There's just a few days left to book special Early Bird tickets for this year's Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival, which has seen the highest opening sales in its 5-year history.
Star names like legendary chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson, comedian Jenny Eclair and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson have helped to boost early ticket sales for the event in October 2017.
Tickets have 25% off until Thursday, 31 August 2017 and most are available online at
Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival or in person at Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre.
The discount deal is already proving a hit with festival fans - already over 850 tickets have been snapped up and several shows are close to a selling-out. To meet the huge demand, an extra matinee performance of the comedy 'Thrills and Quills: Jane Austen's Life in Letters' has already been added, and the council is considering adding extra shows in response to the unprecedented demand.
'Strong ticket sales so far with our Early Bird offer proving very popular'
This year there are nearly 40 events in 13 venues from Tuesday, 17 to Wednesday, 23 October 2017 during the festival organised by Rochdale Borough Council, plus preview events from September 2017.
As well as Sir Michael Parkinson, Jenny Eclair and Alan Johnson the 2017 festival also features Manchester poet Tony Walsh, former hostage and peace envoy Terry Waite CBE, plus bestselling crime writer Mandasue Heller. Best-selling author Rosie Goodwin will be discussing her latest novel 'Mothering Sunday' as part of an afternoon tea event at the town hall. Acclaimed author and historian Fran Cooper will be talking about her new book 'These Dividing Walls.'
Events cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children's shows. For young people aged 14 to 25, another 'Generation Z' programme is being put together.
Councillor Janet Emsley cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:
"We've seen very strong ticket sales so far with our Early Bird offer proving very popular. We have another very intriguing and interesting programme - an amazing combination of international names, theatre, comedy, poetry, workshops and more, with everything from global stories to afternoon tea with one of our top authors."
Festival programmes are available from all local libraries, Link4Life leisure centres, Rochdale Town Hall, tourist information centres, museums and arts venues across Greater Manchester.
The festival will include guest speakers and writers and is aimed at celebrating and promoting the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage with books and ideas. Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.
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The festival is organised by us, supported by the Maskew Bequest and sponsored by
The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre and creative digital media company -
For children and families there's also a secret agent themed programme of events.