Who's Here and What's On
19.00 - Saturday
Murray Lachlan Young - Poet
Acclaimed performer, playwright, broadcaster, actor, screen-writer children's author and poet -extraordinaire, Murray Lachlan Young is celebrated for his hybrid mix of stand-up comedy with delightful commentaries on the bizarreness of contemporary life .
Widely regarded as one of the best-known poetry voices in Britain and BBC6 Music Resident Poet, regularly performing on BBC Radio 4. he came to prominence during the Britpop era of the mid-1990s, when he became the only poet to sign a recording contract worth £1m.
His work echoes the great rhymers Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and Gilbert and Sullivan, along with more alternative influences such as Grandmaster Flash, Tom Waits and Ian Drury. His satirical commentaries can read like RD Laing in their philosophical intensity, whilst their subjects range from the vanities of celebrity and middle-class angst, to highlighting the absurdities of modern life.
Murray's first ever anthology of collected works: How Freakin’ Zeitgeist Are You? published by Unbound,is a delightful and satirical romp into the bizarre facets of fame, fashion, people and politics.
Regular festival appearances include Glastonbury, WOMAD, Latitude, Cheltenham Festival of Literature and countless book festivals. Mick Jagger recently presented Keith Richards with a CD of Murray’s poem, marking the anniversary of Keith falling out of a coconut tree!
17.00 - Sunday
Mark Reeder and John Robb
Mark Reeder – Musician and Record Producer
Mark Reeder has been living and working in Berlin since 1978. He is the founder and owner of the German electronic dance music labels MFS and Flesh. In 1991, Reeder discovered the teenage Paul van Dyk, guiding and paving his way to build up his now international DJ superstardom. Dave Haslam’s book Adventures on the Wheels of Steel: The Rise of the Superstar DJs describes how Reeder initiated and successfully outlined van Dyk’s early career from 1991 until 1999, and through Reeder’s respected status and extensive music industry contacts, van Dyk was able to climb the ladder to success and reach his current superstar status.
Mark’s career has spanned more than three decades. He has been a participant and behind the scenes influence for many now famous artists, spread over a wide cross section of contemporary musical genres. Due to his extensive knowledge of the music industry, he has participated and chaired panels at various international music conferences since the late 1980s. Aside from his sixth sense for sound, he’s the face of hit documentary B-Movie Lust and Sound in West Berlin starring himself, sex, drugs, and rock n’ techno. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Reeder
John Robb – Writer and Musician
John writes for and runs the Louder Than War website and a monthly music magazine of the same name.
He also writes for The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, and several websites.
While working for Sounds, Robb was the first journalist to interview Nirvana, and also later coined the word ‘Britpop’.
He has written several books on music and makes media appearances as a music commentator.
He is also the vocalist in the punk rock band Goldblade and bassist and vocalist in post punk band The Membranes.
13.00 - Saturday
Abigail Dean - Author
Abigail Dean was born in Manchester, and grew up in the Peak District. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and graduated with a double first in 2011.
Abigail always loved reading, writing, and talking about books, and her first job was as a bookseller at Waterstones. She later worked as an associate at a New York law firm. Ahead of her thirtieth birthday,
she took time off between jobs to work on her first novel, Girl A.
Abigail now works as a lawyer at Google.
Abigail’s debut novel Girl A sold in the UK after a 9-way auction to HarperCollins who published it in January 2021. The book immediately became a New York Times and Sunday Times Bestseller. It also sold in the US to Viking in a seven-figure deal and has sold in 35 territories including television/film.
Girl A tells the story of Lex, better known to the world as Girl A, who escaped her family home where she and her siblings were held captive by their parents. Now, after her mother’s death, she and her siblings are left in the family home. Wanting to transform the House of Horrors into a force for good, Lex must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.
Abigail lives in south London, and is working on her second novel.
11.00 Saturday and all weekend
Peter Dench - Photographer & Artist in Residence
Peter is a UK-based photographer, presenter, writer, author and curator.
