literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature

Max Porter: Lanny

The author gives a world-exclusive dramatic reading of his follow-up to Grief Is the Thing with Feathers: Lanny, featuring an all-star cast.

Lanny is a story about a family whose village is peopled by the living and the dead. It’s a story about a boy with a gift for friendship and the traces of enchantment he leaves in the closely woven lives around him.

Observing it all, and orchestrating a spellbinding tapestry of voices, is Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber and is searching for his favourite. He is looking for the boy. Lanny.

Immerse yourself in a live performance about art, myth and the extraordinary strangeness of everyday life. It features a cast of actors who conjure the voices of English village life past and present, led by one of the most exciting literary talents to emerge in recent years.

The cast includes Kenneth Cranham, Stephen Mangan and Lydia Wilson, with music from Alula Down.

Max Porter’s debut Grief Is the Thing with Feathers marked the arrival of a thrilling new talent.

Written with disarming tenderness, mordant wit and dazzling virtuosity, the novel received numerous awards including the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Sunday Times/Peters, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year and the Europese Literatuurprijs.

Kenneth Cranham is a film, television, radio and stage actor, best known for his work in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Valkyrie and Layer Cake. Cranham won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role as Andre in Florian Zeller's The Father.

Stephen Mangan is a stage, film and television actor, best known for his roles in BAFTA-winning sitcom Green Wing and Dirk Gently. His recent credits include comedy series Episodes and Abi Morgan’s BBC1/AMC drama The Split. Mangan was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in The Norman Conquests at The Old Vic.

Lydia Wilson is a RADA-trained stage and screen actor, recently appearing as the lead role of BBC/Netflix’s Requiem and UKTV's Flack opposite Anna Paquin. She also stars in upcoming feature Moon Shine Still and Sir Kenneth Branagh's All Is True.

The duo project of Mark Waters and Kate Gathercole, Alula Down is an experiment in folk song and minimalism, using voice and instruments made of wood and reeds. Alula Down's latest release, Homespun (November 2018), is described by fRoots as 'as gorgeous a slice of gently euphoric pastoral psychedelia as has been heard in many's the long year'.

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Purcell Room


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


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need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 16+

Event information
Signed copies of Lanny are available to buy for £9.99 (original price £12.99) one week ahead of the UK publication date, when you buy a ticket to this event. You can collect your copy at the event.