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River Lit: an adventure in time and space

The Doctor Who connections in Medway River Lit


We’ve said that Medway River Lit’s theme is ‘River of words’, linking the past to the future, via the present, but who’d have thought it?! It’s just occurred to us that Medway River Lit also has a strong strand of Doctor Who linkages running through it! So, for those who are science fictionally inclined, here are some of the people and events you might like to come and have a listen to…


Friday, 2 June: Launch event

Starting on Friday 2 June, as part of our launch event, British composer and electronic musician, Matthew Herbert, will talk about the Estuary Sound Ark as part of its official welcome to Chatham Library. The Estuary Sound Ark is a project which recorded sounds from the Thames Estuary in 2022, see more about the project in our previous blog. In February 2018, the current Doctor Who logo was revealed in a short video clip, with music and sound created by Matthew Herbert.


The launch will be followed by Intra-Duction – our strolling poetry show along Chatham Intra.


Photo of Cosey Fanni Tutti
Cosey Fanni Tutti by Timothy Cochrane

Saturday, 3 June: Electronic music legend Cosey Fanni Tutti

On Saturday, 3 June, we will be hearing from the English performance artist, musician and writer, Cosey Fanni Tutti, best known for her time in the avant-garde groups Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey. Cosey’s book is ‘Re-Sisters: The Lives and Recordings of Delia Derbyshire, Margery Kempe and Cosey Fanni Tutti’. Delia Derbyshire was an English musician and composer of electronic music who worked with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop during the 1960s, including her iconic electronic arrangement of the theme music to Doctor Who.

Delia Derbyshire has been referred to as "the unsung heroine of British electronic music", and has influenced musicians including Aphex Twin, the Chemical Brothers and Paul Hartnoll of Orbital.


Tuesday, 16 May: Bookends Event: Circle of six anthology launch

There is also a Medway link to Delia’s work! One of the writers of Medway Libraries’ ‘Circle of Six’ project was Rosemary Tonks, who worked with Delia on a sound poem, ‘Sono Montage’. The project which invited Medway writers to submit writing about the six women in the project was launched on 16 May at Gillingham Library as part of Medway River Lit’s Bookends Events (events taking place outside the main festival).


In Rosemary Tonks’ 1968 novel ‘The Bloater’, Rosemary describes a BBC experimental sound studio based on the Radiophonic Workshop. Min, the narrator of the novel resembles Tonks herself, while her friend Jenny was partly based on Derbyshire.


Thursday, 8 June: Mark Stay and Sunyi Dean

Though screenwriter and novelist Mark Stay has not actually written for the series, the filmscript for his film about robots taking over the earth ‘Robot Overlords’ will definitely appeal to fans of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', and Mark will be talking about his work at Medway River Lit on 8 June. You can watch the movie for free on Amazon Prime Video. Mark also writes the ‘Witches of Woodville’ series – so if you don’t like robots, you might prefer witches. Also, on that day, we will meet Sunyi Dean, whose novel ‘The Book Eaters’ is one of the most refreshing takes on the vampire genre that our resident vampirologist has read!

photo of Sunyi Dean
Sunyi Dean

Saturday, 17 June: Bookends Event: Ben Aaronovitch

Lastly, but not leastly, is our final Bookends Event, with ‘Rivers of London’ writer Ben Aaronovitch at Chatham Library on Saturday 17 June. Ben has written for Doctor Who – both the television series, audio versions and spin-off novels.


So, how’s that for Medway River Lit’s adventures in time and space!?


You can see the full line-up in our Schedule section.

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