Open Events

Our evening Open Events programme for sixth form and adults features several talks from critically acclaimed authors, poets and playwriters.

Harry Baker

Friday 5th February 2021

Harry Baker is the World Poetry Slam Champion. He published his debut anthology, The Sunshine Kid, in December 2014. The subsequent show of the same name was voted ‘Best Spoken Word Show’ of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015. Now a fully fledged maths graduate and full time poet/adventurer, his work has been shared on TED.com and viewed millions of times worldwide, as well as being translated into 21 different languages. He is working on a new collection and is in the middle of touring his sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show, I am 10,000, based on turning 10,000 days old!

Harry will be performing a selection of poems from his I am 10,000 tour and new poems written in Lockdown.

Join Harry online on Friday 5th February 2021 at 7.30pm -9.00pm 16+

Sponsored by Pardon Chambers Architects

Lemn Sissay

Saturday 6th February 2021

Lemn Sissay is a poet, playwright, artist, performer and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from

The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka,

Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland and Wigan library.

His memoir, My Name Is Why is published by Canongate Books 2019. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and wrote the official poem for the FA Cup. If you Google the name “Lemn Sissay” all the returning hits will be about him. There’s only one person in the world named Lemn Sissay.

Join Lemn as he talks about his childhood, Britishness, the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home.

Join Lemn online on Saturday 6th February 2021at 7.30pm 16+

Sponsored by Delta2020

Chris Whitaker

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Chris Whitaker is the award-winning author of Tall Oaks and All The Wicked Girls. Both books were published to widespread critical acclaim, with Tall Oaks going on to win the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award. His latest novel, We Begin At The End, has been described as a ‘masterpiece’ by several national newspapers and was Waterstones Book of the Month in August 2020. Chris lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children.

Crime fans won’t want to miss out on hearing Chris talk about his blistering story of murder, revenge and retribution set under the Californian sunshine.

Join Chris online on Tuesday 9th February 2021 at 7.30pm 16+

Sponsored by Savills

Claire Fuller

Wednesday 10th February 2021

Claire Fuller is a novelist and short fiction writer. Her first novel Our Endless Numbered Days won the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction. She has also written Swimming Lessons and the critically acclaimed Bitter Orange. Her fourth novel Unsettled Ground is published in March 2021.

She lives in Winchester, England with her husband, and a cat called Alan, and has two grown-up children.

Claire will be in conversation with Bill Borrows.

Bill is a journalist, author and broadcaster. He writes for the Daily Telegraph, Times Magazine, Mail On Sunday and Daily Mirror and interviews authors such as Kate Mosse, Jonathan Coe and Matt Haig for the Radio Times. A columnist for the Mirror, Sunday Telegraph, Four Four Two, Grazia and Esquire, he has interviewed people as various as Calvin Klein, Bjorn Borg, Kurt Russell, Chuck D, Tony Curtis, Mariah Carey and Hunter S Thompson. Both The Hurricane, his biography of Alex “Hurricane” Higgins, and 100 Greatest British Sporting Legends were nominated as Sports Books of the Year and he can be heard on talkRADIO every other Thursday morning talking about the best of the latest documentaries to watch.

Join Claire in conversation with Bill online on Wednesday 10th February at 7.30pm 16+

Sponsored by Savills

Chas Newkey-Burden

Thursday 11th February 2021

Chas Newkey-Burden is the author of dozens of books, including internationally bestselling biographies of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. He also wrote Running: Cheaper Than Therapy, Get Lucky, 64 Geeks and Great Email Disasters.

A widely published journalist, he writes about running for the Daily Telegraph, animal liberation for The Guardian and football for Four Four Two. He is also the ghostwriter of numerous books and articles for the rich and famous. 

Chas will be in conversation with Bill Borrows.

Bill is a journalist, author and broadcaster. He writes for the Daily Telegraph, Times Magazine, Mail On Sunday and Daily Mirror and interviews authors such as Kate Mosse, Jonathan Coe and Matt Haig for the Radio Times. A columnist for the Mirror, Sunday Telegraph, Four Four Two, Grazia and Esquire, he has interviewed people as various as Calvin Klein, Bjorn Borg, Kurt Russell, Chuck D, Tony Curtis, Mariah Carey and Hunter S Thompson. Both The Hurricane, his biography of Alex “Hurricane” Higgins, and 100 Greatest British Sporting Legends were nominated as Sports Books of the Year and he can be heard on talkRADIO every other Thursday morning talking about the best of the latest documentaries to watch.

Join Chas in conversation with Bill on Thursday 11th February at 7.30pm 16+