To mark the 75th anniversary of the publication of Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited, The Brideshead Festival will celebrate and interrogate the ongoing appeal of this seminal novel and its screen adaptations.
Bringing together the worlds of literature, film, TV and heritage, the Festival is the brainchild of former publisher, Victoria Barnsley, and promises to be one of the most exciting new additions to the cultural calendar in 2020.
The Festival will take place from 26th to 28th June 2020 at Castle Howard, Sir John Vanbrugh’s baroque masterpiece that became synonymous with Brideshead when it was used as the location for the agenda-setting 1981 TV adaptation and the subsequent feature film in 2008.
Published in 1945, Brideshead Revisited is arguably Waugh’s most popular novel, having won legions of fans around the world in its 75 year history. The Festival will explore the place the book holds in the hearts of readers and viewers and the novel’s themes of youth, sexuality, nostalgia, decadence, religion and class.
Speakers will evaluate Waugh’s place in the cultural canon of 20th century literature and the relevance of the novel for today’s audiences. Taking a modern-day perspective, presenters will also look at the impact of the TV adaptation on the imagination of generations of viewers and the role literary adaptations play in today’s cultural landscape. Members of the original cast and crew will join well known writers, novelists and commentators in the festival line-up.
A host of other festival activities will pay homage to scenes and themes in Brideshead including a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, a Wine Tasting at the Temple of the Four Winds and an immersive Brideshead Party. Bespoke Brideshead tours will offer a look behind the scenes of the iconic adaptations and a specially commissioned Sound Installation will focus on Castle Howard’s place in the Brideshead story. Echoing the theme of plenty in the novel, food and drink will be a particular feature with local producers and well-known chefs providing Brideshead-inspired culinary experiences.
Victoria Barnsley who runs Castle Howard with her husband Nicholas Howard comments;
“I am delighted to be launching The Brideshead Festival. It has long been an ambition of mine to celebrate Castle Howard’s connection to Brideshead, and what better time to do it than its 75th anniversary. We look forward to bringing together a vibrant mix of speakers and performers to interrogate and interpret this brilliant work and its screen adaptations in the wonderful setting of Castle Howard.”