Comedy and Politics Taunton Literary Festival

There’s something for everyone at Taunton Literary Festival, with more authors and events than ever. Tuesday, 18 November at Brendon Books, Bath Place is hosting two writers – drop in for comic anecdotes or Sinclair McKay’s fresh take on Dunkirk, later the same evening.

6.00pm Richard Smith, The First Englishman to Fly £6.50
Comedian Richard O. Smith’s illustrated talk tells the story of James Sadler the first Englishman to fly in The Man With His manwithheadclouds2-126x195Head in the Clouds. Richard includes hilarious anecdotes on how he overcame his aversion to heights by attempting to replicate the historic first flight.

Richard scripted 2014 movie The Unbeatables starring Rupert Grint and Rob Brydon. He writes for Radio 4’s The Now Show, The News Quiz, and BBC2’s Dara O Briain’s Science Club. He’s a Chortle Comedy Award winner. His books include Britain’s Most Eccentric Sports and Oxford Student Pranks . “A jam-packed jamboree of jollity!” – Dr Lucy Worsley. “Very, very funny.” – Dr Phil Hammond. “Better than all 26 days of an English cricket match. – Henning Wehn.

8.00pm Sinclair McKay, Dunkirk: Disaster to Deliverance £6.50
There is a wider story than the poliitcal one that involves a very large number of civilians – from nurses to racing enthusiasts, trades union leaders to dance hall managers, novelists to seaside cafe owners. And even wider yet, a story that starts in September 1939: of young civilian men being trained for a war that was already 25 years out of date; and the increasing suspense – and occasional surrealism – of the Phoney War. The ‘absurd epic’ of Dunkirk – told here through fresh interviews with veterans, plus unseen letters and archival material – is the story of how an old-fashioned island was brutally forced into the modernity of World War Two.

To book, head to the festival website


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