Harry Potter screening in Durham Cathedral lined up as part of book festival

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be screened to launch Durham Book Festival.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be screened to launch Durham Book Festival.

A 10-day celebration of literature will launch with a screening of a Harry Potter film set within the cathedral which became a backdrop for Hogwarts.

Durham Cathedral will host the launch event for the city's book festival, showing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Award-winning author David Almond.

Award-winning author David Almond.

It features scenes shot in its Cloisters as it became the 'set' for the school of magic's quadrangle and also appeared in its sequel film Chamber of Secrets.

The screening will also mark 20 years since the JK Rowling book was publish.

Durham Book Festival will run from Friday, October 6, until Sunday, October 15, and features an array of talks, readings and performances.

Among them will be a family theatre production, Do Not Enter The Monster Zoo, adapted from the picture book written by Amy Sparkes and illustrated by Newcastle-based illustrator Sara Ogilvie.

Alexei Sayle, who is taking part in the The News as a Novel project through Durham Book Festival.

Alexei Sayle, who is taking part in the The News as a Novel project through Durham Book Festival.

It will tour 20 libraries and community centres across the county.

Among its commissions this year is The News as a Novel, in which four award-winning writers respond to the extraordinary news cycle of 2017.

Lionel Shriver, Alexei Sayle, Benjamin Myers and Petina Gappah will present their original pieces at Durham Town Hall on Friday 13 October.

The commission is inspired by the late Gordon Burn’s Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel; an ambitious and experimental novel written and published in 2007 in response to the news in that year.

Lionel Shriver, who will contribute to this year's Durham Book Festival.

Lionel Shriver, who will contribute to this year's Durham Book Festival.

The announcement of the Gordon Burn Prize will take place Thursday, October 12, also in Durham Town Hall.

Celebrating bold fiction and non-fiction, this year’s shortlist features books by Kapka Kassabova, David Keenan, Denise Mina, Lara Pawson, Gwendoline Riley and Adelle Stripe.

Hosted by Mark Lawson the event sees the six shortlisted writers read from their work, before the £5,000 prize is awarded to the winner.

Two Booker Prize-winners feature in this year’s fiction line-up, with Roddy Doyle and Alan Hollinghurst both appearing at the festival alongside their much-anticipated new novels.

Robert Webb, who will speak about his book How Not to Be a Boy at the North East's largest literary event.

Robert Webb, who will speak about his book How Not to Be a Boy at the North East's largest literary event.

Other highlights include Tracy Chevalier and Kamila Shamsie sharing their retellings of classic dramas, and a special ‘coffee and cake’ event with award-winning author Rachel Joyce.

Politics and social issues continue to be a core theme, with highlights this year include the return of festival favourite Chris Mullin as he examines the future of the labour party.

Broadcaster and author June Sarpong talks about her new book on social division and the ways to combat prejudice.

Journalist David Goodhart will be in conversation with the vice chancellor of Durham University, Professor Stuart Corbridge, offering his theory on the basis for Brexit Britain and Trump’s America; and three contributors of The Things I Would Tell You, an anthology of writing from over 20 British Muslim Women, discuss the ground-breaking collection.

Comedian Robert Webb will be discussing his story How Not to Be a Boy, while Sir Tony Robinson appears at the festival to talk about his long awaited autobiography, charting his career from Blackadder’s Baldrick to Time Team host.

Star of Call The Midwife, Stephen McGann’s memoir is an exploration of his family history, and Harriet Harman also features on the festival programme, sharing her memoir, A Woman’s Work.

Broadcaster and authorJune Sarpongtalks about her new book on social division and how she believes prejudice can be tackled.

Broadcaster and authorJune Sarpongtalks about her new book on social division and how she believes prejudice can be tackled.

This year’s festival laureate Andrew McMillan curating a Poetry Gala featuring 12 of the most exciting new voices in northern poetry.

This performance will be recorded live with a special vinyl recording to be produced by crowd-funding publisher, Unbound.

Previous Festival Laureate Sinéad Morrissey also returns to the festival to read alongside Colette Bryce and Tara Bergin in a showcase event run in partnership with The Poetry Book Society.

The Durham Book Festival Schools’ programme features activist and writer Gulwali Passarlay.

Gulwali will speak to a teen audience about his own experiences as a child refugee, whilst the younger students will be entertained by picture book makers Tim Hopgood and Mick Manning and Brita Granström.

The schools’ programme will also feature this year’s Durham Book Festival Big Read author, David Almond.

This year’s Big Read is the Carnegie Medal-winning author's collection of short stories Half a Creature from the Sea.

Three thousands free copies of the book will be distributed throughout County Durham to schools, libraries, prisons, businesses, and to university staff and students.

As well as his sold out appearance at Durham Johnston School, David will take part in a special event at Gala Theatre, in which the local author will be reflecting on some of the books that have been most important throughout his life.

Durham Book Festival is commissioned by Durham County Council and produced by New Writing North, with funding from Durham University and Arts Council England.

Anna Disley, acting chief executive of New Writing North said: “Durham Book Festival provides a shared space for people to contemplate and engage with ideas and stories that help us make sense of our increasingly complex and often tumultuous world.

"We are pleased once again to welcome to Durham some of the country’s most exciting writers, thinkers and artists, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to join the conversation.”

Councillor Ossie Johnson, cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “This year’s book festival will offer up yet another exciting and varied programme of events, with talks, readings and performances from a fascinating collection of guests.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming them to Durham and to sharing their stories and experiences.”

Tickets for the festival go on sale tomorrow 10am via www.durhambookfestival.com.

Labour's Harriet Harman will share her memoir, A Womans Work, at the festival.

Labour's Harriet Harman will share her memoir, A Womans Work, at the festival.

Sir Tony Robinsonwill discuss his long-awaited autobiography.

Sir Tony Robinsonwill discuss his long-awaited autobiography.