Impressive Line up for Family Day at Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival

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This year’s annual three day Literary Festival at Chiddingstone Castle includes a special Family Day on Monday 1 May 2017 with popular children’s authors and some amazing theatre!

This year’s Title Sponsor of the Literary Festival will be Brooks Macdonald, an award winning company that specialises in providing investment management services across the UK and internationally.

On Family Day prize-winning author Piers Torday will take children on a journey to discover how he started writing and the real-life story which inspired his Last Wild trilogy. Piers’ award-winning stories take readers to worlds full of wonder, with a dash of danger.  

Acclaimed children’s book illustrator Pete Williamson will be exhibiting some of his illustrations from Stitch Head (by Guy Bass) and will illustrate each of the winning entries to our Short Story Competition whilst they are being read out by voiceover artist Rachel Sellers on Monday 1 May.

The popular Pericles Theatre Company will return with a musical performance of the classic children’s tale of The Ugly Duckling, taking place in the glorious setting of the Castle’s design award-winning Orangery.  Suitable for all ages, The Ugly Duckling is a new adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale about the cygnet born into a duck’s nest who is mercilessly teased by his siblings, and then begins his journey towards self-discovery. This performing company are much loved for producing work for children which simultaneously tickles the funny bone of grown-ups. This merry adventure draws every age, from babies to octogenarians.

Children over four can enjoy an interactive, magical storytelling adventure with Mr Dilly’s World of Wonder with Brave Knights, a beautiful princess and dragons!  

The Really Big Pants Theatre Company will put a fast, fun twist on traditional tales with their production of ‘Suddenly’.  Everyone can help with a special spell, ride on a flying carpet and battle some bad manners!

A performance by Sock Puppet Theatre ‘Socks do Shakespeare’ (suitable for children over 7) will have everyone howling at their Hamlet, roaring at their Romeo and Juliet and much more.  This comedy act must be seen to be believed, with hilarious songs, sketches, parodies and puns.

Comic Strip Art Masterclass.  Join Kev F Sutherland, writer and artist for The Beano, Marvel, Viz and many other comics, for 2 ½ hours of Comic Strip fun. Learn all the tricks of the trade and produce a comic containing a strip by every single person, a copy to take home, plus a caricature of everyone taking part. Suitable for children aged 7+.

There will be also be a star-studded line-up for adults and teenagers, including an appearance by best-selling historical novelist Conn Iggulden with an exclusive pre-publication preview of his latest book I, Dunstan; the story of a tenth century Archbishop of Canterbury who controlled the destiny of the next seven kings of England. Much loved for his slot on Radio 4’s Saturday LiveRev Richard Coles will be talking about his life as a broadcaster and vicar and his early years as a pop star. Popular presenter of BBC TV’s Coast Nicholas Crane, will take an epic geographical journey through time as he describes the making of the British landscape and especially the South-East of England.

There will be vintage food vans, a bar and organic coffee trikes, along with the Castle’s own courtyard tea rooms serving cakes, sandwiches and light lunches.

On Tuesday 2 May local schools are invited to join Lauren St John, the bestselling author of The White Giraffe series and the Blue Peter Award-winning mystery adventure series Laura Marlin, to hear how growing up with animals in Africa inspired her to write.

Meet A F Harrold, the hilarious poet and author of Fizzlebert Stump.  Bring your imagination to help find out what fun words can be! 

Local author of the What on Earth? Science Timeline Christopher Lloyd, will take pupils on an epic voyage through the story of inventions, with his giant wallbook and his technicolour coat of many pockets.

During the build-up to the event, children are invited to enter a Short Story Competition (two categories: age 7-9 and 10-13).  The winning entries will be read out at the festival on Bank Holiday Monday and winners will receive a signed copy by one of our children’s authors.

To see the full programme of events over 3 days or to book tickets visit

Tickets for each event on Sunday and Monday will be £12 for adults and £5 for children including entry into the Castle and Collections. A special ticket is available for £10 which allows entry to one event for both an adult and child.

Tickets for the school events on Tuesday will be £4 per student and are available for purchase directly from the Castle.

For further information about the Literary Festival contact Victoria Henderson:

Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD

T: 01892 870347   E:


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