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Monday 14 October – Monday 21 October 2019

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Festival news

Here you’ll find the latest announcements and updates for this year’s festival, plus archived articles.

2019 dates announced


Famous names from the world of arts and culture will be heading to the borough this October when we return for our 7th year. A wide-ranging programme of events and shows will run from Monday 14 – Monday 21 October 2019 – another 8 days of exciting arts for all ages. Events will cover drama, […]

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Sweet success

Simon Armitage CBE

Internationally renowned poet Simon Armitage CBE read some of his latest poetry collections at a sold-out St Chad’s Church in Rochdale for the finale of this year’s festival. Over the last eight-days hundreds of people watched top literary names that also included Louise Minchin, Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, Stuart Maconie, Dr Helen Pankhurst and Gervase […]

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Women of the World – readings


So many of you have asked for the set list performed at the Women of the World event at the Curtain Theatre, so here it is…   1. M       Natural Woman               Carol King                                         Song                      USA       2. H M   Taste of Honey                 Shelagh Delaney                             Play                        Manchester       3. K         Moonwise                        Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze                         Poem                     Caribbean           4. H        At the Bay                         Katherine […]

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Back and better than ever


The festival begins returns next week, bringing stars of page, stage and screen to town with 35 shows in 8 days. From Monday, 15 October 2018 until Monday, 22 October 2018, we will stage drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children’s shows, plus a Generation Z programme for 14 to 25 year olds. While over […]

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Women of the World add WOW factor


Well known faces from stage and screen will be appearing at the Curtain Theatre.  On Sunday, 21 October 2018 at 2pm renowned director, actor and writer Joyce Branagh will present ‘Women of the World’ at the Milkstone Road theatre – featuring some very special guests reading classic poetry and prose on stage. These include Hannah […]

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Fun events for families


There’s lots for children and families to look forward to at this year’s festival. On Saturday, 20 October 2018 at Rochdale Central Library author and storyteller Richard O’Neill presents a live interactive reading of his latest enchanting story – Polonius the Pit Pony. He’ll also read other stories, and provide tips on how to create your […]

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Top UK broadcaster and writer added to line-up


Another famous name has been added to our line-up. At 7pm on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie will be sharing stories and insights from his retracing of the famous Jarrow March, as explored in his latest book Long Road from Jarrow: A Journey Through Britain Then and Now. Stuart is familiar to […]

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Young producers wanted


Are you interested in the arts, live shows and performances? Would you like to get more involved and have your voice heard? Right now we’re on the lookout for young people aged 16 to 25 to take part in a pioneering scheme that will see you attend a wide range of shows and other events, […]

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Early birds go!! 25% off tickets


Tickets are now on sale, so get yours early and save money this month. All festival shows priced over £5 will be available with an Early Bird discount of 25% until 4pm on Monday, 27 August 2018. You can also book and collect tickets in person from Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre in Rochdale. This […]

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First guests announced

Simon Armitage LitFest cover

The first four names on our line-up have been revealed. Our eight-day festival in October will feature internationally acclaimed poet Simon Armitage CBE, television presenter and triathlete Louise Minchin, actress, author and presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE and women’s rights activist Dr Helen Pankhurst. Simon Armitage CBE will make a welcome return, after performing a […]

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