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Did you ever wish to meet your favourite dead author? Have you ever thought about attending a workshop by William Shakespeare or an author reading by Charlotte Bonte? Yes? Then The Festival of the Immortals by Helen Simpson might intrigue you.


"Yes," said Phyllis, blinking. "Sarah. She went into the book business. In fact, she's the one who dreamed up the idea behind this festival, and now she runs it. Artistic Director of the Festival of Immortals, that's her title."

"Good Lord," said Viv. "The opportunities there are for girls these days!"

" It's a full-time year-round job as you can imagine," said Phyllis, gaining confidence. "She spent months this year trying to persuade Shakespeare to run a workshop but the most she could get him to do was half-promise to give a masterclass in the sonnet. He's supposed to be arriving by helicopter at four this afternoon but it's always touch and go with him, she says, it's impossible to pin him down."