The first ever arts festival in Epsom & Ewell is to welcome the celebrated playwright and novelist Michael Frayn, back to his childhood home, for a unique event.
The MGSO4 Festival, being held in June this year, will present ‘An Evening with Michael Frayn’ hosted by Frayn’s nephew, and Epsom resident, Sky Sports News Presenter Julian Waters.
Michael Frayn is the author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, and his best-selling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and is now a staple on the school syllabus. His screenplays include the film Clockwise starring John Cleese.
Frayn grew up in Hillside Road, East Ewell, during the 1930s and 40s, writing a memoir of that time, My Father’s Fortune, published in 2010. A Festival audience at Bourne Hall will be able to enjoy Frayn’s discussion of the local area and how it has provided inspiration for his distinguished body of work.
The audience will also be treated to highlights of rare footage from Frayn’s 1978 BBC documentary about Ewell.
Michael Frayn said: “A lot has happened in Epsom and Ewell since I grew up there, back in the middle of the twentieth century, but one of the best things of all must surely be the new Festival. Congratulations and good wishes. I’m honoured to be taking part, together with my nephew Julian Waters, in episode one.”
Julian Waters said: “Michael is an amazing man. The breadth of his work is astonishing, encompassing novels, plays, television, film and journalism. In conversation, he’s a wonderful storyteller too. It should be a great evening.”
‘An Evening with Michael Frayn’ is generously supported by TWM Solicitors. “We were impressed when we heard about the plans for the Festival,” said Nick Shrimpton from TWM. “A cultural and arts event is long overdue for Epsom & Ewell. As a businesses with a heritage of supporting local activities we are delighted to be among the list of supporters and sponsors and look forward to being a part of the festivities in June”.
Festival Director Sarah Dewing said: “We’re thrilled that Michael and Julian have agreed to this very special event, and that TWM have been so supportive. We want to bring many high-quality events to the borough such as this. The launch of MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival is going to be a great testament to the hard work of all of our volunteer organisers, but our programme is reliant on donations and sponsorship. We have begun a fundraising campaign through Local Giving, and ask that people donate whatever they can, to make the Festival a great success.”
Photograph by Melanie Moss Photography 2016