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Copyright of the Repton Literary Festival

Company Number: 10620016

A SELECTION OF OUR CAST

David Bradley

David John Bradley is an English actor. He is known for playing Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film series and Walder Frey in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. He is also an established stage actor with a career that includes a Laurence Olivier Award for his role in a production of King Lear. 

George Rainsford

George Rainsford was born in Huddersfield in Yorkshire in 1982 and later attended Repton School in Derbyshire. He joined the National Youth Theatre in 1999 and later became involved with student theatre whilst reading for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama at the University of Manchester
In 2003 he won a Goldman-Sachs Scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). On graduation in 2006 his first professional engagement was as D'Artagnan in the Bristol Old Vic's Christmas production of 'The Three Musketeers'
Well known for his regular performances in  "Casualty", "Call The Midwife" and "Waking The Dead", and many others, as well as numerous theatre roles (including plays at the Royal Court, RSC and National Theatre).

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Nick Burns

Nicholas Burns is an English actor, born in Derby and educated at Repton School. After reading English and Drama at Royal Holloway, Nicholas attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, graduating from the 3 year acting course in 2001. Since then, he has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. He notably played the title role in Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker’s Channel 4 comedy Nathan Barley, as well as recurring roles in Benidorm, Man Stroke Woman, No Heroics, Manhunt, Doctor Who, Harlots and The Crown. He has acted in plays at  the Bridge Theatre, Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Young Vic, National Theatre and in London’s West End. His film work includes The World’s End, Warbook, The Lady in the Van, Hope Gap (recently premiered at the London Film Festival) Jane Austen’s Emma and Censor, both of which are slated for a cinema release in 2020.

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Blair Dunlop

Blair Dunlop has now released 3 albums 2 ep’s and toured widely around the globe.  All of this in a short career is astounding but what sets Blair apart from his peers is the lyrical and musical maturity with which he writes.  His third album ‘Gilded’ was released in May 2016 on his own label – Gilded Wings – and was widely acclaimed gaining BBC Radio 2 Playlist status for the two single releases (‘The Egoist’ and ‘356’) both of which were remixed by Ed Harcourt.  Prior to this Blair released his acclaimed album ‘House Of Jacks’ in mid 2014 which lived up to the promise of his 2012 debut ‘Blight and Blossom’ (the quality of which contributed to his winning the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award).  Blair has now cemented his place as one of Britain’s most exciting talents to come from the folk scene. The Guardian stated that the ‘House Of Jacks’ proves Blair is ‘an increasingly adventurous songwriter’, Uncut reviewed it as ‘thoughtful and exploratory’, The Independent on Sunday described it as ‘fluent, lamentory and accomplished’ while Q Magazine wrote that House of Jacks is ‘an exciting glimpse of where traditional folk might go’.

Ben Lamb

With wit, humour and insight, the author of the first dedicated study of one of British television’s most popular genres conducts a forensic investigation of British television police series from 1955 to the present. In just one-hour Ben Lamb’s analyses the genre, ranging from Dixon of Dock Green to Happy Valley via The Sweeney, The Bill, and Cracker. He outlines how this home-grown genre has evolved and how different production technologies have affected its thematic development. He also looks at how police series have commented on criminological issues and intervened in sociological debates concerning class and gender identities. Over the years British police series have borrowed elements from social realism, melodrama, the soap opera, sci-fi, and action series to probe the social disintegration of British society following the end of the Second World War. Ben explores how the representation of the police station, domestic scenes of criminals and the private lives of police officials can unearth the complex ideology underpinning each series and determine how the genre has developed alongside modern British society. His talk will appeal to scholars and students of British history, television, culture, sociology, and criminology. Mostly though, it will appeal to TV crime-drama addicts and enthusiasts the world over. Dr Ben Lamb is Senior Lecturer in English Studies at Teesside University

Katherine Bucknell

Katherine Bucknell is a literary scholar and novelist with degrees from Princeton, Oxford, and Columbia Universities. She edited W.H. Auden's Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928, four volumes of diaries by Christopher Isherwood, and The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, which she also presented as a podcast starring Simon Callow and Alan Cumming, www.TheAnimalsPodcast.com  She is writing a biography of Christopher Isherwood www.KatherineBucknell.com

 

Christopher Isherwood was a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, autobiographer and diarist who came to prominence in the 1930s alongside his friend and dramatic collaborator, the poet W.H. Auden, and emigrated to America where he made his living as a screenwriter in Hollywood.  Isherwood’s best-known works include Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which inspired the musical CabaretA Single Man (1964) adapted as a film by Tom Ford in 2009, and Christopher and His Kind (1976), a memoir which carried him into the heart of the gay liberation movement.  He was born in Cheshire in 1904 and died in Santa Monica in January 1986.  www.IsherwoodFoundation.org

Mark Cocker

Mark Cocker is a British author and naturalist, and was brought up and educated in Buxton, Derbyshire

He was educated at Buxton College and studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia (1978–82)

He lives and works in the Norfolk countryside with his wife, Mary Muir, and two daughters. All of his books have dealt with modern responses to the wild, whether found in landscape, human societies or in other species.

Cocker has also written extensively for British newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent and BBC Wildlife. He has written a regular 'Country Diary' column in the Guardian since 1988 and a wildlife column in the international subscribers' edition, the Guardian Weekly from 1996–2002. 

Stephen Booth

A newspaper and magazine journalist for over 25 years, Stephen Booth began his career by editing his school magazine and wrote his first novel at the age of 12. 

In 2000, his first published novel, Black Dog, marked the arrival of his best-known creations - police detectives, DC Ben Cooper, and DS Diane Fry and was the named by the London Evening Standard as one of the six best crime novels of the year 

The publication of Blind to the Bones resulted in Stephen winning the Crime Writers' Association's 'Dagger in the Library' Award.

