Off the Shelf Festival of Words is one of the largest and most accessible literary festivals in the UK. Now in its 27th year, the festival brings the biggest names in literature and the arts to Sheffield with a packed programme of over 130 events, talks and discussions from international authors, home grown talent, and writers.
The programme of events is curated jointly by Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, the only UK literature festival to be run in this way with a core mission is to bring literature and the arts to all parts of the community.
Man Booker Prize 2018 Shortlisted Authors Evening
Friday, 12 October, 7:00pm
The Man Booker Prize is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and continues to be the leading literary award in the English speaking world, bringing recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction. Hear some of this year’s shortlisted authors – Daisy Johnson, Robin Robertson and Richard Powers – read from their novels and discuss their work in the run-up to the 2018 winner being announced.
In association with The Octagon and Man Booker Prize.
Friday, 12 October, 7.30pm
Tim Bentinck has played the part of David Archer in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers since 1982. He takes us behind the scenes of this British institution – the longest running drama series in the world. Tim has been a successful actor, a voice specialist, inventor, farm worker and crossbencher in the House of Lords. He is also the Earl of Portland and the voice of ‘Mind The Gap’ on the Piccadilly Line.
Saturday, 13 October, 2pm
Susan Calman is known and loved for her stand-up comedy and as a regular on TV and radio shows. She won yet more fans for her enthusiasm on Strictly Come Dancing. Now she has a new aim, to persuade people to be kinder, set out in her book Sunny Side Up. These are difficult times but Susan is a one-woman army of hope ready to lead the nation. Join her for a warm-hearted, funny and truly joyful event!
Christabel Pankhurst: A Biography – Professor June Parvis
Sunday, 14 October, 11am
Christabel Pankhurst, Emmeline’s daughter, co-led the Women’s Social and Political Union and was the driving force behind the militant wing of the women’s suffrage movement. A charismatic and powerful orator, with her cry ‘Rise up women!’, she mobilised thousands of women to become suffragettes and demand their democratic citizenship rights. This major new biography reveals an unrivalled range of previously unpublished research.
Suffragettes on Film – Dr Adity Singh
Sunday, 14 October, 5pm
An exploration of representations of rebel women in the cinema of the time including Urban Gad’s Die Suffragette. A mirror of its times, early cinema reflects the myriad positions that existed in society on the controversial issue of female suffrage. Cinematic depictions of women worked as a powerful propaganda tool and ranged from sensitive portrayals of women and their struggle to crude anti-feminist humour.
Desert Island Reads – Jamie Campbell
Monday, 15 October, 7pm
Jamie Campbell is the subject of the BBC Three documentary, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16. He is the inspiration behind the award winning hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which premiered at the Crucible Theatre, transferred to the West End and is about to be made into a feature film by Sheffield’s Warp Films. In this collaborative event with Sheffield Doc/Fest he talks about his favourite books, his incredible story and his future plans.
Frankenstein’s Brain – John Sutherland
Monday, 15 October, 7pm
On the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s perennially popular and influential gothic tale, literary detective John Sutherland turns his expert eye on Frankenstein and takes a quirky journey through the lesser-known byways of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece. John will unearth a trove of tantalising facts. Topics under the microscope include: Is the monster a fan of Goethe? How does the monster die? And, most importantly, who is the best on-screen Frankenmonster?
Audacious Mr Astley – Performed by Chris Barltrop
Wednesday, 17 October, 7.30pm
Cavalryman-turned-showman Philip Astley (1742-1814) is considered the creator of the modern circus, adding acrobats, rope-walkers and clowns to the trick-riding displays he and his wife gave from 1768. Fresh from the Edinburgh Festival, Chris Barltrop’s one-man play, Audacious Mr Astley, celebrates 250 years of circus. Astley tells his own story, giving an impression of the man as well as sketching his career. Chris Barltrop is a writer, actor, performer and ringmaster.
To Throw Away Unopened – Viv Albertine
Thursday, 18 October, 7:30pm
Viv Albertine was the guitarist in cult post punk band The Slits. Her memoir, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys was an acclaimed bestseller in 2014. New work, To Throw Away Unopened, explores her working class life in mid-century London and is a fearless dissection of family, power and her identity as a rebel. With Viv’s inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability, and intelligence it’s a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves.
Mary Shelley: The Gothic Tradition – Professor Angela Wright
Friday, 19 October, 6:00pm
Two hundred years after its publication, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein remains one of the most masterful examples of Gothic literature. Angela Wright reappraises the significance of Frankenstein alongside Shelley’s other works. Studying Shelley’s parental heritage, her infamous relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her experiences during 1816, when she wrote Frankenstein, Wright offers a thoroughly contextualized appraisal of the author, her works and her importance to the Gothic tradition.
Eat Up! – Ruby Tandoh
Friday, 19 October, 7:00pm
Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. In Eat Up!, Ruby Tandoh, (a Great British Bake Off finalist) celebrates food. She will arm you against the fad diets, food crazes and bad science that can make eating guilt-laden. Filled with advice on everything from mental health to recipe ideas and shopping tips, this is a book to help you fall back in love with food and put the pleasure back into eating.
For further information, please contact:
T: 0114 236 2494 M: 07770 415262
Notes to editors:
About Off the Shelf
Off the Shelf is the only literary festival curated by two universities. Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield are proud to be running the festival and will continue to ensure that it remains true to its roots whilst adding content from their wealth of academia.
Off the Shelf is supported by Arts Council England, Sheffield City Council and values the contributions from its sponsors including University of Sheffield Students’ Union, Sheffield BID, The Moor, Hospitality Sheffield, Daybell & Choo, True North and South Street Kitchen, as well as contributions through its popular Friends scheme.
Artist Tom J Newell has created the artwork for this years brochure front cover. He has exhibited internationally and produced intricately hand-drawn illustrations for a plethora of illustrious outlets including designing record covers or painting large scale murals. He will discuss his artwork at an event at Sheffield Institute of Arts on 15 October.
Please note: The event information above has been added by the organiser. Whilst we try to ensure all details are up-to-date we do not make any warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information shown.