TAL Festival Ltd

Home Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 2016 Review About Us

TAL Festival Ltd

12 Aston Street



Telephone : 0871 288 3420


Thame Arts & Literature Festival

Participate   Enjoy   Inspire

12th to 15th October 2017


Chris Lloyd returns for the 3rd year running. His vastly entertaining history lessons are hugely popular. This year, he brings us the Story of Science over 10,000 years.

We just know that it will be wonderful and enlightening.

The full schedule will follow once the programme - but we thought you might like to see who is already confirmed to attend on each day. - Keep watching for more authors and events

Simon Heffer - The Age of Decadence (Britain 1880 to 1914)

The folk-memory of Britain in the years before the Great War is of a powerful, contented, orderly and thriving country. She commanded a vast empire. She bestrode international commerce.

Yet things were very different below the surface. In The Age of Decadence Simon Heffer exposes the contradictions of late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. He shows how attempts to secure vital social reforms prompted the twentieth century’s gravest constitutional crisis and coincided with the worst industrial unrest in British history. He describes how politicians who conceded the vote to millions more men disregarded women so utterly that their public protest bordered on terrorism. He depicts a ruling class that fell prey to degeneracy and scandal. And he concludes with the crisis that in the summer of 1914 threatened the existence of the United Kingdom – a looming civil war in Ireland.
He lights up the era through vivid pen-portraits of the great men and women of the day – including Gladstone, Parnell, Asquith and Churchill, but also Mrs Pankhurst, Beatrice Webb, Baden-Powell, Wilde and Shaw – creating a richly detailed panorama of a great power that, through both accident and arrogance, was forced to face potentially fatal challenges.


Using a workshop setting, this fantastic Theatre Company invites you to watch extracts from two new plays by local playwrights, Zena Forster (The Last Dog) and Nick O’Dwyer (Roof) and then join in a discussion on both the subjects and their presentation within the plays.

Amy Enticknap and Gaye Poole established Human Story Theatre, a professional company, in August 2016. Since then, things have evolved at quite a pace as they have brought their thought provoking productions to life across Oxfordshire and the surrounding area. If you haven’t seen one of their plays then you have missed a true theatrical experience.

Tim Moore - The Cyclist who went out in the Cold

"Bill Bryson on two wheels". (Independent). Scaling a new peak of rash over-ambition, Tim Moore tackles the 9,000km route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike. Setting off from the northernmost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter's brutal height, sleeping in bank vaults, imperial palaces and unreconstructed Soviet youth hostels, battling Romanian landslides and a diet of dumplings, Moore and his 'so-small bicycle' are sustained by the kindness of reindeer farmers. Haunted throughout by the border detritus of watchtowers and rusted razor wire, Moore reflects on the curdling of the Communist dream, and the memories of a Cold War generation reared on the fear of apocalypse - at a time of ratcheting East-West tension. After three months, 20 countries and a 58-degree jaunt up the centigrade scale, man and bike finally wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older and wiser, but mainly older

Dame Jenni Murray- A History of Britain in 21 Women - A Personal Selection

The history of Britain, presented as you’ve never seen it before, through twenty-one women whose lives enthral and beguile, intrigue and inspire

 ‘Ideal to press into the hands of young women studying politics and history.Independent

 ‘Celebrates the defiant spirit of Britain’s groundbreaking heroines…Entertaining.’ Daily Mail

Jenni Murray is a journalist and broadcaster who has presented BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour since 1987. She is the author of several books, including Memoirs of a Not So Dutiful Daughter.

James Hamilton- Thomas Gainsborough, The Portrait of an Age

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) is the quintessential painter of the 18th century, an era that is so richly reflected in the novels of Jane Austen, the music of Handel, and the elegance of Bath and Georgian London. Gainsborough defined an age in his portraits, while in his landscape paintings he evoked the first critical reverberations of the impending social change from Britain's rural to an industrial economy. While Gainsborough's work has been displayed fruitfully in exhibitions and in country house collections, there is no modern full-length biography. The circumstances of his life have only been seriously addressed where they touch on the interpretation of his work by art historians. James Hamilton's vibrant biography sets the artist in his period and society, and reveals how he emerged out of a Suffolk background, expressed his genius against the society of Ipswich, Bath and London, and melted into the urban landscape of London where, aged sixty-one, he died.

Jane Austen at Home - Performed by Hannah Lee

Devised and directed by Stephen Siddall; Produced by Jeremy Musson

A lively and varied recital/performance, with engaging drawing-room intimacy, celebrating the life and mind and writings of one of our greatest novelists

It is a one-woman show, consisting entirely of Jane Austen’s words: it celebrates the variety and wit of her writings, with extracts from her memoirs, letters, juvenilia, poetry and novels, and takes us into the attitudes, imagination and sensations of those who lived in country houses and rectories in the early nineteenth century. We include much of her perceptive (often satirical) observation of the social life of the English county families. The extracts also capture her warm-heartedness and affection.

Stephen Siddall (Director) was Head of English at The Leys School Cambridge, He has directed for BBC 2 and 15 renaissance plays for the university and city at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Hannah Lee studied English at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, before training as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

 Hannah Lee