Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts & Literature

...cultural Cornwall event

Celebrating the life and works of Dame Daphne du Maurier, who lived and wrote in the area, is a Cornwall arts festival blending guided walks, talks by authors and celebrities, big name performances, drama and community events such as boat trips, plays, concerts and more.

It's good to inject some culture into ones holidays in Cornwall, and this festival is just the ticket.

2011 represented unchartered territory for the Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts & Literature, as Cornwall Council handed over the running of the event to a newly-formed committee, comprising members of Fowey Town Council and the town’s Chamber of Commerce.

The ten day festival runs from Wednesday May 9th to Sunday May 20th in 2012 and features a huge programme of events of many potential highlights.

The festival’s heartbeat can be found in the Festival Village in the grounds of the Fowey Hall Hotel, a small and intimate centre situated high above the fishing port of Fowey, near Looe, where du Maurier lived.

A host of tributes to the Cornish author will take place, including panels of experts discussing her work, influence and legacy.

Last year was a roaring success. From the world of politics (and rotten ballroom dancing), Anne Widdecombe helped to open day one with a talk in the festival village, while Alistair Campbell gave a two hour talk on the Tuesday. TV Professor Robert Winston gave a fascinating talk on “Bad Ideas”.

Multiple BBC folk music award-winner Cara Dillon took to the stage on the 19th, while the previous night saw a performance from the highly-acclaimed Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Cornwall resident, West End legend and Oscar winner Tim Rice spoke for 90 minutes about his distinguished career, while Grumpy Old Woman and comedian Jenny Eclair also put in an appearance. More comedy came from Inbetweeners star Greg Davies, and wrapping up the event was a special 30th anniversary concert by Shakin’ Stevens.

In addition to a range of events too numerous to mention, there will be free entertainment on Fowey’s Town Quay, concerts, guided walks, plays and a series of talks in Fowey’s Town hall on specialist and Cornish themes. 2012 is set to be the best yet.

To view the full programme of events visit the official website (see related links). Tickets will go on sale mid-March. 

Sean Cummins

February 2012


Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015