Launceston is getting ready for the second ever Charles Causley Festival. The festival runs from June 1st-5th and includes music, dance, art and, of course, lots of poetry.
The festival is named in honour of Charles Causley, the poet who was born and lived for most of his life in our town. Last year's event was deliberately small scale, but hugely successful and so we have tried to make this year's event a stage bigger whilst still retaining the focus on mainly local talent.
The programme for the event includes:
Wednesday 1st June
James Lovelock in Conversation
James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia theory will be talking and taking questions on his scientific theories. Lovelock, whose work has provoked great debate, will explain further aspects of Gaia theory as well as his controversial views on carbon offsetting , ethical living and the future of nuclear power.
Town Hall 7pm All Tickets £6
The Gumbo Flyers
A fantastic mix of the cajun and zydeco music of Lousiana, the Gumbo Flyers’ are a 5 piece band whose high energy stomps from the swamps have thrilled audiences at festivals and music venues across the continent.
The Bell Inn 8pm Donations Welcome
Poetry and Pints
Join Clive Blake and Chris Robbins for an evening of poetry and pints at the Westgate Inn. Robbins and Blake, whose recent work includes the ‘phoetry’ book View Points and Points of View are a photographer and poet whose work captures the world in a thought provoking, poignant and amusing way. See Clive perform some of his exquisite poetry from their book and see some of Chris’ astounding photography of the world around us, whilst enjoying a well poured pint.
Westgate Inn 8.30pm Donations Welcome
Thursday 2nd June
Book signing with children's author Georgie Adams
Bring your little one down to meet Georgie Adams the local author of the book series The Railway Rabbits. The books, inspired by the Launceston Steam Railway, are perfect for young readers aged 6+. Get your hands on the latest book in the series and have it signed whilst looking carefully amongst the book shelves where you may even see a couple of the railway rabbits hiding there!
The Bookshop 12-2pm Donations Welcome
Michael Williams Talk and Lunch
Come and enjoy a talk by local writer, columnist and publisher Michael Williams. Michael, who has worked within the literary industry for many years, has met and interviewed many prestigious writers including Charles Causley, Daphne Du Maurier, Jack Clemo, Rosamunde Pilcher and Arthur Caddick to name but a few. Follow the talk with a sumptuous lazy lunch with the writer and enjoy a glass of wine – all included in the ticket price.
No 8 Cafe 12.30pm Tickets £12
Book signing with John Neale and Virginia Spiers
A booksigning by two authors inspired by the Tamar Valley. Virginia Spiers writer of the Country Diaries in The Guardian will be signing her latest book Silver River, which gives evocative and inspirational accounts of the changing Tamar Valley landscape alongside images of Mary Martin’s exquisite art work. John Neale, author of Discovering the River Tamar, will also be available to sign copies of his book which tells the fascinating tale of the River Tamar through pictures of the river now and then.
The Bookshop 2.30- 4.30pm Donations Welcome
Wine, Wisdom and Words Literary Quiz
Created by the Twinning Association this month’s wine and wisdom takes on a literary feel. Cram in your classics and swot up on your short stories for the quiz which will feature questions on literature, music, the arts and Cornish culture. Interested teams should contact the Tourist Information Centre to book their teams place.
The Town Hall Doors open 7pm Quiz starts 7.30pm Tickets £18 for a team
Friday 3rd June
St Thomas Church and Priory Opening
Explore the historic St Thomas Church and Priory. Originally dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, the church’s name was later changed to commemorate St. Thomas the Apostle. The priory, which lay behind the church, was dissolved in 1539 and lay largely forgotten until 1886 when the North Cornwall railway cut through the site. The priory remained abandoned until a recent project to restore and preserve this small corner of Launceston’s heritage began work. The church has a connection to Charles Causley who was born just a few houses away and is buried within the churchyard, and visitors may even hear some of Causley’s best loved poetry
St. Thomas Church and Priory 11am- 2pm Donations Welcome
Book signing with Anne Watts
Anne Watts memoir Always the Children, tells of her time working as a nurse in countries ravaged by the effect of war. Her poignant story brings together her many years of experience working as a nurse with a tragedy that happened early on in her childhood that was to shape her entire destiny.
