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There's some rather exciting announcements on the festival circuit, and some gorgeous Reader Treats just for you...

FESTIVAL: Pub in the Park at St Nicholas Park, Warwick, July 5 – 7 – the line-up!

Tom Odell, whose new album Jubilee Road, is out now.

Originally discovered by Lily Allen, British singer-songwriter and pianist Tom Odell – whose cover of the Beatles Real Love was featured in the 2014 John Lewis ad – is headlining Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park in Warwick this summer. The 28-year-old’s third album Jubilee Road is out now and was inspired by the East London street he lived while writing his new material. Also playing are noughties indie bands Razorlight (‘America‘) and Toploader (‘Dancing in the Moonlight‘), singer Will Young, Stereo MC’s, The Rifles and The Christians. Five more acts are yet to be announced.

Tom Kerridge in action

The three-day festival will be celebrating live music and food, playing host to Tom’s two Michelin-starred pubs, The Hand & Flowers. Other pub pop-ups include The Half Moon (Sussex); Abergavenny’s The Hardwick, North Italian restaurant Cafe Murano (London) and The Cross At Kenilworth – each serving up signature tasting dishes. Top chefs will be giving demo’s and there will be a Shopping Village. Pre-sale for tickets to those who have signed up to the newsletter will open on Thur Jan 31 and then go on general sale from Fri Feb 1. You can find out more and sign up for the newsletter here: pubintheparkuk


FESTIVAL: Stratford Literary Fest’s Big Hitters This Spring, from April 28

Former ballet dancer and ‘Strictly’ judge, Dame Darcey Bussell, Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis , Bake Off judge Prue Leith, actress Juliet Stephenson and screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose latest BBC 1 TV hit Les Misérables has graced our screens recently are among the top names visiting this 8-day spring festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. Award-winning writers including Ali Smith, John Lanchester, Tessa Hadley, best-selling novelist, Patrick Gale and Booker-prize winner Ben Okri will be showcasing their latest work, as well as some of the most exciting debuts of 2019.

Children’s Day this year rounds off the Festival on May 5. Multi-million best-selling writers Jacqueline Wilson and Francesca Simon and illustrators Lydia Monks and Nick Sharratt will be a massive draw for younger readers, along with stage shows of the much-loved books The Rainbow Fish and Aliens Love Underpants. Children’s events include a drop-in craft session to help build a giant Elmer, celebrating the famous patchwork elephant’s 30th anniversary. Pre-schoolers can help create a rainbow every weekday morning with craft and story-telling.

New for 2019 is a dedicated ‘Writers’ Day’ for people wanting to find the best route to being published and featuring literary agents, editors and other experts from the world of publishing. For the full line-up go to: stratlitfest Tickets go on sale on Feb 4,


FESTIVAL: Billy Bragg headlining the 40th Warwick Folk Festival, Thur July 25 – Sun July 28

Photo by Murdo McLeod

This successful family-friendly 4-day festival at Warwick School will welcome live performer and political campaigner Billy Bragg – who was given an Outstanding Contribution to British Music award at the Ivor Novello awards in 2018 – in the main marquee on the Thursday. Other artists playing include Skerryvore, Karan Casey, Welsh rhythm band Calan, Kabantu, Will Pound & Eddy Jay, Breabach, O’Hooley & Tidow and Nancy Kerr. A few Super Early-bird tickets are still available, under 14’s go free, warwickfolkfestival


LATEST MUDDY READER TREATS: Win a £850 Stay for 2 at 5-star Chewton Glen Hotel in Hampshire!

Enjoy a midweek stay for two in a Junior Suite at the super luxe Chewton Glen hotel in Hampshire on us! Your stay will include a 2AA rosette dinner, breakfast, and use of the spa and leisure facilities. Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Travel Awards 2018 announced Chewton Glen as Best UK Hotel Spa as well as ranking it third as Best UK Holiday Hotel. It won the coveted Muddy Stilettos Award for Best Day Spa in Hants. And the Good Hotel Guide 2018 also awarded it Best Country House Hotel.  Enter here before Feb 23.


WIN: One of 10 Balance Me Skincare bundles

Holy spritzers! We have 10 of these highly desirable natural facial skincare bundles to give away to subscribers here. If you’d like to find out a bit more about this multi award-winning brand, you can read our interview with sisters Clare and Rebecca Hopkins – the founders.


THEATRE: See a Workshop Performance of a New Musical: Tess, The Other Place, Stratford, Fri Feb 7 & Sat Feb 9

Photo credit: RSC

Coventry’s Night Project Theatre are presenting a new musical adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess at the very start of its creative journey. Created by composer Michael Blore and award-winning playwright/lyricist Michael Davies it’s taken two years to make and this is the first public showing. Formed in Spring 2014, Night Project Theatre was established to bring together performers, directors and industry creatives to present musical theatre in intimate venues. Over the past 5 years they’ve played to sell-out audiences across the Midlands. Previous Productions include The Hired Man, Dracula, The Last Five Years, Sweeney Todd (Stephen Sondheim) and Songs For A New World. Book here.

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