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Todmorden Hippodrome Theatre welcomes back

Todmorden Book Festival

Friday 1st November to Saturday 9th November

Featuring 9-days of literary based events, talks, workshops and internationally recognised poets, playwrights and authors bringing their creative talents to a number of venues around Todmorden in November 2019, including the Hippodrome Theatre, The second Todmorden Book Festival is organised through the Todmorden Council and the Calderdale Libraries in association with the Arts Council. 

A full programme of events is available on a dedicated website at where you will also be able to check for pop-up stuff, book children's free workshops and buy tickets for top authors all under one site. That's where we come in. We've got the biggest venue in town and are only too pleased to welcome the biggest names to grace it, so we can let you into a few sneak previews of some of the names already released who will be playing the Hippodrome stage during the Todmorden Book Festival with more to follow ...

An Evening with Simon Armitage - Friday 1st November from 7:30 pm

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. His work draws on the rich vernacular of the north and his sequence of poems In Memory of Water is carved into six stones along the Pennine watershed between Marsden and Ilkley that now form the Stanza Stones Trail. He has published over a dozen collections of poetry and is the author of two novels and the nonfiction bestsellers All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away. His new collection Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic was published this year. Armitage was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2018.

Tickets for Simon Armitage cost £10 or £8 concessions available from the website

Philippa Gregory in conversation with Mike Poulton - Wednesday, 6th November from 7:30 pm

Historian and author of period biographical fiction, Philippa Gregory is one of the most popular novelists writing today. She is best known for her portrayals of women of the Tudor court of Henry VIII, most famously Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl.

Released in August 2019, Tidelands is the first in a new series set in the English Civil War and includes one of the many failed attempts to rescue Charles I before his trial. This was the first time the people of England united to control the power of the English king and was a turning point for the men and women of England.

Bradford-born playwright Mike Poulton’s most recent work includes his versions of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the RSC at the Swan Theatre in 2014, which transferred to London’s West End and Broadway. He returned to the RSC in 2017 with a new version of Robert Harris’s best-selling Cicero novels, entitled Imperium.

Tickets for Simon Armitage cost £10 or £8 concessions available from the website

The Wednesday Writer's Spoken Word & Music Open Mic - Monday 4th November from 7:30pm

Wednesday Writers’ regular open mic nights are becoming a cultural highlight in Todmorden for their eclectic mix of spoken word, song and interesting musical interludes. Wednesday Writers are an independent writers’ group formed in Todmorden in 2007 to practise the art and craft of writing. The group writes short stories, plays and poetry, and members include winners and finalists in local and national competitions. The Wednesday Writers encourage local writers to share their journeys and to continue to develop as writers. Come along to read, share, perform or just to listen.

The Open-Mic will be in the Foyer of the Hippodrome Theatre and will be a FREE event, but in order to manage numbers you are requested to book tickets from the website at 

Sally Wainwright "A Life in Writing" - Friday, 8th November from 7:30pm

Sally Wainwright, whose credits include the critically acclaimed Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and the amazing Gentleman Jack joins us on stage to discuss her career in writing for radio and TV. Her recent BBC drama portraying the life of lesbian diarist and wealthy Yorkshire landowner Anne Lister starring Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle and Timothy West was filmed locally was the fulfilment of an ambition Sally held for 20 years.   

'Anne Lister is a gift to a dramatist. She is one of the most exuberant, thrilling and brilliant women in British history.' The BAFTA winner will talk about a writing career spanning over 25 years .  

Tickets for A Life in Writing cost £10 or £8 concessions available from the website