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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Corfu, May 2017, A WEEKEND OF CRICKET AND CULTURE, Cultural Events

Corfu, May 2017, A WEEKEND OF CRICKET AND CULTURE. to celebrate Hellenic-British friendship over the past 200 years.

I have received a digital copy of the flyer as a pdf from which I have extracted the following event information (please double-check the official flyer). Unfortunately I won't be in Corfu.

"Places for all cultural events are free and open to all. Seats are limited and should be booked online up to one hour before the event by clicking on the booking link for each event or by visiting the festival box office at

"You will receive an email ticket, which is all you need for entry. Any unallocated places will be available on a first come basis on the door. Unless otherwise stated, events last one hour." 

Corfu Reading Society

Most of the cultural talks take place at the historic Corfu Reading Society, Kapodistriou 120, founded more than 170 years ago by 14 young local citizens. The Reading Society was the first cultural institution of modern Greece. It has a rich collection of books, papers, engravings, pictures, furniture and records and houses the first map of Corfu (from the 15th century). Today it is a centre for the study of Corfu and the Ionian islands and acts as a guardian for the great traditions and heritage of the region. The venue has been generously made available for the cultural weekend free of charge by the Corfu Reading Society Board".

Friday 12 May, Nicholas Parsons, How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear 12 noon / Corfu Reading Society Broadcaster and entertainer Nicholas Parsons presents a portrait of the nonsensical genius Edward Lear and conveys a rounded picture of the man's amazing life and unusual personality. He illustrates Lear's remarkable fantasy world though skillful and sympathetic delivery of his highly imaginative and delightful nonsense verse. Parsons has worked in every branch of show business including serious acting, comedy performance, stand-up and cabaret. He first made his name in 1960s television in partnership with fellow comedian Arthur Haynes. Parsons is best known as the host for 50 years of BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute, and as presenter of television’s Sale of the Century, which ran for 14 years.

A drinks party will be given on the 12th of May by Count Flamburiari at the Roof of the Cavalieri Hotel to celebrate Corfu-British friendship over the past 200 years.

Friday 12 May Felix Francis Triple Crown and Writing with My Father 4pm / Corfu Reading Society Bestselling author Felix Francis talks about his latest thriller Triple Crown, working with his father Dick Francis and how he successfully took on the family writing trade. Felix Francis helped with the writing and research of many of his father’s novels. He is co-author of Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money and Crossfire and solo author of Gamble, Bloodline, Refusal, Damage, and Front Runner. He has been widely praised for maintaining the family tradition of producing novels full of suspense and mystery and for capturing the excitement and drama of the horse-racing industry.

Helena Matheopoulos Maria Callas: the Sacred Flame 6pm / Corfu Reading Society Writer and journalist Helena Matheopoulos looks at the life and career of the legendary Greek-American soprano Maria Callas and explains why she remains one of classical music’s best-selling artists and a defining figure 40 years after her death. The talk will be illustrated with music and film on CD and DVD. Matheopoulos is a former fashion editor of Tatler magazine and a contributor to The Times, Gramophone and Opera Now. She has published widely on opera including Placido Domingo; Diva: The New Generation; and Fashion Designers at the Opera.

Saturday 13 May Andy Caddick and Chris Cowdrey Chaired by Dan Norcross Cricket at the Top 10am / Corfu Reading Society Former England cricketers Andy Caddick and Chris Cowdrey reflect on the ups and downs of life at the top of the English game. Caddick was a regular in the England test side over ten years. He took five test wickets in an innings 13 times, and was a Wisden cricketer of the year in 2001. Cowdrey had the unenviable task of following Ian Botham into the England team as an all-rounder. His career was brief – only six matches – but he captained the side once, making him and his father Colin only the second father and son combination to have captained England. Discussions are chaired by Dan Norcross, founder of Test Match Sofas, an alternative cricket commentary service, and a freelance commentator on BBC Test Match Special.

Megakles Rogakos, The Holy Number Three: from Homer to Duchamp 12 noon / Corfu Reading Society Art historian and curator Dr Megakles Rogakos looks at the obsession with the number three through literature and art – notably expressed in the Christian Trinity – and finds its origins are rooted in Homer’s Odyssey. Rogakos is a research student at the University of Essex. He recently completed a PhD thesis on the relationship between Homer, James Joyce and Marcel Duchamp, in which he uncovered an obsession with the number three and its multiples. He says the significance of the number three came to light in The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, often considered the greatest work of the celebrated Greek writer Nicos Kazantzakis. It is three times longer than Homer’s Odyssey and composed of 33,333 lines of verse.

