David Starkey and Andrew Sachs head line-up for Words in Walden Spring 2014 Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:51 16 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:51 16 January 2014

Tickets are now on sale for the Words in Walden Spring Festival which runs from February 28 to March 28.

With a line-up including David Starkey on the Tudors, Andrew Sachs on life before, during, and after Fawlty Towers, former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion commemorating the First World War centenary with readings from best-loved war poets as well as his own war poetry, and gardeners’ favourite Chris Beardshaw on the ‘100 plants which almost changed the world’ (and his audience’s own gardening problems), there is likely to be heavy demand on tickets.

Alongside these hugely popular speakers is a range of unusual and fascinating talks: StreetArtLondon director (and street artist himself) Karim Samuels showcases the works of Banksy and other street artists working on London’s walls and pavements today; anthropologist Dr Valerie Curtis discusses what revolts us and how much it influences our lives – our eating habits, our love life, and our values; Kate Swindlehurst, writer-in-residence at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, discusses the inspiration of the Gardens and how we respond; and TV cook and food writer Ursula Ferrigno demonstrates a mouthwatering array of Sicilian dishes.

Words in Walden is also supporting Hannah Walker’s new Saffron Walden Word Shed – a series of performance poetry shows, which kicks off in the King’s Arms pub with Luke Wright and his bawdy bar room ballads about small town tragedies, yummy mummies, maudlin commuters and tabloid paparazzi.

Festival director Jo Burch said: We’re delighted with the line-up for this spring’s festival – this is our 14th festival and we’re still finding exciting new strands to bring into the programme which will, we hope, bring new audiences.

“We’re always open to suggestions so would love readers to get in touch through our website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, by having a word with one of us at the Festival or even, of course, coming to see us at Harts Book Room on Shire Hill.”

Even before the festival starts, don’t miss Germaine Greer at Saffron Hall on February 1, launching the Words in Walden@Saffron Hall series of events. She talks about how, even 40 years after she wrote The Female Eunuch, the news is still largely made by men in suits and women still disappear into the shadows. She suggests strategies for change... her audience can expect a candid, enlightening and highly entertaining evening.

• Tickets can be bought online at hartsevents.co.uk, by phone 01799 523456, at Harts Book Room on Shire Hill or at Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

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