The Bookshop 12-2pm Donations Welcome
The Secret Garden book group
To commemorate the work of John Passmore Edwards, the journalist and philanthropist who built many of the libraries within Cornwall, Cornwall Library Services have issued a new edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. There are a small number of designated free copies of the new edition for you to have from the library. The book makes perfect reading for those aged 8+ Having read the book we would love for you to come to this one-off book group in the library to share your thoughts and ideas on the book with other people of all ages in a friendly atmosphere.
Launceston Library 5pm Donations Welcome
Back by popular demand, Jim Causley is returning to the festival following his sell out per- formance last year. Jim, who is a dis- tant relative of Charles Causley, is renowned for his beautiful, rich, ma- ture singing voice and his natural gift for interpreting song. A fantastic singer songwriter who is not to be missed!
Jericho’s Brasserie 7pm Tickets £10
FLIC present: The Black Swan
FLIC (Film Launceston in the Commu- nity) present The Black Swan at the Town Hall. Only recently available on general release, The Black Swan is a dark psychological thriller not to be missed.
The Town Hall. Doors open at 7.30pm for 8pm showing. Tickets £5 Adults £4 Concessions
Saturday 4th June
Holy Wells Cornwall: Presentation and Exhibition by Phil Cope
Join Phil Cope writer, researcher, book de- signer and photographer as he discusses the holy wells of Cornwall through storytelling, myth, poetry and imagery. Cope’s work which has been described as “a visual treat” and who has been described as a “genius with a camera” will also hold a question and answer session where there will also be an opportunity to view more of his stunning photography.
Methodist Hall 10.30am All Tickets £6
Charles Causley Guided Tour
Join Jane Nancarrow on a guided tour around Launceston rediscovering places you knew and those you didn’t. Charles Causley wrote about many well known landmarks in and around the town so come and explore the town in a new light and learn a little bit more about what inspired our most prized writer.
Start at Eagle House 11am Donations Welcome
Talk by renowned local writer EV Thompson
Cornish Bard E.V. Thompson, will be talking about his long career as an au- thor from his award winning novel 'Chase the Windto his latest title
Beyond the Storm which is set in North Cornwall. A question& answer session will follow along with refreshment.
Launceston Library 4pm All Tickets £5
A workshop suitable for young people aged 15+ with any level of experience who are interested in performing the spoken word in a contemporary and accessible way. The workshop which will be led by Dizraeli, BBC UK Slam Poetry Champion and frontman of Dizraeli and the Small Gods, will explore with you how to create, develop and perform your own rap. By taking part in the workshop you will then have the opportunity to perform at the poetry slam later that evening & gain free entry to the gig.
The Town Hall 4-5.30pm Tickets £5
An evening of music, poetry and story-telling
Join some of the south west’s best performers for a top-class evening of music, poetry and story-telling in Jericho’s. Featured in the evening will be Dew Vardh (Bert Biscoe and Pol Hodge), whose poetry and songs deal with the serious themes of our Cornish identity in a funny, wry and entertaining way. Also featured in the evening will be Mike O’Connor and Barbara Griggs, two local musicians well known for their relaxed entertaining style which blends fact, fiction and music. David Johnson, the Bristol-based performance poet will also be showcasing his latest work, taking us on a delightful journey across the strange world we live in. Come and enjoy an evening with some of the South West’s best loved acts all in one room. An evening not to be missed!
