Chiswick Book Festival Hands Over Donations After Record Year

2024 event launched in partnership with The Chiswick Cinema

(l to r): Catherine Jaquiss, Ealing Team Leader, Read Easy UK; Helen West, Trustee, Read for Good; Fr Kevin Morris, Vicar, St Michael & All Angels; Fiona Curran, Chief Executive, Koestler Arts
(l to r): Catherine Jaquiss, Ealing Team Leader, Read Easy UK; Helen West, Trustee, Read for Good; Fr Kevin Morris, Vicar, St Michael & All Angels; Fiona Curran, Chief Executive, Koestler Arts

March 28, 2024

The organisers of The Chiswick Book Festival say that the 2023 event broke records for ticket sales. With authors featured such as Clive Myrie, Jacqueline Wilson, Alan Titchmarsh, Michael Frayn and others, this has generated a £20,000 surplus which is being distributed to charities. Four organisation each received a cheque for £5,000 at a recent presentation ceremony at St Michael & All Angels Church.

The recipients were:

  • Read for Good, which helps children to read for pleasure through programmes in schools and hospitals,
  • Koestler Arts, the leading prison arts charity, based in W12, which promotes writing, reading and literacy in the criminal justice system;
  • Read Easy Ealing, which provides one-to-one reading tuition for local adults who want to learn to read or improve their reading skills; and
  • St Michael & All Angels Church, which hosts and runs the festival and is itself a charity.

Since the Festival started in 2009, it has raised more than £140,000 for reading and community charities, including St Michael & All Angels Church, which runs it as part of its mission of arts and community outreach. The festival donates all its profit after costs to its charity partners and actively promotes their activities and need for volunteers throughout the year. Each year, it supports three nominated charities alongside the church.

Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival, said, “We’re delighted that last year’s record ticket sales and sponsorship have allowed us to make these payments to such worthwhile causes. We’re very grateful to our many authors, venues, volunteers, partners and those who bought tickets, who helped make it possible.”.

Fiona Curran, Chief Executive, Koestler Arts, said, “Thank you so much. This is really appreciated and will make a huge difference to us. I really enjoyed meeting the other charity members, and we look forward to this year’s festival.”

Catherine Jacquiss, Ealing Team Leader, Read Easy UK, said “What lovely news - thanks again for everything, your continued support is much appreciated.”

Barbara Williams, head of fundraising at Read for Good, said, “This is incredible news; what a fantastic amount to have raised for your charities. Thank you so much for your support, and for inviting us to be a part of this special event.”

The 2024 Chiswick Book Festival this September will be held in partnership with The Chiswick Cinema. It will be launched, in partnership with The Chiswick Cinema, with a monthly season of films written by Harold Pinter, who wrote The Caretaker while living in Chiswick. It will be curated by Pinter’s biographer, Michael Billington, who also lives in Chiswick.

(l to r): Chris Parker, Marketing Manager, The Chiswick Cinema; Torin Douglas, Director, Chiswick Book Festival; Michael Billington, Harold Pinter’s biographer
(l to r): Chris Parker, Marketing Manager, The Chiswick Cinema; Torin Douglas, Michael Billington, Harold Pinter’s biographer

Torin Douglas said: “Michael and I are delighted to be fulfilling a promise we made to Lady Antonia Fraser, who was married to the playwright for 28 years. At the 2020 Festival, reported by The Observer, Lady Antonia said Harold’s screen work deserved great recognition and she held out hope that it might be celebrated in a season of films for the general public. We said we’d try to make it happen and we’re very grateful to Chris Parker, the marketing manager of The Chiswick Cinema, for his support.”

Harold Pinter is one of Chiswick's two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and is featured on the Festival’s Writers Trail and Chiswick Timeline of Writers & Books.

Series of Harold Pinter's screen work launches this year's festival

The season will begin on Saturday 27 April with a launch screening of the Joseph Losey-Harold Pinter thriller Accident, including a Q&A with Michael Billington and a drinks reception. Tickets will go on sale on The Chiswick Cinema website. Further films will be screened monthly on Sunday evenings. During the Chiswick Book Festival on Sunday 15 September, the film will be The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

 The 16 th Chiswick Book Festival will take place from 11- 18 September 2024. For programme details and updates, visit the festival’s web site.

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