20 Years Of The Graham Greene Festival

Berkhamsted Living Magazine Graham Greene

Berkhamsted’s favourite and best-known author is celebrated for the 20th year in a four-day extravaganza this September.

Running from 20-23 September, the Graham Greene International Festival includes talks, guided walks and film and music nights at the Civic Centre, Town Hall and Berkhamsted School.

Founded seven years after the author’s death, this annual event is the centrepiece of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust’s activities. The festival brings together specialists and Greene enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate the life and work of one of Britain’s most distinguished 20th century writers.

Festival Director Dr Martyn Sampson is excited about this year’s milestone event.

‘A key event in the local and literary calendars, this gathering of friends, fans, experts and interested persons from Berkhamsted, and all over the world, has become a truly special occasion,’ he said.

‘This year will see the first David Pearce Memorial Talk to mark the memory of David, whose legacy to the life of the trust and the festival is monumental.’

This year’s programme includes talks on the Third Man Museum in Vienna, the recent BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Greene’s 1932 novel Stamboul Train, and the theme of treachery and trust in Greene’s works.

BBC journalist Robin Lustig will be exploring the relationship between fact and truth in the work of journalists and novelists, while singer-songwriter Matt Saxton will be chalking up a festival first with a set of songs inspired by Graham Greene.

Adaptations of Greene’s work for the screen will be represented via the 1986 Yorkshire TV film May We Borrow Your Husband? (scripted by, and starring, Dirk Bogarde) and the 1976 Thames TV film Under the Garden, an episode from the Shades of Greene series.

‘The Festival organisers hope that this year’s event will attract regular participants, as well as those who may be less familiar with Greene’s work,’ says Dr Sampson. ‘We have something for everyone. It is our hope, as an organising team, that participants will thoroughly enjoy themselves, and walk away with great memories in celebration of all things Greene.’

Tickets for individual sessions or the entire festival can be purchased in advance from the website of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust (www.grahamgreenebt.org/tickets).