Game of Thrones star to open StAnza poetry festival in March

Game of Thrones star Clive Russell will launch this year’s StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews.

Tickets for this year’s events went on sale this morning and the Ripper Street and Game of Thrones star, who was born in Yorkshire but raised in Fife, will open the festival on Wednesday March 4 and take part in a discussion about his interests in poetry.

The festival lasts for five days from and features almost 100 events, many of them free.

Among this year’s headliners are Simon Armitage and New Zealand’s first Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, along with three poets making their first appearances at StAnza: American poet Alice Notley, Sinad Morrissey, currently Belfast’s Poet Laureate, and Ian Duhig.

Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: “The programme for 2015 really does have something for everyone and brings together acclaimed poets, new voices and emerging talent from all around the world to make this a true celebration of the written word. We are delighted this year to welcome back to Fife, our special guest Clive Russell to launch the festival.

“It’s very exciting to be at the point of announcing that tickets for all these superb events are now on sale, as this really does mark the start of the countdown to the festival welcoming the world to enjoy poetry in St Andrews once again.”

The festival will open with a performance of Bedazzled: A Welshman in New York, which will see the Byre Theatre transformed into the bohemian world of 1950s New York and allow audience members to enjoy a drink with the cast, in character as the legendary Dylan Thomas and friends.

In Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink StAnza has included a food and drink focus in its 2015 programme including an all-day workshop in the Edwardian kitchen of the Hill of Tarvit mansion house on metaphors about food, and another in Kellie Castle famous for producing organic fruit and vegetables.

Paul Bush, chief operating officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and once again, StAnza presents a programme which celebrates both the best Scottish and international poetic talent. With a number of performances, exhibitions, open-mic events and workshops there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the festival.”

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online.