Sea Fever 6 – Friday 6 May /Saturday 7 May
Although the world is of course still living under the shadow of COVID, the festival’s ambitious plans for 2022 are now crystallising.
Our focus is on Sea Fever 6. This will take as its theme the balance in society between the individual and the state. Giving it a suitably Norfolk twist, we are calling it, Doing Different?
The festival’s set for two days around our usual date in late spring. It will be opening in Wells Maltings on Friday May 6, closing on the evening of the following day. True to our roots in Poetry-next-the-Sea, we are planning a programme as strong as it is in poetry as prose.
On the Friday we are delighted to welcome back to Norfolk the festival’s old friend Peter York. In a special opening event, he'll be discussing his extraordinarily multi-faceted career. The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook was published forty years ago. All too topical is Dictator Style: Lifestyles of the World's Most Colourful Despots. A 'John Lewis Nightmare' may possibly come to mind. Julia Marozzi will be asking the questions.
The following day sees a cornucopia of events, all touching – in one way or another - on our theme.
Amongst the highlights are Richard Hawking on Adrian Bell, whose Countryman’s Notebook was for many years the best column in the Eastern Daily Press; author and conservationist Charles Rangeley-Wilson on a major local rewilding project in the Stiffkey valley; and Meriel Schindler on her extraordinary family memoir of Austria under the Nazis, The Lost Café Schindler.
In poetry there are few better lists than Faber’s. Sam Riviere and Jack Underwood not only grace the stable of Faber and Faber but are Norfolk born and bred. They also made their first appearances in the Maltings. In addition, Sally Festing will be back in the chair for her ever-popular open mic event, working with fellow poet Peter Wallis.
Other than Nelson, Norfolk is perhaps proudest of its association with one of the best poets and one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century: WH Auden and Benjamin Britten. The climax of Sea Fever 6seems sure to be a special event which showcases two ‘thirties plays in which these remarkable talents were combined. In a world which faced the dictators, they have considerable resonance today.
The full programme will be announced before Easter; tickets are available as usual through the festival venue: Wells Maltings at Wells-next-the-Sea.
In the autumn we are also hoping to repeat the success of Sea Fever 4, a one-day event concentrating on all things maritime. This will be Sea Fever 7.