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Monday 14 October – Monday 21 October 2019

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Festival news

Book now!! Last chance to grab Early Bird tickets

There’s just a few days left to book special Early Bird tickets for this year’s festival, which has seen the highest opening sales in its 5-year history.

Star names like legendary chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson, comedian Jenny Eclair and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson have helped to boost early ticket sales.

Tickets have 25% off until 4pm on Thursday, 31 August 2017 and most are available online or in person at Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre.

The discount deal is already proving a hit  – already over 850 tickets have been snapped up and several shows are close to a selling-out. To meet the huge demand, an extra matinee performance of the comedy ‘Thrills and Quills: Jane Austen’s Life in Letters’ has already been added, and we are considering adding extra shows in response to the unprecedented demand.

As well as Sir Michael Parkinson, Jenny Eclair and Alan Johnson the 2017 festival also features Manchester poet Tony Walsh, former hostage and peace envoy Terry Waite CBE, plus bestselling crime writer Mandasue Heller. Best-selling author Rosie Goodwin will be discussing her latest novel ‘Mothering Sunday’ as part of an afternoon tea event at the town hall. Acclaimed author and historian Fran Cooper will be talking about her new book ‘These Dividing Walls.’

Fran Cooper.

Events cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children’s shows. For young people aged 14 to 25, another ‘Generation Z’ programme is being put together.

Councillor Janet Emsley cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:

“We’ve seen very strong ticket sales so far with our Early Bird offer proving very popular.  We have another very intriguing and interesting programme – an amazing combination of international names, theatre, comedy, poetry, workshops and more, with everything from global stories to afternoon tea with one of our top authors.”

Book tickets – for the full line-up and to book Early Bird tickets

Festival programmes are available from all local libraries, Link4Life leisure centres, Rochdale Town Hall, tourist information centres, museums and arts venues across Greater Manchester.

For children and families there’s also a secret agent themed programme of events.