Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again: Daphne Du Maurier Festival
Never one to miss an opportunity to indulge in a little networking, or research if you are so discerning, the annual Daphne du Maurier Festival of Literature and Arts immediately caught my eye and got the pen nervously twitching at such an opportunity.
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Lusting after Du Maurier
12 May - 21 May
So what of Daphne du Maurier, a famed authoress, playwright and a name synonymous with period literature. With a Cornish mother, alongside being inspired by Bronte, there was never any doubt that a strong affection for Cornwall, evident in many of her successful novels would shine through. The success of Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Creek and most notably Rebecca confirmed her status amongst the literary elite of her generation. Spending a great deal of her life at Ferryside, the family home in Fowey, Daphne du Maurier took great inspiration from her surroundings which ultimately created a rich literary legacy, thriving to this day through the celebration of her work. If nothing else then I would recommend catching the reading of one of her novels during the festival, it comes alive with the location and simply enhances the ambience.
This year the annual festivities take place from May 12th – 21st in the coastal town of Fowey, which for ten days will play host to a performers and audience from all corners of the world. With an events programme crammed to the rafters then I can already foresee a potential problem on my part – just how to fit it all in and get the most out of the festival. Thankfully the organisers have created a programme to allow you to fully appreciate the best of everything on show without the need of any complex time management skills. Top of my list is comedian and actor Greg Davies, famed for his live stand-up shows and role in the hit show The Inbetweeners. From comedy to politics (quite an apt link) and the appearances of both Alastair Campbell and Ann Widdecombe (more famed for her dancing nowadays) are sure to leave the crowds hanging off their every word. Sure to be controversial, it’s not everyday you have such leading figures nestled away on the Cornish coast and the town may never be the same again.
For visitors seeking something a little more traditional in keeping with the festival setting you won’t be left disappointed by an array of live musical performances (many by local artists) to which you will soon be tapping your feet. The perfect accompaniment to a fresh fish supper is the Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, sure to be a popular show and high on my list if I can fight my way through their rapidly growing fan base courtesy of their recent folk awards and accolades.
As a great outdoors enthusiast then I will also be strapping on the walking boots and donning the wet weather gear to enjoy the variety of walks on offer showcasing the inspiration behind Daphne‘s stories. No matter what the weather though you will get a real sense of what Cornwall is all about – the great outdoors and natural beauty around every rugged corner. Naturally the festival welcomes the young and young at heart, basically if you have an open mind then that is the only entry requirement. With plenty of free events to take advantage of, including a short story competition for budding writers aged 11-16, art exhibitions, a book sales, children’s story time and much more, this is a true busman’s holiday for any aspiring writer or just lover of the arts.
With such an array of events and activities taking place throughout the festival, visitors will certainly be left with something to write home about.