Words and Wickets in Wormsley!
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An an early nudge about Word and Wickets, a brilliant if slightly bonkers concept of a festival combining literature and cricket that is coming up next weekend (24-26 July) . It’s at Wormsley Park, a stunning 2,500-acre estate and 18th century country house at Stokenchurch in the Chilterns, and is the former home of the philanthropist Sir Paul Getty, and now home to Mark Getty and his family. So you’re unlikely to wander through the gates at any other time! I mean, look at this place *sigh*
The main draw, if you or yours love cricket, is that there are two celebrity matches on the sublime Wormsley pitch with an Actors v Writers XI and a Writers v Musicians XI. Last year Damian Lewis did a bit of frontal red ball rubbing (that’s a technical thing, I’ve seen it on the telly).
This year Ian Glen (above, with Damien Lewis in Actors XI whites) and Ben Miller are on the roster to avoid the duck and nibble on cucumber sandwiches. The Author’s XI take it so seriously they’ve already been on a tour of India and the team includes Sebastien Faulks and Tom Holland.
There’s a gala night on the 24th and a celebration of India on the Friday but the main draw will be the Saturday and the two matches. Expect cricket readings, comedy and quizzes in marquees around the boundary, nets for kids, wine tasting (not for kids), and tours of the incredible Wormsley library (below) whose treasures include a 7th Century fragment which lays claim to be the earliest English manuscript, the first edition of Caxton’s printing of The Canterbury Tales; Anne Boleyn’s Psalter; and the first folio of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies.
It’s one of those events that’s really unique, has a sprinkling of celeb dust, a hint of intellectualism, promises a visual feast and is aimed fair and square at families. Gates open at 11am on both days, come rain or shine. Howzat?