Fay Weldon - one of Britain’s foremost novelists, headlines this year’s fabulous festival
Statue of King Alfred in Wantage Marketplace
Our deliciously, delectable murder mystery evening
Terry Waite brings a touch of English eccentricity to Wantage
Wantage Parish Church
Austentatious - one of the most talked-about comedy shows – comes to Wantage
Lizzie Ostrom brings her unique Scratch+Sniff event to Wantage

Fact, fiction, food and fun – it’s festival time again…

Fay Weldon - one of Britain’s foremost novelists – is set to headline this year’s festival, which promises to be another great literary extravaganza from October 24 to November 1.


Weldon will be presenting Mischief - a collection of 21 of her favourite short stories – and revealing her thoughts on a half century of writing contemporary fiction.


Former Childrey resident and Wantage school pupil Eleanor Stewart will be coming home to describe what made her leave holy orders as a nun … to become a mother-of-two - while former Beirut hostage Terry Waite will be telling us about his warm and charmingly funny story The Voyage of The Golden Handshake.


Laughs will be a plenty during the week courtesy of one of the most talked-about shows on the UK comedy scene – Austentatious. A total sell-out at Edinburgh Festival three years running, the show stars a talented troupe of six who create a comedy play based entirely on audience suggestions.


And returning for a second year running, Little Chico’s hugely popular Murder Mystery dinner will be serving up ‘Die School Union’ at The Bear Hotel – with not all of the guests making it to registration...


Weird Science

In addition to talks on the ancient Greeks, Gallipoli, a scandal at Blenheim Palace and female boxing in the 19th Century, chemistry teacher Andy Brunning will be explaining the weird science behind our every day food and drink in Why does asparagus make your wee smell? - while sports hack Martin Johnson will regale us with entertaining tales of his life as a journalist in Can I carry your bags?


As the story of the army’s secret X platoon is revealed, there will also be writing and art workshops, contemporary poetry, and a unique scratch and sniff fragrance event with tea.


Festival organiser Dorothy Burrows said: ‘This year we have something for everyone, from famous and first time authors, to comedy and interactive sessions that involve food, drink and even perfume.


“Keep checking our website and Twitter for updates on what's happening - and remember to book early! Tickets will be available from September.”