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March 25 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Bunker
  • Discussion
  • Festival 4
  • Science & Invention

Under the Influence: A Soviet Childhood

Tony Peake, Agnieszka Studzinska and Paavo Matsin


Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker
Kelvedon Hall Lane CM14 5TL
Does not include bunker entrance fees (Adults £7.50 / Children £5.50 / Family £18)

Box Office:

Mercury Theatre
01206 573948

Under the Influence: A Soviet Childhood brings together three very different writers to discuss how their childhood experiences growing up in the shadow of communism and the Soviet Union, have influenced their writing. Our panellists include Polish poet Agnieszska Studzinska, whose debut collection Snow Calling was shortlisted for London Festival New Poetry Award 2010,  award-winning Estonian author Paavo Matsin, Winner of European Union Prize for Literature 2016 with his novel Gogol’s Disco, and author Tony Peake, who, like the main character in his novel North Facing, grew up in South Africa at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.


aspoetry.com     @aspoetry

myriadeditions.com/books/north-facing          @MyriadEditions


FESTIVAL 4 – MULTIPLE EVENT OFFER: This year we are offering four events for the price of three on selected talks – Just choose any four events with the ‘Festival 4’ symbol when booking in person, over the phone or online.

10.00am – 4.30pm

This event is part of Essex Book Festival’s Science & Invention weekend.

Join us for a day of exciting author events, panel discussions, workshops and more as we take over Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, the Government’s chilling Cold War ‘hideaway’. This unique and unusual space was operational from 1952 right through to 1994, and is now a fascinating underground museum open to all.

Working with a whole array of partners, authors, organisations and individuals, Essex Book Festival presents an exciting programme all inspired by the Bunker’s history, its ‘raison d’être’, and the thoughts and feelings it provokes. Taking place throughout disused rooms, stairways and corridors, from the Canteen Common Room, to the Bunker Plant Room, through to the Prime Minister’s Bedroom, we invite you to a truly immersive experience.


Talks, panel discussions and the writers’ workshop during the day are individually priced. Please note they DO NOT include the admission price for the bunker, which is payable on the door.

Entry to the Bunker:

Adults: £7.50
Children: £5.50 (5-16 Years)
Family: £18.00 (2 Adults + 2 Children)
Group Discount 15+ Adults £7.00, Children £5.00

The Bunker is unable to accept credit or debit cards, so please bring cash to pay for your admission. For more information visit www.secretnuclearbunker.com/entry



A free coach will run from Southend, courtesy of Focal Point Gallery, as part of the New Geographies’ project

Outward: 1.30pm – Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea to the Bunker
Return: 9.15pm – the Bunker to Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea

Book your place here (via Eventbrite)



Essex Book Festival at the Bunker is part of the Festival’s Science and Invention weekend in Chelmsford and Kelvedon Hatch’s Secret Nuclear Bunker. Click here for a list of all events taking place during the weekend.







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