Timothy Spall, Melvyn Bragg and Ben Elton named in lin-up for Southwold’s Way with Words festival

Ben Elton

Ben Elton - Credit: Archant

The line-up for a popular literary festival in a coastal resort has been announced.

The Ways With Words festival comes to Southwold next week, and included in the line-up is comedian, novelist and playwright Ben Elton, BBC Radio Four presenter and author Richard Coles, actor Timothy Spall and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg.

Artist Tessa Newcomb, poet Blake Morrison and novelist Esther Freud, all of who have homes near to the coastal town, will also be appearing during the festival.

Elton, known for his work as a writer of the second, third and fourth series of Blackadder, will give his unique perspective on topics from celebrity to climate change and from the First World War to the end of the world at 3.15pm at St Edmunds Hall on November 9.

Coles will be appearing in St Edmunds Hall, speaking alongside former home secretary Alan Johnson on November 6 at 3.15pm, followed by Bragg at 5pm.


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Ways With Words has been running literary festivals for nearly 25 years. What started as a one-off festival at Dartington Hall, Devon, in 1991 has grown into three festivals across the UK, as well as a creative courses in the UK and Italy.

Festival director Kay Dunbar believes conversation is probably the defining characteristic of Ways With Words, and added: “It’s a celebration, and for lots of people it’s a reunion.Some people have come to Southwold every year since the festival started.

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“You see people gathered together in pairs or small groups talking over the last event they have attended.

“They’re discussing the ideas and arguments they’ve just heard.

“This seems to me one of the most enjoyable and valuable aspects of Ways With Words.”

And the festival also continues to grow, as organisers are now planning a festival in the Lake District for March of next year. The festival comes to Southwold between November 6-10pm, with speakers throughout each day.

Dinner, bed and breakfast packages are also available, which include tickets to the events. For more information and how to purchase tickets, visit www.wayswithwords.co.uk or call 01803 867 373.

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