Roffey and Bridgerton star Andoh join Primadonna Festival

Roffey and Bridgerton star Andoh join Primadonna Festival

"Bridgerton" star Adjoa Andoh, Monique Roffey (pictured) and Viv Groskop are some of the guests for this year’s Primadonna Festival. 

Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury in Netflix’s smash-hit adaptation, will join broadcaster and author Sandi Toksvig for a conversation on historical female drama and the “stories we haven’t been told about big women from the past", organisers said of the 2021 Suffolk festival from 30st July to 1st August.  

Another newly revealed speaker is Roffey, author of the Costa Prize-winning The Mermaid of Black Conch (Peepal Tree Press), who will discuss race and finding identity between two cultures with writer Natalie Morris. 

Additionally, journalist and author Groskop will talk to writer Michèle Roberts “for a discussion of their mutual love of all things French”, organisers said. Novelist and screenwriter Nikesh Shukla, editor of the bestselling essay collection The Good Immigrant (Unbound), will talk about his new book Brown Baby: A Memoir Of Race, Family And Home (Bluebird) while Laura Dockrill "calls out the motherhood ideal in a panel aimed at constructing alternative models for parenting — no guilt, no expectations and definitely no judgement".

Topping the bill for foodies are the authors of bestselling HQ cookery books BOSH!, who will be cooking live, while film fans can enjoy a premiere of the new Jackie Collins documentary "Lady Boss".

Children have their own full programme of entertainment, including readings from award-winning YA author Elle McNicoll, whose new book Show Us Who You Are (Knights Of) features neurodivergent young superheroes.

The guests join previously announced speakers including Adele Parks, Anita Sethi, Catherine Mayer, Grace Dent, Helen Lederer, Juno Dawson, Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Naoise Dolan, Christy Lefteri, Stella Duffy, Kit de Waal and Tracey Thorn. As announced in April, it will take place as a physical festival at the Museum of East Anglian Life in the market town of Stowbridge, following the cancellation of the 2020 incarnation owing to lockdown. The Primadonna live music line-up will be announced later this month.  

Additionally there is the Primadonna Creative Writing Masters programme and surgeries with the Primadonnas themselves offering advice from pitching to agents to working with a publicist.  

“Weekend tickets are £150—cheaper than three days at Alton Towers—but offers far more thrills,” says festival director Catherine Riley. “We also have concessions and kids’ rates, and a pay-it-forward scheme for people who might not otherwise be able to afford to come. We want everyone to share the Primadonna experience this summer: three days of sunshine, small wonders and big ideas in beautiful Suffolk. It beats a Ryanair flight every time.”  

The Primadonna Festival was the first literary festival in the UK to focus specifically on women and writers from underrepresented communities ans was launched in 2019. It was founded by 17 women from across the arts industries, including writer Kit de Waal, author and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and activist Catherine Mayer among others.   

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