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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.

Tuesday May 15

Harriet Harman

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
12noon • 15 May • £12 (£10)
Book this event online

There was a time, not so very long ago, when there would be men-only advertisements for jobs and there was such a thing as a ‘women’s rate’ of pay. In those times, women could not sign for a mortgage and women MPs were a tiny minority.

Things may be better now but can women relax?

Britain’s longest-serving female MP Harriet Harman thinks not. In her new book, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the vote for women, A Woman’s Work, she looks at her own life to help her see how far we have come and where we should go next, arguing that it is all right to be grateful but not complacent.

DOUBLE TICKET £17 for two events:
Harriet Harman 12noon and Kevin Toolis 1.30pm

Kevin Toolis

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
1.30pm • 15 May • £9 (£8)
Book this event online

KEVIN TOOLIS – on how the oldest rite of humanity can still teach us how to live, love, and learn more.

Presented in association with the Prospect Hospice, and as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week

Why do we generally speak nervously, quietly, solemnly, or little about death? What is there to fear about death? How can the living and the dead be more bound together? How can we really celebrate life, in death?

Writer and BAFTA-winning filmmaker, Kevin Toolis had sought meaning in death across the world but found the most significant answers on the island of his forebears off the coast of Mayo, where they had lived for the last 200 years.

In talking about the wonders of the Irish wake, with readings from his ground-breaking memoir My Father’s Wake, which has an uplifting and positive message at its heart, Kevin Toolis reveals how the oldest rite of humanity can still teach us to live and love in our mortality.

DOUBLE TICKET £17 for two events:
Harriet Harman 12noon and Kevin Toolis 1.30pm

Charles Landry

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
6.30pm • 15 May • £9 (£8)
Book this event online

CHARLES LANDRY – on The Civic City in a Nomadic World.

Presented in association with Switch on to Swindon

What’s going on in our towns and our cities today? What is their identity, culture, and distinctiveness? Is the anytime, anyplace, anyone, anywhere phenomenon the new norm? Are we becoming nomadic? Or is the greatest yearning still to belong? Do we need to invent a new and meaningful cultural anchorage in our sprawling urban landscape? What’s actually going on in our towns and our cities and what part do we play in it? How can we all be more switched on to what our own town or city has to offer?

In his new, ground-breaking, and richly-illustrated book, international speaker, inventor of the Creative City concept, and author of The Art of City Making, Charles Landry helps us navigate the evolving urban landscape.

This event is a must for anyone who cares about their own town or city, today!

DOUBLE TICKET £17 for two events:
Charles Landry 6.30pm and Will Self 8pm

Photo credit: Chris Close 2014

Will Self

Arts Centre, Devizes Road SN1 4BJ
Tel 01793 524481
8pm • 15 May • £10 (£9)
Book this event online

WILL SELF – on what we think, what we know, what we don’t know, and his new novel Phone.

How do you see life in the twenty-first century? How does it suit you? Do you like it?

Through Jonathan D’Ath, or ‘the Butcher’, we see the world we thought we knew in many different ways. So does everyone else. Yet why would everyone, family, friends, and colleagues alike, have the same nickname, behind his back, for a man who actually knows that none of them know the only real secret he maintains, encrypted in the databanks of his steely mind, that a tank commander is his long-time lover? What!

It’s a puzzle that unfolds in the latest novel by prize-winning author and broadcaster Will Self, whose many books include Great Apes, The Book of Dave, Umbrella, and Shark but is maybe best-known to many for his insightful book reviews in national broadsheets, his sharp Points of View on Radio 4, and his telling appearances on national television.

DOUBLE TICKET £17 for two events:
Charles Landry 6.30pm and Will Self 8pm

Grahame Lloyd

Central Library Regent Circus SN1 1QG
Tel 01793 466454
7pm • 15 May • £6 (£5)

GRAHAME LLOYD – Fifty Years On: The Six Sixes Revisited.

When Garry Sobers hit Malcolm Nash for an historic six sixes off one over at Swansea in 1968, cricket’s Everest was finally conquered.

In 2006, the ball supposedly used in the famous over was sold at auction for a record £26,400.

But was it the right ball? When it was put up for sale again in 2012, the plot thickened . . .

To celebrate the iconic moment in cricketing history and to get to the bottom of what happened to the famous ball, author of eight books, broadcaster, journalist, and football commentator

Grahame Lloyd has written Howzat? The Six Sixes Ball Mystery – an iconic moment, a disturbing tale of fake news, a whodunnit, with a ball instead of a body – in which startling new evidence is uncovered about its controversial identity and sale.