Saturday 13 May Alex Preston and Will Burns Chaired by Felix Francis , Birds, Books and Poetry 2pm / Corfu Reading Society Award-winning novelist Alex Preston and Faber and Faber new poet Will Burns talk about their shared love of ornithology, reading and writing. Preston is author of several bestselling novels including In Love and War. His latest book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, is a celebration of birds in literature from Keats’s nightingale to Alan Garner’s crow strewn sky in The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and Ted Hughes’s Hawk in the Rain. Burns is poet in residence at Caught by the River website and a keen ornithologist. He has a collection published by Faber in its new poets series. Discussions are chaired by thriller writer Felix Francis, who appears to talk about his own work on Friday.

Struan Rodger and Gordon Kennedy, Chaired by Jonnie Irwin, From Chariots of Fire to Trainspotting 4pm / Corfu Reading Society Actors Struan Rodger and Gordon Kennedy talk about their film and television careers that have seen them appear in films ranging from Chariots of Fire to T2 Trainspotting. Rodger was born in 1946 and his credits include Stardust in 2007 and Kill List in 2011. His best-known role was as Sandy McGrath, friend and running coach of Eric Liddell in the 1981 Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. He also appeared as Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones. Kennedy was born in 1958 and is an actor and writer. He appears in last year’s T2 Trainspotting as Tulloch and is particularly known for playing Little John in the BBC series Robin Hood that ran for 39 episodes between 2006 and 2009. Discussions are chaired by property expert and presenter of Channel Four’s A Place in the Sun – Home or Away Jonnie Irwin.

Alex Preston Will Burns Struan Rodger Jonnie Irwin Gordon Kennedy Nicholas Parsons Mad Dogs and Cricketers: The Lord Taverners XI 6pm / Hotel Corfu Palace Entertainer, actor and broadcaster Nicholas Parsons introduces a screening of Mad Dogs and Cricketers – a 1978 film directed and produced by Parsons that follows a celebrity team of cricketers as they take on a Corfu XI on the island. The film is introduced by the late Eric Morecambe and among the celebrities are Parsons, John Cleese, Roy Kinnear, John Alderton, Brian Rix, Ed Stewart, Sir Tim Rice and Willie Rushton. It sees them pursuing their sporting and fundraising exploits at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; in Corfu; and at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Lord’s Taverners Gala Dinner at the Hotel Corfu Palace 7.30pm / Saturday 13 May Tickets are available for this celebrity evening (drinks reception and 3 course dinner) at €45 per head. For bookings please contact:

Lord’s Taverners v Corfu Select XI T20s A Lord’s Taverners team of showbusiness and sporting celebrities takes on a Corfu XI in two T20 charity cricket matches during the festival.

There will be a traditional Greek parade before Sunday’s match led by the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society marching band. The Mantzaros Philharmonic was founded in 1890 and is named after the Corfian composer of the Greek national anthem. It has 180 musicians and is the second oldest philharmonic in Corfu.

Sunday 14 May Liston Square / Spinanada •10am-12pm Coaching session •12pm Traditional Greek parade •1pm T20 match •4.30pm Presentations The Lord’s Taverners

The Lord’s Taverners was founded in 1950 at the Tavern pub at Lord’s Cricket Ground. It is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a chance to take part in sport. The Lord’s Taverners has 4,500 members, and many of them come from the world of sport and entertainment. The charity provides equipment including specially adapted minibuses, sensory rooms and multi-sports wheelchairs. In 2016, 45,000 boys and girls also had the opportunity to enjoy cricket through its community programmes. Hellenic Cricket Federation The Hellenic Cricket Federation is based in Corfu where most Greek cricket is played. Cricket came to Greece in the early 19th century when the Ionian islands were occupied by the British. Greece is an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council. Cricket is heavily promoted in schools on Corfu and senior teams take part in European competition.

Monday 15 May Gouvia Marina • 3pm T20 match • 5.30pm presentations

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