PERFORMANCE poet Tony Walsh took to the stage in the magnificent setting of the Church of St Mary in the Baum to bring the biggest Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival to a close on Monday (October 23).
Over the seven-day festival thousands of people watched top literary names that also included Jenny Eclair, Alan Johnson, Terry Waite CBE, Jessica Rankin and Mandasue Heller.
More than 1,550 tickets were sold – and more than 1,000 people attended un-ticketed events throughout the festival and warm-up shows earlier in October.
The festival proved a big hit, across all ages, with 15 sold out performances and big crowds across the week.
Comedian, author and Loose Women star Jenny Eclair kicked off proceedings on Tuesday, October 17, at the Parish Church of St Chad. Interviewed by BBC Radio Manchester presenter Becky Want, she spoke about her new book of short stories entitled ‘Listening In’.
Wednesday saw LipService - ‘Britain’s favourite literary lunatics’ - perform two sold out shows at the Touchstones Rochdale gallery space. Their new play, ‘Thrills and Quills – Jane Austen’s Life in Letters’, explores what the famous writer would have written if she had ever taken to Twitter.
Visual artist Jessica Rankin premiered a new series of drawings, paintings and embroideries inspired by the Parthenon Sculptures at the British Museum, as well as the complex relationship between a mother and daughter.
The event saw Rankin joined by writers Amy Kay, Sarah Howe and Brenda Shaughnessy, who gave their own poetic interpretations of her work.
Councillor Janet Emsley hosted an afternoon tea at Rochdale Town Hall alongside best-selling author Rosie Goodwin - one of the top 250 most-borrowed library authors in the UK.
On Friday evening at The Curtain Theatre, Terry Waite CBE discussed the five years he spent as a hostage in Beirut and his book about that time. Out of the Silence, a moving sequence of poems and reflections, tells the story of his ordeal.
One of the UK’s best loved crime writers kicked off Saturday at Number One Rochdale.
Warrington-born Mandasue Heller has been called ‘the Martina Cole of the north’. She discussed her 15th novel in as many years - a thriller
●●The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre hosted a day of fun family activities on Saturday, including musician Adam Perrott
●●Performance poet Tony Walsh read some of his b
●●Author Guy Bass brought his interactive Spynosaur show to the Crown Oil Arena