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Bookings and

See details included with each event

Tickets for most events can be booked in advance either online, by phone, or from the venue box office.


For most events, you can book your tickets online by clicking the "Book this event online" link beside the event details. All bookable events can also be found in the May section at…


To book by phone, call the number beside the event.


Or, on the day, tickets, if still available, can be bought on the door at each venue.

But please, with popular events, please check first for availability!

The ticket price in brackets applies to people entitled to concessions.


Most evening events scheduled at Swindon Arts Centre are available to buy as a double ticket at a reduced price. But these discounted tickets cannot be bought online. Should you wish to purchase double tickets, please call the box office on 01793 524481.

If you have any queries about booking or the Festival in general, please email us or ring 01793 771080.

Monday May 8

Photo credit: Dani Tot

Terry Waite

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
12.30pm • 8 May • £7 (£6)
Book this event online

TERRY WAITE – out of the silence.

At the height of the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy, Terry Waite conducted several successful missions to negotiate the release of hostages held by armed groups. But in January 1987, he was captured himself. Imprisoned for nearly five years, four of them in solitary confinement, he was chained, beaten, frequently blindfolded and, on one occasion, subjected to a mock execution.

Terry Waite, MBE, CBE, a British Quaker, Anglican, humanitarian, and author, wrote his first book, Taken on Trust, in his head when he was denied pen and paper during captivity. His latest book, Out of the Silence: memories, poems, reflections, shares his innermost feelings and sheds light on the human condition.

Francesca Martinez

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
6.30pm • 8 May • £8 (£7)
Book this event online

FRANCESCA MARTINEZ – on What the * * * * is Normal?

Whatever body you’re born into, the pressure to be normal is everywhere. But have you ever met a normal person? What do they look like? Where do they live? What do they eat for breakfast? What are they like as friends? And what does normal mean anyway?

If you grow up in a world where wrinkles are practically illegal, going bald is cause for a mental breakdown, and being oversize is being awkward, what on earth do you do if you are… gasp… disabled!?

Award-winning comedian and writer Francesca Martinez, who has accepted her cerebral palsy but prefers to describe herself as wobbly, is the author of What the **** is Normal?, a funny, personal, yet universal story of how she learned to stick two shaky fingers up to the crazy expectations of a world obsessed with being ‘normal’.

DOUBLE TICKET £13 for two events:
Francesca Martinez 6.30pm and Lionel Shriver 8pm

Photo credit: © Jennifer Berry

Poetry in the Sitting Room

Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Coate. Swindon SN3 6AA
Tel 01793 979224
6pm • 8 May • £3

POETRY IN THE SITTING ROOM – hosted by Sam Loveless & Hilda Sheehan

Bring a favourite poem, or a poem or two you have written to share with a friendly audience.

Tea and coffee for sale in the tearoom.

Photo credit: © Sarah Lee

Lionel Shriver

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
8pm • 8 May • £8 (£7)
Book this event online

LIONEL SHRIVER – on a fictional family facing reality.

What does the future hold for Americans? Will their economy survive threats from upstart currencies? Will they face a bloodless world war? Should they save money or spend it? Is inheritance safe? How are the mighty fallen?

Prize-winning author of twelve novels, including We Need to Talk About Kevin and Big Brother, Lionel Shriver, looks at the trials and tribulations of a family in a near- future North America. It is not science but is full of prophetic insights.

DOUBLE TICKET £13 for two events:
Francesca Martinez 6.30pm and Lionel Shriver 8pm