Jericho’s Brasserie 8pm All Tickets £10
Dizraeli and the Small Gods
One of the hottest hip hop acts in the UK today, Dizraeli and the Small Gods have been described as “far beyond a normal hiphop show... something quite remarkable”. Dizraeli and the Small Gods have gained a national reputation for their melodic and unashamedly heartfelt reinvention of hip hop and have played stages from Glastonbury to Bestival and every space between. The evening will kick off with a poetry slam space which is an
opportunity for anyone with an interest in performance poetry, mc’ing or rap to showcase their style in front of an audience. Following this Dizraeli and the Small Gods will play a full live set, mixing their unique sound of elastic rap vocals and hiphop invention in a performance which is at once rural and urban, gritty and political.
The Town Hall 8.30pm All Tickets £5
Sunday 5th June
West Country Publishers Book Fair
Visit a range of publishers from across the West Country as they promote their latest publications. Publishers will be on hand to answer queries and questions about the world of publishing as well as give informa- tion about their latest releases.
The Town Hall 10am-3pm Donations Welcome
Guided Holy Wells Tour
Launceston is situated near some of the most evocative holy well sites in Britain. Join Phil Cope author of Holy Wells: Cornwall for a guided mini bus tour of some of the best holy wells local to the Launceston area. Bring stout walking boots, weather-proof clothes, cam- eras and sketch pads and enjoy a morning exploring the mysticism of these ancient sites.
Meet at the Coach Park 10am-1pm Tickets £15
Charles Causley Trust Garden Party
Join members of the Charles Causley Trust at the launch of their appeal to meet the cost of repairs and improvements to Cyprus Well, Charles Causley’s former home.
Victoria House (The Old St. Thomas Vicarage) 3pm Donations Welcome
Red Letter Days with Bagas Degol and Annamarie Murphy of Kneehigh Theatre
“A remarkable or memorable day-orgin 18th century: from the practise of highlighting a festival or feast day in red on a calendar.”Red letter day has been commissioned by FEAST to tour Cornish Village halls, Towns and anything between and has been brought to the festival by Carn to Cove the rural touring scheme. After the success of sell out performances at TipofYourTongue Literary Festival, Trovya and the Acorn theatre, an exciting collaboration has grown. Musicians Bagas Degol and writer Annamaria Murphy come together for Red Letter Days a new show especially made for Cornish venues, Taking the theme of “Feast”, they will perform evenings of music, song and stories with a bite. From Saints to sinners, broken hearts and Friday nights, it’s a perfect mix of story and music, a feast for the ears, soul and imagination.
The Town Hall 8pm Tickets Adults £7 Concessions/Child £5 Family Ticket £17
Exhibitions running through the week
Charles Causley Poetry Exhibition at the Lawrence House Museum 30th May - 4th June
Take a moment to explore Lawrence House Museum, a much loved museum central to the Launceston community. In the museum take a look at the Charles Causley exhibition which, during the festival, will be illustrated with an array of Charles Causley’s poetry.
10.30am-4.30pm Donations Welcome
Gwynngala Group of Artists and Makers and LAFF present 'Causley Creatively' 30th May - 4th June
Come and take a look at the exhibition of Gwynngala and LAFF (Launceston Arts for Fun) in the beautiful historic church. Both Gwynngala and LAFF are made up of artists from the local community, some of whose work will be available to buy during the exhibition. Also exhibiting work will be children from St Catherines & Tregadillet Primary School
St. Mary’s Church 10am-4pm Donations Welcome
Tom Adams Exhibition at the Alley Gallery 31st May - 4th June
Come and take a look at the work of Tom Adams the renowned local artist. Tom Adam’s work has appeared as cover images for many well known novels including work by John Fowles and Agatha Christie.
Alley Gallery 10am-5pm Donations Welcome
Phil Cope Exhibition 1st - 3rd June
Available to view in the bar area of the newly refurbished town hall will be Phil Cope’s beautiful photographic exhibition of Holy Wells.
The Town Hall 10am-5pm Donations Welcome
Tickets for all events are available from the new Tourist Information Centre in the Market House Arcade or online from Hall for Cornwall (booking fees apply)