“Harwich is a town so well known, and so perfectly describ’d by many writers, I need say little of it: ‘Tis strong by situation, and may be made more so by art.”

We couldn’t agree more with Daniel Defoe who included Harwich in his walking tour of Essex in 1722, and we are absolutely delighted to be heading back there for our opening weekend on 3rd and 4th June.

One thing not to miss is former senior police office Jackie Malton, the inspiration for Helen Mirren’s character DCI Jane Tennison in TV drama Prime Suspect. Jackie will be talking about her compelling memoir The Real Prime Suspect – a “jaw-dropping” book in the words of Val McDermid – at the Electric Palace Cinema as part of our Criminally Good Day.

Jackie’s police career in London Met was notable for her rise within the ranks of a very male, heterosexual organisation while being a woman detective who was openly gay. Having worked in the Flying, Murder and Fraud Squads, Jackie also acted as a whistle-blower against police corruption in the 1980s. A particularly pertinent subject in 2023.

Our other writers include award-winning crime writer Ruth Ware, BBC radio presenter James Naughtie, and spoken word poet Brenda Birungi, ‘Lady Unchained‘. More news to follow on the silent film to be screened on the Electric Palace’s original 1912 silent film screen on Saturday night.