Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017 visit
Girls spent a wonderful afternoon at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Tuesday 10th October.
The group soaked up the atmosphere of the festival by browsing the book tents to seeing who was signing, watching TV reporters filming and adding their bit to the festival chalk wall. The group then attended a session called Rewriting the Ancients, a discussion between Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire (longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize) and Natalie Haynes, author of The Children of Jocasta who spoke on how their works have reimagined Antigone and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles; one in a contemporary setting and the other from the perspective of two of the women in the story to reveal a new side to ancient history.
The trip, part of our Enrichment Programme, was designed for our Academic Scholars and also opened up to interested students in Year 9 and above. It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to hear these works being discussed ahead of the School’s production of Antigone that will be staged here in December. Our two Year 13 Antigone directors and Drama scholars, Daisy Butt and Imy Townsend enjoyed the session and especially the discussion about how the story is still relevant to current audiences because of the issues it of loyalty, religion and family at its heart.
“I enjoyed experiencing the Cheltenham Literature Festival because I’d never been to anything like it before. The talks were interesting and the writers engaging, talking about their inspiration from the Greek Tragedy Antigone. It was fascinating hearing about how the authors approached things and their writing techniques, which were very different. Natalie Haynes was funny and very passionate about her subject, telling us lots of interesting knowledge about the ancient world! I particularly liked the writing style of Kamila Shamsie from the extract she read out of her novel, and her explanations of how she’d used modern issues and setting to rework Antigone from a fresh perspective. Thank you very much for taking us!” Kay Baxter, Year 11