The judges and shortlisted novels are as follows:
– Editor and writer Robert McCrum (1970s) has chosen In a Free State by VS Naipaul
– Poet Lemn Sissay MBE (1980s) has chosen Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
– Novelist Kamila Shamsie (1990s) has chosen The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
– Broadcaster and novelist Simon Mayo (2000s) has chosen Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
– Poet Hollie McNish (2010s) has chosen Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee, Chiwetel Ejiofor has a breadth of critically acclaimed work across stage and screen, including 12 Years a Slave, Mary Magdalene and Netflix’s Come Sunday. In 2008 he won an Olivier Award for Othello, and has also been awarded an OBE and a CBE for services to the arts. This year, he completed work on his directorial debut The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, adapted from the book of the same name, written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (in which he will also perform). Forthcoming projects include a CG animated re-imagining of The Lion King and Maleficent 2.
Fiona Shaw is best-known for her role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films, but she has also worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, winning the Olivier Award for Best Actress twice, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for The Waste Land. She has acted in both the West End and Broadway, and was awarded an Honorary CBE in 2001.
Geoffrey Streatfeild has had an extensive career as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in Richard II, Richard III, Bacchai and Henry VI Parts I and II. He appeared at the National Theatre as Irwin in The History Boys and as Freder in The Pains of Youth. He has also performed in The Way of the World at the Donmar and in The Contingency Plan: On The Beach and Resilience at the Bush Theatre. He featured in films The Lady in the Van, Rush and Kinky Boots, and his television credits include The Miniaturist, Private Peaceful, The Hollow Crown and The Other Boleyn Girl.
Comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress Meera Syal rose to prominence as one of the creators and cast members of comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me. She has been appointed an MBE and a CBE for services to drama and literature, and in 2003 she was listed in The Observer as one of the funniest acts in British comedy. In the last few years she has starred in films Paddington 2 and Doctor Strange.
For ages 16+.
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