The author of the magnificent book The Silk Roads proposes a new way of understanding the past and of connecting context and ideas so that we might learn the lessons of history. Frankopan is Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates and Richard Spruce were English naturalists who went to Amazonia 150 years ago. All three explored an unknown river and had many thrilling adventures: violent attacks of malaria, fearful rapids, murder attempts, encounters with newly contacted indigenous peoples, shipwrecks, and many other hardships. In addition to their huge contributions to knowledge of the Amazonian environment, each is particularly famous for one discovery. Wallace is acknowledged as a co-discoverer, along with Charles Darwin, of the theory of evolution. Bates discovered protective mimicry among insects, a phenomenon named after him. Spruce transported the quinine-bearing Cinchona tree, the most important medicinal plant of the nineteenth century, to India, where it saved countless lives from malaria.
With illustrations ranging from Shakespeare to Sheridan, from Caryl Churchill and Howard Brenton to Oscar Wilde and Brian Friel, playwright David Edgar explores the poetry of plays.
David Edgar's plays include Destiny, Nicholas Nickleby, Pentecost and Written on the Heart for the RSC, and The Shape of the Table, Albert Speer and Playing with Fire for the National Theatre. He founded Britain's first postgraduate course in playwriting studies (at the University of Birmingham in 1989) and is the author of How Plays Work.
The story of C20th philanthropists Gwendoline and Margaret Davies of Llandinam, who amassed possibly the world’s greatest private collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art and then gave it to the people of Wales. Chaired by Tim Marlow.
In 2007 Sophie Lancaster was attacked in a park because of her appearance. Writer and poet Simon Armitage was so affected by her story that he and his producer Susan Roberts decided to make it into a drama documentary for Radio Four. The result was a profoundly moving piece of work combining specially written poems with an interview with Sylvia, Sophie’s mother. Black Roses was met with critical and public acclaim and subsequently turned into a play for Manchester Royal Exchange. Now in its third incarnation it has been turned into a film and will feature in the BBC’s forthcoming poetry season. Cassian Harrison, controller of BBC Four, talks to Simon and Susan about the challenges of making the film and its journey from radio to stage and now to screen.
Not for broadcast.
From the peat bogs and woodlands that help to secure our water supply, to the bees and soils that produce most of the food we eat, Britain is rich in ‘natural capital’. For years we have damaged the systems that sustain us under the illusion that we are keeping prices down, through intensive farming, drainage of bogs, clearing forests and turning rivers into canals. As the ecologist shows, there are better ways to meet our economic needs.
Action fans will enjoy this in-depth session about the pulse-pounding series starring teengers with special powers.
A graphic novel that gives a unique insight into the world of motor sport, from the former CEO of the Williams F1 Team.
Baroness Warsi’s book The Enemy Within identifies British Muslims as the latest in a long line of ‘others’ to be feared and demonised. The UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister explores questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of ‘British values’ with Helena Kennedy. She proffers necessary and inconvenient truths and proposes new ways forward for British Muslims, politicians and society.
Contributors to a ground-breaking new book, Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected, discuss the vital presence of Wales in the work of ‘the world’s number one storyteller’. This is Dahl wonderfully defamiliarised in his centenary year through the lens of the country of his birth and early life.
Presented by The Welsh Academy
In this hilarious tale of teen angst, discovering his parents are secret nudists is just one of the cringe-making events Mike Swarbrick has to deal with. A very funny new writer for teens.
Duration 45 mins.
Assuming no previous linguistic knowledge or familiarity with Middle English, Horobin introduces us to the wonders of Chaucer’s language and the importance of reading him in the original, rather than modern translation.
Described by John Green as “an insanely beautiful writer”, the award-winning author of the Chaos Walking trilogy has just completed the screenplay for a major motion picture of A Monster Calls. Join him and enjoy a first preview of scenes from the film.
The author of The Serpent’s Promise, Almost Like A Whale, The Language of the Genes and In the Blood conducts an evolutionist’s exploration.
Anne-Marie Imafidon is Head Stemette and co-founder of Stemettes – an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. Come and meet one of the world’s most inspiring and brilliant mathematicians, co-founder of Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls.
The architectural historian and Pevsner Guide author gives an illustrated talk about these most workaday public spaces. Followed by an update on the Heritage Lottery-supported Hay Cheesemarket project by Director Juliet Noble and Heritage Activities Manager Clare Purcell.