The London Book & Screen Week kicks off next week, with a series of thought-provoking readings, discussions and screenings that explore the rich nexus between literature and film. Organised by the London Book Fair, “the landmark event series brings storytelling and the written word to life, uniting the capital’s avid readers, writers, game, film and TV fans with a diverse range of events taking place across literary London”.
The programme launches on Monday April 9th with a special event hosted by the Polari Literary Salon, the award-winning LGBT literary community described by the Huffington Post as “The most exciting literary movement in London… crackling with energy, ideas, excitement”. Poet and conceptual artist RJ Arkhipov, comedian VG Lee, journalist and author Tony Ortega and writer and performer Karen McLeod will speak on a variety of contemporary issues.
As well as a night celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Soho House on April 10th, and a ‘Supercalifragilistic singalong’ to Mary Poppins at the same venue on April 12th, the ‘Votes for Women: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage’ event on Friday April 13th, promises to be a night of illuminating insight. Author and women’s rights activist Dr Helen Pankhurst (who is also great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst) will speak alongside writer and host of Mostly Lit podcast Raifa Rafiq, as well as ordained Anglican Priest, Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey and novelist Marie-Elsa Bragg on how the pursuit of gender equality has evolved over the last 100 years.
A screening of the 2015 moving Suffragette will follow, starring Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham-Carter.
On Saturday April 14th, a special Routemaster bus will tour London, taking in some of the iconic sites mentioned in Agatha Christie’s works. On the nostalgic tour, participants will be joined by crime writer TP Fielden and novelist Lucy Foley, and will enjoy a classic cream tea to boot.
Finally, be sure to look out for Paddington Bear books across the capital on Sunday April 15th, as the Book Fairies and Harper Collins have teamed up to distribute copies in secret locations across the capital, to celebrate 60 years since A Bear Called Paddington was first published.
With the London Book Fair set to take place between April 10th-12th, London’s literary richness will be lit up next week whilst also showcasing its international scope. A special Baltic cultural programme was announced as this year’s theme – to celebrate 100 years of Baltic independence from Russia – and will feature leading authors from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia speaking on the region’s contemporary literary landscape.
Whilst a dinner party with Paddington Bear, Mary Poppins, Agatha Christie and Frankenstein seems a little absurd, be sure to take advantage of next week’s diverse programme, and who knows where your imagination will take you.