Graham Greene International Festival to celebrate 20th anniversary

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The Graham Greene International Festival is to celebrate its 20th anniversary on September 20‒23 this year.

Founded seven years after the author’s death, this annual event is the centrepiece of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust’s activities. Held in Greene’s home town of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, the festival brings together specialists and Greene enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate the life and work of one of Britain’s most distinguished 20th-century writers.

Festival Director Dr. Martyn Sampson is excited about this year’s milestone event.

“Over the course of the past two decades, the Trust organisers and successive Festival Directors have welcomed over 150 guest speakers and screened over 40 films adapted from Greene’s books,” he says. “This year’s festival will seek to match the high standards of previous years; to pay tribute to the many people who have made this annual gathering possible; and to offer – as ever – fresh thinking and new insights into Greene’s remarkable oeuvre.”

This year’s programme includes talks on the Third Man Museum in Vienna, the recent BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Greene’s 1932 novel Stamboul Train, and the theme of treachery and trust in Greene’s works. BBC Journalist Robin Lustig will be exploring the relationship between fact and truth in the work of journalists and novelists, while singer-songwriter Matt Saxton will be chalking up a Festival first with a set of songs inspired by Graham Greene. Adaptations of Greene’s work for the screen will be represented via the 1986 Yorkshire TV film May We Borrow Your Husband? (scripted by, and starring, Dirk Bogarde) and the 1976 Thames TV film Under the Garden, an episode from the Shades of Greene series.

“The festival organisers hope that this year’s event will attract regular participants as well as those who may be less familiar with Greene’s work,” observes Sampson. “This unique event offers top-quality international research, delivered in a friendly and informal atmosphere, right in the place where Greene grew up. For Greene specialists, it is a must, while for those who may know just one or two of his works – or who simply wish to attend and support an exciting literary event ‒ it will open up many new perspectives on one of the most enduring writers of the 20th century.”

Tickets, for individual sessions or the entire festival, can be purchased in advance from the website of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust (

For further information

Please contact Jonathan Steffen on 01223 955402 or email

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