A stellar collection of speakers came to the third Oldie Soho Literary Festival that ran from 25th September to 29th September. Intimate and relaxed, all 36 events took place at the Soho Theatre in London’s Dean Street, with speakers and audience members milling in the theatre bar before and after the shows.
The office may still be filled with bags, books, recording devices and banners but the festival is most definitely over for one more year and what a resounding success it was! Merlin Holland, Rupert Everett and Sir David Hare opened the festival with a gripping discussion about the betrayal of Oscar Wilde. Other highlights included Ruby Wax talking about her book Sane New World: Taming The Mind; Lionel Shriver, author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, on her new book Big Brother and Oldie editor Richard Ingrams joining forces with Ian Hislop to talk about the Private Eye and Oldie cartoon books.
There were lively debates – Owen Jones, Harriet Sergeant, David Boyle and Henry Hitchings thrashed out notions of class and power; a hilarious literary salon from Paul Burston & team Polari. Craig Brown & Friends joined the festival again with a side-splittingly funny performance of parodies: Tallulah Brown as Pippa Middleton imparted her knowledge of how to throw a celebration, ‘If your friends are vegetarian, best not serve them meat’; Jeanette Winterson (Jan Ravens) with her ‘beautiful brown, deep brown, soft brown, eyes’ asked, ‘what are you that makes me feel thus? Are you thus what makes me that?’ and AN Wilson as Simon Heffer gave our literary audience a lesson in how to write in his ‘Simon Heffer’s A-Z of the correct way as to which to write’.
There were one or two fraught moments, with one speaker lost in the streets of Soho and another stuck in traffic having cut her toe that morning, but with a navigator for the former and plasters for the latter, the shows went on!
Thanks for coming along and we hope to see you again next year!
Listen to recordings from Soho Literary Festival 2013 Click here