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Susie Dent presents The Secret Life of Words

Lexicographer - Best Selling Author – Queen of Dictionary Corner

Take a journey into the curious, unexpected, and downright surreal origins of the words we use every day. Susie will retell the adventures that lie hidden within such words as lasagne (involving a chamber pot) and bugbear (a terrorising monster), and explain such oddities as the silent h in ghost and the mysterious disappearance of kempt, gormful, and ruly (and yes, you really can be gruntled). She will look to the lexicon of the past to fill some of today’s linguistic gaps – such as the frenzied fit of tidying we all do just as guests are about to descend (that’s a scurryfunge).

Alongside such forgotten stories you will hear Susie’s selection of the funniest moments from her 25 years on Countdown and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as some startling results from eavesdropping on a group of waiters.

Each evening will include some of Susie’s favourite words from the towns and regions she visits, and she’ll be asking the audience for theirs. In fact, she’ll be welcoming any questions about word origins, usage irritations, the dreaded impact of Americanization, and the very future of our language in her very own ‘word surgery’.

WHY? 'Funny, fact-filled and delightful' Jonathan Ross

'Wonderfully clever and funny... a national treasury from a national treasure Richard Osman

'Susie Dent is a one-off. She breathes life and fun into words' Pam Ayres

Disclaimer: Susie explores the many meanings and origins of everyday words including a short section on swearing. Some may view it as unsuitable for the younger ears.

Courtyard Theatre
£20

@susie_dent
@nordenfarm

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Lucy Porter: Be Prepared

TV favourite Lucy returns with another fantastic stand-up show.

At Brownies, Lucy thought she’d be prepared for anything as long as she had her emergency 10p for a phone box and knew how to tie a Fisherman’s knot.

Life turned out to be slightly more complicated than Brown Owl let on.

Recent TV includes Would I Lie to You, QI and Impossible, she’s a regular on Radio 4’s News Quiz and The Now Show.

WHY? ‘A treat from start to finish’ The Herald

‘Impeccably punch-lined anecdotes… genuinely delightful‘ The Telegraph

Age Guidance 16+ years.

Courtyard Theatre
£16 (£14 conc)

@lucyportercomic
@nordenfarm

Lucy Porter's Website

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Sunday Stories

Interactive storytelling in the magical story den.

Join in or unwind in the Café Bar with a latte and the Sunday papers, while your little ones get involved in telling stories from all over the world.

Age guidance 4 – 7 years.

WHY? A sociable, creative and entirely relaxed way to do Sundays for families with young children

The Story Den
£3.50 per person (45 mins)

LIMITED AVAILABILITY
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The Navy Lark

Coming live to the theatre for the first time in over 60 years is The Navy Lark.

The Navy Lark sees a cast of three, bring to life three classic episodes from the much loved radio series which ran for 1959 - 1977. Originally featuring Leslie Phillips, Ronnie Barker and Jon Pertwee.

Starring James Hurn known for portraying such iconic characters as Tony Hancock, Sid James and Kenneth Williams from his hit one man show Hancock and Co. As well as Richard Usher and Mark Earby best known for The Goon Show Tour and The Lost Hancock’s Vacant Lot.

Presented in the style of a radio performance in front of a live audience. Bringing to life the classic days of radio comedy.

WHY? When HMS Troutbridge docks in Maidenhead it’s going to be 'Ev’rybody Down!' for an evening of nostalgic belly laughs

Studio
£15 (£13 conc)

The Navy Lark Website

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Steve Simone presents History of Motown

The seasoned singer and entertainer presents an hour of chat, looking at the legendary era of Motown.

This detailed presentation includes a look at the driving forces behind the music and original video clips of the artists.

WHY? A unique analysis of the whole of Motown – from the songwriters and producers to the choreographers and singers


Studio
£12 (£10 conc)

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Grace Campbell - Why I'm Never Going Into Politics

Grace Campbell survived a childhood in British politics – her dad is Alastair Campbell.

She is co-founder of feminist group The Pink Protest and wants to tell you why she’ll never consider a career in Westminster. Expect vagina jokes, mental health within Parliament and anecdotes of hanging out with Putin’s kids.

WHY? ‘Articulate, witty and very funny’ ★★★★★ The Edinburgh Reporter

Studio
£12

@GraceCampbell
@nordenfarm

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Marlon Soloman - Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale

Marlon's a Jew. This didn't bother him much until he discovered that some people he knew didn't believe the Holocaust happened.

From 9/11 to shape-shifting lizards and Holocaust denial, this is a darkly comic tale of one man's journey through the conspiracy underworld.

WHY? ‘Shrewd, funny and important’ The Guardian

Age guidance 13+ years.

Studio
£14 (£12 conc)

@supergutman
@nordenfarm

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Dom Joly

Dom Joly is best known as the creator of Trigger Happy TV.

And now the writer and broadcaster is undertaking his first UK tour since 2011, giving fans a rare opportunity to see him live.

Dom will be talking about his exploits as a serial globe-trotting and seeker of dangerous travel spots. From North Korea though the Congo and Syria to Chernobyl, he's visited some of the most unusual places on the planet. Joly famously attended school with Osama Bin Laden and armed with a trusty Powerpoint, fans can expect his holiday snaps to provide comedy and a sense of danger.

Why? The best-selling author will meet fans after the show to sign copies of his latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club

Courtyard Theatre
£18

@domjoly
@nordenfarm

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