Theatre people

Two of the major attractions for theatre people at this year's Book Festival feature former artistic directors of major London theatres.

In Making Theatre Popular (Saturday 26 August), former National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner talks about how he went about making major changes to England's flagship theatre company without making compromises, as described in his book Balancing Acts. On the Festival's opening day, former Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgoole talks about his decision to take Hamlet on a world tour in The Bard Goes Abroad (Saturday 12 August).

Actor Simon Callow makes a return to the Festival with two different events. In An Extraordinary Life (Friday 18 August), he talks about his own life and career as both an actor and an author, then in Analysing Wagner's Backstory (Saturday 19 August), he talks about his latest in a long line of biographical subjects.

Internationally renowned actress Charlotte Rampling talks about her life and career in Story of a Star (Saturday 19 August) as recounted in her new biography Who I Am. Stephen McGann, one of the McGann acting brothers from Liverpool (along with Joe, Paul and Mark), also talks about his life as part of this theatrical family in Acting Family Tree Rose Up (Monday 21 August), which is also described in his book Flesh and Blood.

Another leading figure of British theatre, Harriet Walter, in Shakespeare's Gender Politics (Sunday 27 August), talks about her recent performances as some of Shakespeare's leading male characters at London's Donmar Warehouse.

Leonie Orton, in Keeping an Artistic Legacy Alive (Tuesday 22 August), talks to novelist Jake Arnott about the impact and legacy of the work of her late brother, the playwright Joe Orton, and of her experiences growing up on a Leicester council estate in the 1940s and '50s.

Finally, the Edinburgh Book Festival wouldn't be complete without an appearance from the well-loved former Makar, poet and playwright Liz Lochhead, who will be performing as A Poet in Full Flight (Tuesday 22 August).