The Brook Green Festival of Books is a celebration of lively writing for lively minds. Now in its fifth year, its aims are to engage, provoke and amuse, bringing together authors and appreciative west London audiences.
The 2012 programme featured four events at the Bush Theatre, including War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and his biographer Maggie Fergusson, the Costa Book of the Year winner Andrew Miller on exhuming the – fictional – dead, and historian Kate Summerscale on the scandalous diaries of an undutiful Victorian wife.
At the Holy Trinity church in Brook Green, lovers of adventure enjoyed Artemis Cooper’s talk about her new biography of the irrepressibly dashing Patrick Leigh-Fermor – who, as an undercover agent in Nazi-occupied Crete, abducted a senior German general. The columnists Ferdinand Mount and Harriet Sergeant examined and discussed our big broken society, from the oligarchs in the penthouses to the gangs in the dark alleys.
The thirst for classic poetry was slaked at an evening programmed by Allie Esiri and Rachel Kelly, two local founders of the spectacularly successful iF poetry app. The performers included Julian Glover and Isla Blair – whose careers somehow embrace both the RSC and Star Wars. Helen Fielding ended the evening with a selection of her favourites read to the audience – along with personal anecdotes.
The Festival is not for profit: proceeds from ticket sales support the local work of Beanstalk (formerly Volunteer Reading Help), a charity that helps children who struggle with reading. Proceeds from the iF Poetry night were donated to Save The Children.