The Words and Wickets Festival

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This fall, WordTheatre performed at the annual Festival of Words and Wickets.

The Festival of Words and Wickets celebrates the long and happy relationship between cricket and literature at the fabulous Getty’s pitch at Wormsley. On the cricket pitch the Authors XI took on an Actors XI in a 40 overs a side game. Teams included:

Authors XI:

  • Charlie Campbell (captain), author of Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People and literary agent at Ed Victor, Ltd
  • Sebastian Faulks, author of The Girl at the Lion d’Or series and team captain on BBC Radio 4 literary quiz The Write Stuff
  • William Fiennes, PEN/Ackerly shortlisted author of The Snow Geese and The Music Room
  • Peter Frankopan, historian at Worcester College, as a Senior Research Fellow
  • Nicholas Hogg, author of Show Me the Sky and The Hummingbird and the Bear and winner of Bridport short story contest
  • James Holland, author of best-selling books, The Battle of Britain and Dam Busters and historian of the Second World War
  • Jon Hotten, author of Muscle and The Years of the Locust and writer for The Old Batsman
  • Anthony McGowan, multi-award winning author of books for adults, teenagers, and younger children
  • Thomas Penn, author of Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England
  • Matt Thacker, managing editor of The Nightwatchman, the Wisden Cricket Quarterly, and All Out Cricket Magazine
  • Mirza Waheed, author of debut novel, The Collaborator, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award

Actors XI:

  • Damian Lewis (captain), Homeland, Life
  • Mark Steel, of The Mark Steel Lectures on BBC Four and BBC Radio 4
  • Kulvinder GhirBend It Like Beckham, Van Wilder 2
  • Sam Browne, plays for the Blues team at Cambridge, captains the Cambridge Polo team
  • Iain Glen, Game of Thrones, The Iron Lady
  • Gordon Kennedy, Little John in Robin Hood, Red Cap
  • Gareth Lewis, screenwriter and director, The Baker
  • Donald Rice, screenwriter and director, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
  • Peter Sandys-Clarke, West End regular – Pygmalion, When We Are Married
  • Nigel Walker, Founding member and commentator at Testmatchsofa.com
  • Tom Ward, Harry Cunningham in Silent WitnessQuills
  • Rufus Wright, EastEnders, David Cameron in The Audience

Readings from:

  • Gethin Anthony, Renly Baratheon in Game of Thrones
  • Scott Handy, A Knight’s Tale, Match Point
  • Adam Riches, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner
  • Kulvinder GhirBend It Like Beckham, Van Wilder 2
  • Richard Hawley, Love Actually, Family Affairs
  • Iain Glen, Game of Thrones, The Iron Lady

In a pitch-side marquee visitors were treated to panel discussions about cricket literature and this summer’s Ashes,Graeme Fowler was on board for joining, there was comedy from cricket obsessives Mark Steel and Andy Zaltzman and WordTheatre presented recitals from the best of cricket writing – fact and fiction.

Festival interviews were hosted by testmatchsofa.com. Guests enjoyed tours of the Getty family library which includes a Shakespeare first folio, Caxton’s first edition of the Canterbury Tales and Anne Boleyn’s psalter.

The day supported FIRST STORY, William Fiennes charity bringing great writers to work with the most deprived schools, and A CHANCE TO SHINE that takes cricket into inner city schools.