Countdown to third Shute Festival

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:12 24 September 2018

Banny Pootschi will give a Punch and Judy masterclass. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Banny Pootschi will give a Punch and Judy masterclass. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Weekend event will feature a host of talks, walks, films and children’s activites

Axminster's Ricky Romain will bring  the exotic sound of Indian ragas to Shute. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDAxminster's Ricky Romain will bring the exotic sound of Indian ragas to Shute. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Shute Festival will open its doors on Friday, September 28, for the third year – offering visitors an exciting weekend of talks, walks, films and children’s activities.

The village of Shute, near Axminster, is possibly the smallest place in the UK to host a literary festival but the co-directors, Samantha Knights QC and Paddy Magrane, believe its compact size is a distinct advantage.

It offers a select group of excellent speakers in a single intimate venue - St Michael’s Church - where audience engagement is actively encouraged.

This year the festival welcomes Esther Freud, who will be considering her life as a writer and the challenges of penning her first West End play; Gardeners’ Question Time regular Anne Swithinbank speaking about scent in the garden; former Tomorrow’s World presenter Adam Hart-Davis discussing the eccentric world of William Heath Robinson; historical novelist William Ryan on how a chance encounter with a Nazi archive led to his wartime thriller, The Constant Soldier; Richard Edmonds on the geological history of the Jurassic Coast, and much more.

Esther Freud will be considering her life as a writer. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDEsther Freud will be considering her life as a writer. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

There will also be a showing of the multi-award-winning One Note at a Time, Renee Edwards’s documentary about the jazz musicians who returned to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; nature walks in the surrounding Shute estate; and children’s workshops that include land art, bush craft and a Punch & Judy masterclass with Banny Pootschi, former manager of The Libertines.

The weekend will close with a performance from Ricky Romain’s Vadi, bringing the exotic sound of Indian ragas to Shute.

Samantha Knights QC and Paddy Magrane believe local support is also key to the event’s continued success.

They said: “The festival could not happen without the support of St Michael’s Church, Shute Primary School and our sponsors – Beviss and Beckingsale, Deer Park Hotel, Kilmington Gardening Club and Perrott Hill School – as well as the many members of the community who generously give their time to help out.”

For more details about the festival or to purchase tickets for the events, visit www.shutefest.org.uk

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