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Charleston Festival – May 18-28, 2018

Location: Charleston, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6LL

Date: Friday, May 18, 2018, - Monday, May 28, 2018, All Day


Charleston Festival begins on Friday, May 18, bringing together artists and writers in a programme spanning ten days, until Monday, May 28.

It will be held at Charleston, West Firle, home and country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, and aims to mirror the ethos of its heritage of artistic innovation and pioneering thinking.

Sir David Attenborough

A lecture by Sir David Attenborough is one of the highlights but while that, and some other high-profile events have already sold out, tickets are still available.

Leading writers involved in the festival include Alan Hollinghurst, Kamila Shamsie, Robert Harris and Simon Armitage.

Gender fluidity will be addressed by Robert Webb and Amy Bloom and Turner prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid will discuss her work which addresses colonial history.

Unique commissions

There will be unique commissions, inspired by the Bloomsbury group, from Ali Smith and Jeanette Winterson and a special Man Booker Prize 50th anniversary debate with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, C. Grayling and Erica Wagner.

Seasoned political broadcasters Evan Davis, Anne McElvoy and Jon Sopel will go beyond the headlines on post-truth and the present volatile White House administration, while investigative journalists Misha Glenny and Luke Harding will analyse global crime and political corruption.

This year’s festival programme is responding to the current social and political climate, looking in particular at the achievements and legacies of remarkable women past and present.

Lyndall Gordon discusses her group biography Outsiders, which links five female novelists (Shelley, Brontë, Eliot, Schreiner and Woolf), while Jane Robinson and Helen Pankhurst,, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, mark #Vote100.

Read more about the Charleston Festival 2018 programme on Charleston’s own website. A full list of events can be found here.

Diana Reich, artistic director of Charleston Festival, says: “Charleston was always associated with political and social engagement as well as animated conversation.

“Therefore it is no surprise that this year’s festival includes many events in which the state of the nation and the world is refracted through the prism of fiction, non-fiction, debate and humour.”

Charleston, The Bloomsbury Home of Art and Ideas

Contact Details


01323 811626

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