Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

Shoreham Wordfest – Fast Forward: 24 September to 1 October 2021

Shoreham-by-Sea’s Wordfest has a stellar arts and literature programme for autumn 2021, with the theme of Fast Forward, a celebration of words and ideas. The festival starts on Friday 24 September with Radio 4’s Any Questions? Alexander McCall Smith will launch the main Wordfest programme at Sussex Yacht Club on 30 September, appearing live by video link from his home in Edinburgh.

Environmental concerns are a major theme of the festival; there is a whole day conference on Ending The War on Nature, featuring Isabella Tree of Knepp Estate and Tony Whitbread, President of Sussex Wildlife Trust.

David Olusoga, the high profile social commentator, is talking about The Job of a Historian.” There is an evening in conversation with Radio 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews and the comic poet Murray Lachlan Young will be offering his humorous take on life as well as a family event of Cautionary Tales for Children.”

Political commentators include Katy Balls (The Spectator) and Stephen Bush (New Statesman) and former Foreign Correspondent Robin Lustig offers an international perspective.

Authors include William Shaw and Elly Griffiths, Sally Bayley (Girl with Dove, Radio 4 Book of the Week), and Yvonne Bailey-Smith, mother of Zadie Smith, with her first novel, interviewed by Colin Grant.

Jane Austen at Home is performed by Emma O’Hanrahan, voice of Emma Grundy in The Archers. This one-woman drama takes place in the ancient St. Nicolas Church, visited by Jane Austen herself while staying in Worthing.

There is mesmerising story telling by Mara Menzies and five family shows, including a children’s detective game with author Gavin Milnthorpe. There is music from Laura Ward and Risen Road, creative writing and a whole day celebration of National Poetry Day on 7 October.

Shoreham Wordfest’s Programme Director, Rosalind Turner told us This year’s Fast Forward festival will take place in various venues around our lovely seaside town, but we will also be recording and live-streaming many of the events. This means that people can participate from wherever they live and is a contingency in case there are further restrictions.” 

Full programme details and tickets are available from