First events announced for digital Ilkley Literature Festival


A 'telephone theatre' play will be performed live next month as part of the Ilkley Literature Festival, which is going online because of the coronavirus pandemic.


'You Don't Know Me But...' is a one-woman audio play which has been written by Sophia Hatfield, who will perform it live over the phone. Audiences in their own homes will hear live music and sound effects as part of a unique socially-distanced theatre experience, directed by award-winning theatre and BBC Radio director Gwenda Hughes.


The performances will be free to 'attend', but places need to be booked in advance. The audio play will be performed from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th October.


ILF Director Erica Morris said, “We are delighted to partner with Stute Theatre and B Arts to present this show allowing isolated audience members the opportunity to book and experience a real live theatre performance, without leaving their homes. We particularly hope that this performance will help those without easy access to other digital events.”


Other events also announced include the showing of BBC Arena documentaries. 'Your Local Arena' will see the screening of the ground-breaking Calypso, Carnival & Steel Pan and Three Kinds of Calypso, as well as a new short film in which academics and experts respond to these Arena archives and discuss the resonances they have in the era of the Black Lives Matter movement. They will be sharing new poems, written by local writers, inspired by the films, in addition to free online masterclass about how to start your personal writing journey, led by local non- fiction author Colin Grant. The films, poems and masterclass are all free and will be available online for five days only from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 October.


The Ilkley Literature Festival is also running a series of digital writing workshops - including about poetry, crime fiction and writing for wellness.


There will also be more events which are still to be announced, including a weekend of digital talks on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October, focussing on the theme on 'in/justice'. Some events will be free, some will be to pay for.


The festival normally attracts audiences of more than 20,000 each autumn, with around 150 events across Ilkley. The children's literature festival has been pushed back to Spring 2021 in the hope that events will be able to take place in person.


Find out more at ilkleylitfest.org.uk/festival

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