Trust & Festival News


A new stage adaptation of Brighton Rock is set to tour the country in 2018. The production opens at the Theatre Royal, York on 3 February and will later 19639146771appear at Brighton, Colchester, Hull, Cheltenham, Winchester, Watford, Birmingham, Newcastle, Mold, Derby and Salford. Greene’s 1938 novel has been adapted for the stage by Bryony Lavery and will feature a specially composed soundtrack by Northern Irish artist, singer and electronic composer Hannah Peel.




In addition to the forthcoming production of A Burnt-Out Case (see below), listeners to BBC Radio 4 will be able to hear an adaptation of Graham Greene’s Stamboul Train, on Saturday 18 November, 2017 at 2.30pm. This popular 1933 noir has been dramatised by Jeremy Front.


… well you can, if you have ‘a little north’ of half a million pounds burning a hole in your pocket.

The two-bedroomed cottage called ‘Little Orchard’ in Hoo Lane, Back Ends, Chipping Campden is being marketed by the agent Jackson-Stops at an asking price of £525,000. It is described as an 18th Century, Grade 2 listed property with two double bedrooms, one of which has an en-suite bathroom, and a lawned garden full of flower beds and ornamental trees. If this sounds idyllic it is worth looking up what Greene had to say about the place in the early 1930s in Chapter 11 of A Sort of Life.FullSizeRender(1)

Graham and Viven lived there between 1931-33 as he struggled to make a living as a writer. Perhaps the eventual, lucky owner of this property, on a quiet day, will hear be able to hear the ghostly strains of Honneger’s Pacific 231 which Greene played while he wrote Stamboul Train. In A Sort of Life, the author recounts that it was ‘almost impossible’ for him to re-read the novel which eventually gave him security as a writer, noting, ‘The pages are too laden by the anxieties of the time and the sense of failure’.


The soundtrack for The Third Man is in many ways as memorable as the film itself. Now there is a chance to hear again the haunting tones of the zither in a concert performed by Cornelia Mayer of Vienna. An evening of Viennese zither classics and music from The Third Man will take place at 7.30pm at Church House, St Michael and All Angels Church, Hughenden, HP14 4LA on Friday 24 November 2017. If you are interested, please contact: or phone 01494 562473. Tickets cost £10 in advance or £15 on the door. Festival goers will remember that Cornelia Mayer performed at the 2009 Festival.Quentin on Campus

Quentin Falk will be tutoring a Workers’ Educational Association day course entitled ‘Greene on Screen’ on Saturday 25 November. The course will be run between 9.00am – 4.00pm in Room 1,  Fitzwilliams Centre, Windsor End, Beaconsfield HP9 2JW. The fee for the course is £30 and you can book via Marjory Mack – email or phone 01494 562473.


An adaptation of A Burnt-Out Case will be broadcast on the 19 and 26 November. The adaptation is again the work of Nick Warburton who was interviewed at the 2016 Festival and who was in attendance this year as well. He is now a Friend of the Trust. Episode 1 of A Burnt-Out Case will be broadcast at 3.00pm on Sunday 19 November. This episode will be repeated at 9.00pm on Saturday 25 November. Episode 2 will be broadcast on Sunday 26 November at 3.00pm. Of course, both episodes will also be available later on the BBC I-Player.



Yet again, apologies for the non-appearance of the new academic journal devoted to Graham Greene, Graham Greene Studies. Sadly, technical issues, which are being addressed by the North Georgia University Press, are still preventing this from happening. There will be a notice on the website as soon as there is further news. However, Martyn Sampson has been given access to the journal and his review will appear in the November edition of ASON.



We have been contacted by Cambridge University who have asked us to publicise various part time courses they are running in Creative Writing. The organisers thought the courses may be of interest to readers of Graham Greene. Learn more by going to this website:


DSC05603Graham Greene paid close attention to all aspects of the production of his books. Often he was quite harshly judgmental, particularly concerning the cover designs. For example, he wrote to Max Reinhardt, the owner of Bodley Head, in March 1973, complaining at length about the proposed dust-jacket for The Honorary Consul, ‘This hideous array of pastoral scenery gives the impression of a Collins or Hutchinson51HEIVbO6gL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_ jacket of a nice romantic novel by Elizabeth Goodge’.20602089922 Needless to say, he got his way. On another occasion, he took great exception to the covers for new Penguin editions, describing them variously as ‘absurd’ and ‘beyond belief’. By contrast, he declared the American Viking jacket for Brighton Rock to be the best he had ever had on one of his books.

Tim Hetherington, who designed the covers for the current Vintage Classics range of Greene’s novels will be interviewed by Mike Hill on the Saturday morning of the upcoming Festival. One wonders whether or not Greene would have approved of Tim’s work. One thing is for sure – he would have had an opinion.


It has been recently confirmed with our hosts Berkhamsted School that the 20th Graham Greene International Festival will take place 20th -23rd September 2018.

It is testimony to the enduring popularity of this great twentieth century writer, the dedication of the Birthplace Trust and the loyalty of a wide ‘fan-base’ that we have reached this 20 year milestone.



A plaque commemorating Graham Greene’s brief time working in the city as a journalist in 1925-26 has gone missing – or rather has been deliberately removed to 15912368-largemake way for a smart new brass one marking the renovation of the offices where he was employed – Express Buildings in Upper Parliament Street. Read this interesting little feature by going to the Nottingham Post website and simply entering ‘Graham Greene’ in the search box in the top right-hand corner.

Let’s hope the plaque is safe, languishing in some dusty basement and will be found soon – at least The Nottingham Post is on the case. Typically, Greene had mixed feelings about his time in the city but it did provide the setting, ‘Nottwich’, for his 1936 novel A Gun for Sale.



Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of one of Greene’s best-loved novels – Our Man in Havana. But how much of the old city which Cuba 2Greene describes in detail still exists today? Quite a lot according to Luke Spencer who has written a fascinating account of his visit to Havana armed with a dog-eared copy of the novel tucked under his arm.

Read his article on the Atlas Obscura website:  – just follow the link to Stories. But beware, it will make you want to hop on a plane and go there!