WordPlay Offers Another Great Programme

by Alastair Hamilton -

As islanders look back on a highly successful ScreenPlay festival, plans have been announced for its companion, WordPlay, which takes place from Thursday 2nd November until Sunday 5th November.

This will be the 16th annual literature festival. Like its predecessors, it’ll offer an excellent range of events in which we’ll have a chance to hear from writers of local, national and international renown. There will be an engaging mix of readings, writing workshops, children’s events and book signings. WordPlay offers a unique opportunity for readers to meet their favourite authors, hear them read their work and answer questions from the public.

The programme is curated by Karen Cunningham, former director of Glasgow’s Aye Write! Festival. The line-up includes a number of very well-known names.

writers of local, national and international renown

One of them is the award winning Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead, who was Scotland’s ‘Makar’, or national poet between 2011 and 2016. A writer, playwright, poet, producer and activist whose work has often been performed on the stage and on BBC Radio 4, she has lived and worked in Toronto and New York as well as in Scotland.

Judy Murray needs no introduction. Mother of Jamie and Andy, and a successful tennis player herself, she became even more familiar to millions of BBC1 viewers as a competitor in the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing, surviving (with partner Anton du Beke) until week eight. She’ll be talking about her book, Knowing the Score: Our Family and Our Tennis.

Scottish novelist, social commentator and football pundit Christopher Brookmyre will also be appearing. His plotlines have featured investigative journalism or counter-terrorism and he has converted one book, Bedlam, into a video game.

Polly Toynbee is well-known as a columnist in the Guardian or from frequent appearances on BBC1’s Question Time or BBC2’s Newsnight. She was formerly the BBC’s social affairs editor, a columnist and associate editor of the Independent and a writer for the Observer. She and her Guardian colleague David Walker have recently published Dismembered: How the attack on the state harms us all. David Walker formerly worked for the Audit Commission.

Aside from these appearances, the programme includes Neu! Reekie!, in which we are promised a delicious feast of spoken word, music, animation and film fusion from "Scotland's favourite avante-garde noise makers" (The Skinny). There will be more music over the weekend, including a special family concert and song-writing workshop from Americana trio The Stray Birds.

It will be possible to book tickets for events individually, or – for the first time at WordPlay – buy the WordCard, which will offer access to Wordplay events and priority booking. These cost £40, or £25 for concessions.

Posted in: Creative Scene