Ready for the final festival weekend!
What a terrific festival we’re having! The city has been filled with the sound of applause, music and laughter since the first opening acts back on Friday 13 when we launched The Bath Festival 2022 with Party in the City.
Now, a week on, we’re well into our stride after dozens of concerts and talks and we’re now heading into the final weekend. It’s been great hearing people’s response to some of the conversations they’ve enjoyed and to see ticket sales snowballing as we go.
Do join us for more events from tomorrow. Here’s a quick round-up!
Step back into the 18th century Age of Enlightenment with award-winning biographer Daisy Hay, who will be at BRLSI on Queen Square at 3.30pm on Friday 20, She’ll be talking about her book Dinner with Joseph Johnson, focusing on the publisher who dined with the greats of the time, including Wordsworth, Coleridge and Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley). Also at BRSLI, at 6pm tomorrow, Friday, Thomas Harding (White Debt) and Kojo Koram (Uncommon Wealth: Britain and the Aftermath of Empire) will be considering Britain’s role in slavery and decolonisation.
Take a seat in the beautiful gallery at the Holburne Museum, surrounded by paintings, and enjoy any of five events taking place on Friday and Saturday. This is a really special place to enjoy festival events. Author Peter Fiennes will be talking about his journeys through Greece in search of the ancient gods and myth. (Fri, 6pm). Violinist Jonian Ilias Kadesha is holding an hour-long recital in the gallery on Saturday morning from 11am and after lunch two award-winning contemporary novelists, Claire Fuller (Unsettled Ground) and Sarah Moss (The Fell) will be discussing their work and its themes. Later on Saturday author William Keeling will be introducing his entertaining new series of satirical historic novels set in Bath, The Gay Street Chronicles. The last festival event at the Holburne is a festival favourite with Judith Robinson and Scott Pack as they take us around in the world in 10 books.
Get your party vibe on for a top evening of laughter (and maybe a few tears) tomorrow night (Friday) at The Forum from 7.30pm, with five funny women presenting Women on Top. It will be a lively look at womanhood. There’s an interval and the bar will be open. The fun continues at Komedia for a gig with Mad Dog Mcrea.
Classical music lovers are in for some real treats this weekend. We are so lucky to host US pianist Jeremy Denk (at St Swithin’s Church, 2.30pm Friday) and the Consone Quartet at the same venue on Saturday evening. We have had visitors to Bath this week saying how much they enjoyed The Tallis Singers in Bath Abbey and we think they will also enjoy these concerts in another lovely Bath church.
At Bath Abbey you can witness a percussion epic on Friday (7.30pm) as Colin Currie and his group raise the roof with an energising hour-long performance. Bring a young person for an experience they won’t forget – don’t forget there’s a ticket discount for under 26s.
And we’ve another musical special on Saturday night at The Forum. Public Service Broadcasting put on a show of music and film to give audiences an absorbing experience you won’t get from anyone else. A one-off!
There are a dozen (yes 12!) more events to go to on Saturday. Join Adam Rutherford (Control) and David Olusoga (Black and British) at Komedia (10am) for an enlightening discussion on eugenics. Podcaster Elizabeth Day will be talking about her acclaimed new novel Magpie (10am Walcot House) and there will be a reflection on working class writers’ experiences with Mark Hodkinson (No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy) at The Forum Ballroom at 11am.
Comedian Phil Wang, witty, wry and honest, will be talking about his life – he went to school in Bath – at Komedia on Saturday (1pm)
There are two American writers visiting Bath on Saturday to talk separately about two of the big issues of our times. Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott (Invisible Child) will be talking about child poverty while Torrey Peters (Transition, Baby) will be joining Elizabeth Day to talk about trans lives and love in the 21st century.
There will be a BSL interpreter at BRSLI on Saturday, 4pm, for a session with acclaimed and award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus as he reads from his collection, All the Names Given. Also at BRSLI, at 1.30pm on Saturday, war reporter Toby Harnden (First Casualty) will be in conversation with Greg Ingham about the war in Afghanistan.
Discover debut writers at The Forum in the ballroom. You’re welcome to bring a coffee up from the coffee shop on the ground floor. Join writer Joanna Nadin as she chats to two new novelists, Jendella Benson and Lizzie Damiola Blackburn. Later in the day join Ione Gamble, author of a memoir Poor Little Sick Girls which resonates with many people’s experience of living with chronic illness.
The festival has been delighted to be able to bring audiences into venues both familiar and new to them. Alongside the majesty of Bath Abbey and the chandelier-hung Assembly Rooms, we’ve set up salons for debate in BRSLI, intimate spaces for music and talks in the Holburne Museum, while talks about books and reading have buzzed away in Mr B’s bookshop and Persephone Books. Get yourself a ticket to an event at Walcot House. At 3pm on Saturday afternoon settle down with Bellie Mackie for a little light murder, as she talks to Anna Whitehouse about her dark and funny new novel, How To Kill Your Family.
We’ve had a blast and judging by many of your faces as you’ve left events, you have too! We’re happy to report that some events sold out – including Kat Farmer’s talk on fashion and styling happening at Walcot House tomorrow. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out next festival on tickets, sign up to be a Bath Festival member and get first dibs on tickets in future!
We’re already booking some big names in children’s books for our autumn Bath Children’s Literature Festival. Parents and grandparents who are festival members will get priority booking.
Tickets for all these events from thebathfestival.org.uk, or tel the Box Office on 01225 463362. Or you can simply hold your phone up to any of our QR codes you can find on festival adverts on bus shelters and local magazines.