Dr Wayne Allison

Dr Wayne Allison is currently the Technical Director of the League Managers Association. A former professional footballer, he previously worked as the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Manager at the Football Association and prior to that as the organisation’s Coaching Research Manager. Dr Allison has a PhD in Sport Exercise Science and Coaching and is co-author of Advances in Coach Education and Development: From research to practice. Dr Allison will be interviewed by Matthew Gooderick, Deputy Editor at Thomson Reuters, who also has extensive professional football experience and will explore the breadth of Dr Allison’s football knowledge with plenty of time for audience participation.

Caroline Bale

Caroline Bale was born and lives in Dublin, Ireland. She writes fast-paced crime fiction with a psychological twist and strives to create complex plots and engaging characters. She is a practicing psychotherapist and has always been interested in people and what makes them feel, think and act the way they do. 
In 2018 she was selected as a finalist in the Irish Writer’s Centre Novel Fair for her novel “I will make you pay", the first in the DI Ellen McClure series.
In October 2018 her short story, "Vainglorious Bastard” was published in a collection of new crimes stories from Ireland, “Sins”. In autumn 2019 her short story, "Sessions with Elena" will be published in a new collection of crime short stories.
She studied Philosophy and Classical studies at Trinity College Dublin and more recently completed a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy

A.F. Harrold

A.F. Harrold is known for his magnificent beard and laugh-aloud poems about midnight feasts, dreams and wallabies. Poetry Slam champion A.F. Harrold wrote the Fizzlebert Stump series - the many adventures of a boy who lives in a travelling circus and Things You Find in a Poet’s Beard, a collection of quite silly, funny and peculiar poems. The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett, was longlisted for The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal.
His new book, Midnight Feasts, which will be published this October is a brand new anthology, filled with poems about food and drink, written by some of the finest poets writing today and is illustrated throughout in full colour by Katy Riddell. Photo of A.F. Harrold by Alex Genn-Bash Photography

Dominic Dromgoole

Renowned producer and director Dominic Dromgoole was born in Bristol in 1963. He was the Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London from 2006 to 2016. 
He is the author of The Full Room: An A-Z of Contemporary Playwriting and of Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life, which won the inaugural Sheridan Morley prize. 
He has recently begun to work in film, making his feature film debut this year with Making Noise Quietly, which is adapted from Robert Holman’s acclaimed play of the same name
He also regularly contributes to the Sunday Times and other publications.

Fergus McGonigal

Fergus is a former Worcestershire Poet Laureate, who has two collections published by Burning Eye and two by Bx3. His poetry is surreal and absurdist while being accessible and funny, and he "reaches the parts which other poets cannot reach" (Cheltenham Poetry Festival). A multiple slam winner, having left teaching 7 years ago, Fergus has worked with, among others, Poetry on Loan, Worcestershire Museums, the Worcestershire Litfest and Fringe, and The National Trust. His sets are captivating and he is "an utterly, astonishingly brilliant headline act" (Nina Lewis).

Cat Jarman

Originally from Oslo,  Dr Cat Jarman is a bioarchaeologist at the University of Bristol, and is an expert on Vikings and Viking women. She uses forensic techniques like isotope analysis, carbon dating, and DNA extraction on human remains to untangle the experiences of past people from broader historical narratives.

Cat can be seen in numerous TV programmes, including BBC4’s Digging for Britain, where her excavations and research were featured, as well as an episode of Discovery channel’s Unearthed where she discussed Viking fortifications.

She frequently gives lectures and public talks on Vikings and the latest archaeological methodology.

Her book, The River Kings, will be published by HarperCollins in 2020.

Edmund Gordon

Edmund Gordon studied at Trinity College Dublin and University College London. Since 2011 he has taught literature and creative writing at King's College London.

His first book, The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, was published in 2016. It won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was selected as a Book of the Year in the Guardian, Observer, Financial Times, Spectator, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times. 

Edwina Currie

Former Minister for Health and South Derbyshire MP for 14 years she is also a “Wham” fan. Edwina Currie shares the transition from political fact to popular fiction writer. Liverpool born and bred she studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford and subsequently gained an MA in Economic History from the LSE. Her charismatic political career has been followed by an eclectic range of media appearances that include “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Celebrity Mastermind” which she won twice! Curries Diaries published in 2002 caused a sensation and Edwina Currie has never been far from a headline. Everyone loves her for brightening up our lives one way or the other, even if they don’t always agree with her.

David Edgar

David Edgar has been writing plays professionally since 1971. His original plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company include Destiny (1976), Maydays (1983, Plays and Players best play award, revived in 2018) and Pentecost (1994, Evening Standard best play award), the second in a series of  plays about Eastern Europe after the Cold War, following The Shape of the Table (National Theatre 1990) and preceding The Prisoner's Dilemma (RSC, 2001).

 

His adaptations include Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby (RSC, 1980, Olivier and New York Tony best play awards; television version: Emmy award), Julian Barnes’s Arthur & George (Birmingham Rep, 2010) and Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (RSC, 2017, 2018). In 2018 he wrote and presented a solo show, Trying it On, which toured to the Warwick Arts Centre, the RSC’s Other Place at Stratford, and the Royal Court. This year the show played the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival, and its current touring dates include Bath, Bristol, Canterbury, Derby, Norwich, Oxford and York.

 

David Edgar has written for radio, television and film. In 1989, he founded Britain's first graduate playwriting course, at the University of Birmingham. His book about playwriting, How Plays Work, was published by Nick Hern Books in 2009. He writes regularly about art and politics for The Guardian and The London Review of Books.