leading manuscript assessment service, will be on hand to offer engaged, constructive advice about what publishers are looking for, or to help those suffering from writer’s block.
Cornwall Film will also have a major presence on the 2007 site, showcasing the latest work by local filmmakers and one of the biggest successes of the 2006 Port Eliot Lit Fest will return in an even more imaginative form.
The fifth Port Eliot Lit Fest will be held at Port Eliot, St Germans, Saltash, Cornwall from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 July 2007.
last updated: 20/07/07