Apples and Snakes: Speechless

Apples and Snakes: Speechless


A Lancaster Litfest event: Apples & Snakes and the British Council in association with English PEN present: Speechless

How free is free speech? Are there things that just can't be said? Enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to freedom of opinion and expression – but what does this mean in an age of international anxiety and mistrust?

Hosted by the fantastic Francesca Beard, Speechless brings together new poetry from five specially commissioned writers from across South East Asia and four brilliant UK-based poets on the theme of freedom of expression in an exceptional new multi-lingual spoken word show as part of Lancaster's Litfest 2008.

Incorporating different perspectives and experiences from Vietnam to Ireland and sexuality to slavery, Speechless will be a night that stimulates brain-tingling debate, covering issues that define our existence.

Featuring: Francesca Beard, Aoife Mannix, Malika Booker, Siege Malvar (PHILIPPINES), Liu Liang Yen (TAIWAN), Da Thao Phuong (VIETNAM)


In a related event, Flax, the publishing imprint of litfest, and the Nuffield Theatre have commissioned poet Josephine Dickinson and filmmaker Simon Wainwright to create five short text-based films for the e-campus network of screens on Lancaster University campus. Playing with characters from the history and location of the university, the shorts are visually mesmerising and surprising. To unveil the films we will be walking through the campus, following the films as they are screened.

The walking launch is on Wednesday 22 October at 6.30pm, starting at the Nuffield Theatre. To join the walk, email The films will continue to run on screens around the campus during litfest08 and can also be seen at

Thursday 23 October 2008 @ 8pm