He achieved a World Press Photo Award in the People in the News Stories Category for the reportage, Drinking of England. A FIFA-sponsored project, Football’s Hidden Story, comprising 26 stories across 20 different countries, documenting the positive impact of football, received six global accolades.
Solo exhibitions include: Made in England at the Haus der Geschichte, Bonn, Germany; Trans-Siberian World Cup at the After Nyne Gallery, London UK. A1: Britain on the Verge and DENCH DOES DALLAS, both at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London UK. The British Abroad at the Photoreporter festival, France. England Uncensored at the Visa Pour L’image Festival of Photojournalism in France and the Periscopio Festival, Spain.
Books include: THE DENCH DOZEN: Great Britons of Photography Vol.1 (2016); DENCH DOES DALLAS (2015), The British Abroad (2015) Alcohol & England (2014) and England Uncensored (2012), which was a Pictures of the Year International photography book award finalist.
Written contributions have been commissioned for the New Yorker, Telegraph magazine and a number of photography journals.
TV credits include ‘What is it to be English?’ and ‘Brexit Leavers’ Voices Burnley Channel 4 News UK.
Peter is Co-Founder of Photo North Festival UK and Ambassador for OM Systems and will be here all weekend to answer any photo questions you have.
Matt and Annabel - 78 Vintage DJ's
With a collection of over 20,000 78rpm shellac discs and their original 1930’s gramophones Matt and Annabel will be will be providing the soundtrack to the festival.
15.00 - Saturday
Connor Rogers - Artist
Conor Rogers is an award-winning Sheffield-based artist and graduate of Sheffield Hallam University. He was shortlisted for the John Moores painting prize 2014 and was selected to exhibit in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015 at Primary Gallery, Nottingham & ICA, London. He has since exhibited work both nationally and internationally in group shows, arts festivals and biennales. He was twice shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize in 2017 and 2019 both exhibitions being held in Sheffield then Manchester.
In 2019 Conor was named as the 1st Prize winner of the Robert Walters Group UK Young Artist of the Year Award held at the Saatchi Gallery London. He is currently taking part in a group exhibition ‘EN-GER-LAND’ at OOF Gallery London and has most recently been commissioned as a collaborative artist for the National Portrait Galleries ‘Creative Connections programme’.
15.00 - Sunday
James Lewis - Art valuer
James Lewis – Art Valuer and Auctioneer
James Lewis CEO of Bamfords, is a regular face and voice on television and radio; he is without doubt one of the most recognised faces in the international antiques world. James has a great knowledge and expertise in fine furniture, sculpture and interiors and heads the Bamfords team. He is in charge of the single owner Country Home and Estate Auctions. He has advised the British Government and helped formulate legislation involving antiques. He has also advised on the history of objects contained at 10 Downing Street.
He is without doubt one the leading auctioneers in the UK and has been a previous winner of UK Auctioneer of the Year.
James will be valuing the pieces in our Art Treasure Hunt and advising us on what is hot in the art world and what to collect.
11-00 - Sunday
Max Brandrett - Britains No.1 Art Forger
‘Max the Forger’ developed his art skills during a childhood spent in Barnardo’s and foster homes. Aged 15, he ran away to join the circus and worked as an elephant handler and scenic artist. Pursuing adventure, he found himself homeless and selling his art in London’s Portobello Road, and it was there that he met the Kray Twins and was handsomely paid to paint a portrait of their mum.
For decades he turned his talents to fooling Britain’s top auction houses and galleries with his fakes, producing anything from classic Dutch shipping scenes and British landscapes, to primitive pigs, Louis Wain cats and Cash Coolidge dogs playing poker – Max was able to recreate the style of almost any artist! After a spell of working with the infamous art forger Tom Keating, he made himself a fortune, but ended up serving three jail sentences for his crimes.
With the inception of scientific testing, he gave up the forgery game, instead donating his signed paintings to charity and raising tens of thousands of pounds, particularly for the Variety Club of Great Britain, through which he has made many celebrity friends. From rags to riches, he never stopped laughing – and missing his mum.
