Fantasy Festival

Episodes

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20140828

Frank Cottrell Boyce joins presenter Tim Samuels to curate and create the festival of his wildest dreams.

Festivals are fast becoming significant events on more and more people's calendars. And, whether it's a huge rock fest or a small scale village event, it's somebody's job to imagine the festival before it happens, and to assemble all the pieces of the jigsaw that are needed to bring their vision to life.

But what if you could create your own festival - where you set the agenda, chose the guests, pick the acts, and dictate the weather, the food and the ambience. A festival where anyone - whether dead or alive - can be summoned to perform, and nothing is unimaginable.

Fantasy Festival gives the children's author and screenwriter, Frank Cottrell Boyce, the chance to outline his dream festival of participation which is set in a sprout field outside Ormskirk. Letter writing and a collective bedtime story are mandatory activities. And he programmes poetry reading by Seamus Heaney, singing by Martha Reeves and music from Terje Isungset's ice orchestra.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

a Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Baroness Mary Warnock20150820

curates the festival of her wildest dreams.

joins presenter Tim Samuels to curate and create the festival of her wildest dreams.

Festivals are fast becoming significant events on more and more people's calendars. Whether it's a huge rock fest or a small scale village event, it's somebody's job to imagine the festival before it happens, and to assemble all the pieces of the jigsaw that are needed to bring their vision to life.

But what if you could create your own festival - where you set the agenda, chose the guests, pick the acts, and dictate the weather, the food and the ambience? A festival where anyone - whether dead or alive - can be summoned to perform, and nothing is unimaginable.

Fantasy Festival is a chance for someone to become the curator of the festival of their very own dreams. And the festival curator in this programme is the moral philosopher, Baroness Mary Warnock who recently retired from the House of Lords at the age of 91.

Baroness Warnock outlines her dream festival which takes place on the uninhabited island of Tanera Mor in the Summer Isles off the West Coast of Scotland. There she convenes a group of 50 people to camp, walk and talk about the effect that wild nature has on the human spirit. Her guests include Haydn, Wordsworth and Coleridge as she attempts to revive the Romantic ideal of spending time in wilderness landscapes in order to reconnect with nature. It's Mary's conviction that if we don't experience wild nature in our lives, we lose something vital of ourselves.

Produced by Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Brian Moore20150813

Former rugby player Brian Moore curates the festival of his wildest dreams.

Former rugby player and commentator Brian Moore joins presenter Tim Samuels to curate and create the festival of his wildest dreams.

Festivals are fast becoming significant events on more and more people's calendars. Whether it's a huge rock fest or a small scale village event, it's somebody's job to imagine the festival before it happens, and to assemble all the pieces of the jigsaw that are needed to bring their vision to life.

But what if you could create your own festival - where you set the agenda, chose the guests, pick the acts, and dictate the weather, the food and the ambience? A festival where anyone - whether dead or alive - can be summoned to perform, and nothing is unimaginable.

Fantasy Festival is a chance for someone to become the curator of the festival of their very own dreams. And the festival curator in this programme is former England and British Lions rugby union hooker, Brian Moore.

Brian outlines his dream festival with a flotilla of boats sailing up and down the Thames. Each boat contains iconic works of art from every genre imaginable. He's attempting to make the greatest examples of human expression accessible to everyone. On board you can encounter Charles Dickens, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth I, Churchill and Mozart - to name but a few.

Produced by Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Chris Beardshaw20160821

Garden designer Chris Beardshaw joins presenter Verity Sharp to create and curate the festival of his wildest dreams. It's a chance for Chris to set the festival's agenda, chose the guests, pick the acts, dictate the weather, the food and the ambience. A festival where anyone - dead or alive - can be summoned to perform, and nothing is unimaginable.

Chris outlines his dream festival which takes place in an Egyptian Death Garden. It's a festival for a tiny audience and it happens in a small space and short time frame. He wants to take time out with his loved ones to reconsider the detail of life, celebrate craftsmanship and wonder at our place in the universe. He's bringing music from Pachelbel, Brian Eno and Green Day and poetry from Theo Dorgan. He's created a Paradise and, when his festival is over, the Death Garden will be handed over to another festival goer to invite their loved ones to experience their own 24 hour festival in this very special, walled space. And so the festival will be handed ever onwards.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Eliza Carthy20160814

Folk musician Eliza Carthy joins presenter Verity Sharp to create and curate the festival of her wildest dreams. It's a chance for Eliza to set the festival's agenda, chose the guests, pick the acts, dictate the weather, the food and the ambience. A festival where anyone - dead or alive - can be summoned to perform, and nothing is unimaginable.

Eliza outlines her dream festival which takes place at Robin Hood's Bay. Finnish folk musicians Värttinä, Italian folk group Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino and Dreadzone are on the bill alongside Freddie Mercury, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Joe Venuti, Professor Brian Cox and Abba. Everyone's there and everything's possible in Eliza's feel good festival.

Producer Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Gillian Clarke20160807

Poet Gillian Clarke joins presenter Verity Sharp to create and curate the festival of her wildest dreams.

It's a chance for her to set the festival's agenda - chose the guests, pick the acts, dictate the weather, the food and the ambience. A festival where anyone - dead or alive - can be summoned to perform and nothing is unimaginable.

Gillian outlines her dream festival which she's entitled "Voice in a Space". It takes place in a cave in Wales and celebrates great poetry as well as ideas around building and ambiguity. Seamus Heaney, Shakespeare and Leonard Cohen are on the bill, alongside Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Producer: Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.

Poet Gillian Clarke creates and curates the festival of her dreams.

Ruby Wax20150827

outlines her festival of extremes, featuring Radiohead and lecturing scientists.

joins presenter Tim Samuels to curate and create the festival of her wildest dreams

What if you could create your own festival - where you set the agenda, chose the guests, pick the acts, and dictate the weather, the food and the ambience? A festival where anyone - whether dead or alive - can be summoned to perform, and nothing is unimaginable.

Fantasy Festival is a chance for someone to become the curator of the festival of their very own dreams. And the festival curator in this programme is poster girl for mental health, writer, performer and comedian - Ruby Wax

Ruby outlines her dream festival - entitled 5 Star Anarchy and taking place in Notting Hill. It's a festival of the extremes. Radiohead are playing in the distance and scientists are giving lectures about the latest advances in their fields. But centre stage is a series of outrageous experimental theatre shows designed to fry Ruby's mind. It's an event for Ruby to feed the animal side of her own nature.

She says, "Why my festival is so nuts is cos I've seen too much. If I was a kid, I'd just want a merry go round. So I'm not so proud that I need such extremes, but I'm on that high a dose of adrenaline. We all want to be pulled out of our heads, so I'm feeding that."

Ruby Wax is a comedian, writer and mental health campaigner. With her own periods of depression and now a Masters from Oxford in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to draw from, Ruby is now focused on mental health through writing and lecturing. She encourages people to understand how their brains work and rewire their thinking in order to find calm in a frenetic world.

Produced by Rosie Boulton

A Monty Funk production for BBC Radio 4.