Desert Island Books featuring Ella Berthoud and Gerry Stembridge | LLF 20

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Updated: January 6th, 2020

Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien presents

Desert Island Books featuring Ella Berthoud and Gerry Stembridge 

Belltable | February 23rd | 1pm | €14/€12

Ella and Gerry will talk about their five Desert Island books, in turn.

Ella Berthoud started reading on a journey from Tehran to London, on the parcel shelf of a Wolsey 1300 when she was five. She spent the next thirteen years reading books in inappropriate places like ski-lifts and trampolines. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where she read as many novels as she could at once. She continued on to University of East London where she studied Fine Art, and combined her twin passions of reading and painting by listening to books while creating works of art. She has worked as an artist in residence at Pentonville Prison, Friends School Saffron Walden and Queenswood School.

Ella first started talking about Bibliotherapy with Susan Elderkin when they were at Cambridge together. Over the ensuing years they prescribed literature to their friends and family, while Ella worked as an artist and Susan wrote her own novels. In 2007 they developed the idea in conjunction with The School of Life into what it is today, a one to one service taking place in person, or over the phone. Ella lives in West Sussex with her husband and three daughters.

Gerard Stembridge was born in Limerick and educated at University College Dublin. He is an author and director and began his career as a producer in RTE. Within a few years he achieved countrywide success with his satirical radio comedy series ‘Scrap Saturday’, in association with actor and writing partner, the late, great Dermot Morgan.
He is the author of two novels, Counting Down and According to Luke and he has also written and directed for film and television. In the year 2000, he wrote the screenplay for Ordinary Decent Criminal (starring Kevin Spacey, Linda Fiorentino and Colin Farrell). In the same year, he co-wrote Nora, a film relating James Joyce’s infatuation with his chambermaid Nora Barnacle, starring Ewan McGregor and Susan Lynch. Gerard was nominated for an IFTA Award for this screenplay in 2000 and Susan Lynch won the Best Actress IFTA award for her portrayal of Nora Barnacle. In 2003 Gerard wrote and directed About Adam(starring Stuart Townsend, Tommy Tiernan and Kate Hudson) which received three IFTA nominations for Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Script.
He regularly appears as an arts reviewer and social and political commentor in the Irish Media, on John Kelly’s TV Arts Review The View and on Marian Finnucane’s weekend radio show, where he is a very popular contributor.


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• No exchanges or refunds.
• Wheelchair spaces can only be booked over the phone. Please call our box office on (061) 953400 if you wish to book a wheelchair space.
• No late comers admitted to the theatre once show commences.
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