Max has his own appreciation society on Facebook, and his biography ‘The Life of a Cheeky Faker’ is out now.
Tim Villiers & Matt Hill - Artists in Residence
Working mainly in metal Tim will be creating in the grounds a site specific metal sculpture.
'I was destined to work with my hands. By my mid-twenties I had completed a shipbuilding apprenticeship on the east coast of England and been a coded welder for the oil and gas industry supervising projects in Libyan oil fields, followed by two years travelling around the world.
Returning back to England in the late 80s, my brother Hugo introduced me to Kevin McCloud. They had been working together as set builder and designer for the Arts Theatre in Cambridge. Kevin also owned a company McCloud & Co, designing Baroque and Rococo style furniture and chandeliers. As a sole trader with a small workshop on a farm, I had the good fortune of carrying out work for his company. The work involved manufacturing tables, chairs and chandeliers, involving some architectural metal work. Kevin’s intricate drawings were works of art in themselves, with an impressive attention to detail.
Now, 30 years on, I work with clients all over the world. My passion for design and manufacturing still burns bright. Inspiration for new is everywhere. I’m a strong advocate for finding the right space and allowing yourself enough time to let your creative mind wander'.
Matt is an award-winning Australian artist who has a passion for creating unique and mesmerising sculptures from corten steel.
A carpenter by trade, Matt has harnessed his knowledge of architectural and rendering software to create eye-catching pieces that are not bound by size or design limitations.
His signature works include large-scale metal animals and captivating stratified spheres that light up at night. Some life-size sculptures can take up to 300 hours to complete.
David is a Manchester based artist and he will be showing ‘A Tree Made of Real Wood' a documentary project that takes a wry look at urban trees pointing out the absurdities of trying to disguise the urban environment.
‘Many of the trees we see in city centres are dotted around in tubs, like fig leaves hiding the shame of bland re-development.
‘Nature never looked more un-natural than in "suburbia – a place where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them’.
20.00 - Sunday
Join us for a night of laughter and visual fun as we have 3 of the regions best comedians on stage to get us laughing and keeping us entertained. Comedians TBC.
Thornbridge Hall is surrounded by 13 acres of quirky and quintessentially English gardens, set in the heart of the Peak District National Park. They were designed at the end of the 19th Century to create a vision of '1,000 shades of green' which the owner wanted to be able to see from his bedroom window. The startling, calming and gracious gardens are a perfect example of Victorian drive, determination and engineering to manipulate the landscape into a series of garden rooms.
The gardens first opened to the public in the 1930's and there are many distinct areas including the Italian Garden, 30m (100ft) Herbaceous Border, Water Garden and Koi Lake, as well as terraced lawns overlooking the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.
Visitors will also come across three temples, numerous statues, 46 urns and two grottos, all of which were incorporated into the garden in the 1890's. Some of the statuary came from Clumber Park and Chatsworth, while some were gifts from the Greek Government.
Since 2002, Emma and Jim and the talented Thornbridge team have developed the Kitchen Garden, Scented Terrace, Long Border, Modern Knot Garden, Cascade Garden, The Greenhouse and The Orangery. The garden that will be created next is the Jaipur Garden - at long last! - a garden for Emma and Jim - to celebrate their marriage in Jaipur (whilst backpacking) in 1993. There is no doubt that a considerable amount of Jaipur Beer, an IPA, named for the place they were married, will be deliciously and unsparingly enjoyed in this garden…
Saturday - 20.00 till Late
The Thornbridge Bar
To keep the Party going on saturday night the Thornbridge Bar will be open till late! Come and join us for a glass of legendary Thornbridge beer and some great music.
All Weekend till 14.00 Sunday
The Great Arty Treasurehunt
Over the weekend there will be 6 numbered items placed around the grounds and hall.
Guests can try out their valuation skills and put a value on each item.
On Sunday James Lewis will be here to value each item.
The person with the closest valuation of all the items wins a prize.