May 23 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
“COMPLETELY overawed by Jonathan Miller! What an amazing couple of hours! Thank you!” This was just one of the many delighted comments from members of Miller’s audience at the first event of the Words in Walden Spring 2013 Festival.
The iconic figure not only enthralled a packed house with his impassioned views on theatre, directing, and neuropsychology but also had them roaring with laughter at his perfect imitations of his former fellow Beyond the Fringe colleagues Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett.
“Ever since I watched The Body in Question as a young teenager, Jonathan Miller has been one of my heroes,” said Jo Burch, Words in Walden director. “It was an enormous privilege to be able to welcome him to Saffron Walden.”
Banned by the BBC from saying anything about the forthcoming episode of Town featuring Saffron Walden, Nicholas Crane gave instead a fascinating talk about the role played by towns in British society.
Internationally-renowned surgeon and former SAS medic Richard Villar spoke powerfully about the chaos the emergency medical teams face when they arrive in disaster zones.
“In his role as ‘fixer’, Richard is often the first person in after the buildings have fallen or the bombs have dropped” says Jo. “His audience will have a new respect for those we see on our TV screens working to restore some semblance of order in such unbelievably difficult conditions.”
In a witty and erudite talk, Professor David Crystal showed why his book, Spell it Out found itself above Fifty Shades of Grey in the bestseller lists, and he later signed copies of his English language text books for local sixth formers excited to meet their hero.
And architectural historian, Timothy Brittain-Catlin delighted his audience with a talk which covered, amongst other things, the ‘hissy fits’ that Pugin, the Houses of Parliament architect would throw if his clients didn’t follow his designs to the letter.
Still to come at the festival are Stanley Johnson, Bob and Barry Cryer, Call the Midwife screenwriter Heidi Thomas, and Pri’s Kitchen.
There are still a few tickets left for Johnson’s talk this Friday, ‘Where the Wild Things Were’, about his adventures as a passionate conservationist.
Tickets and further information at hartsevents.co.uk, on 01799 523456, at Harts Book Room on Shire Hill, or from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.