The historian tells the story of the three-in-one great cities of Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which has long been the gateway between East and West. Archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation here on the Bosphorus over the past 6,000 years. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.
A romantic quest to find the real King Arthur focuses here in Hay in this mining of deepest myth and compelling literary sleuthing.
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.
Rob Penn cut down an ash tree to see how many things could be made from it. Journeying from Wales and Ireland across Europe to the USA, he finds that the ancient skills and knowledge of the properties of ash, developed over millennia making wheels and arrows, furniture and baseball bats, are far from dead. He chronicles how the urge to appreciate trees still runs through us like grain through wood.
A graphic novel that gives a unique insight into the world of motor sport, from the former CEO of the Williams F1 Team.
The historians reveal unknown secrets of Bletchley’s wartime operation and the Enigma, and discuss the code-breaking challenges we face in today’s rapidly changing and technologically complex world. McKay is the author of the bestselling The Lost World of Bletchley Park and Bletchley Park - The Secret Archives. Bletchley Park’s Enigma expert, Thomas Briggs, brings a genuine, working Enigma machine to the Festival.
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.
In the Islamic tradition, a garden with its central elements of water, the scent of fruit trees, and places for rest and reflection, celebrates Heaven on Earth. The gardener Monty Don and acclaimed photographer Derry Moore set off on a journey to find out more about the principles and immersive delights of paradise gardens and how a very different culture and climate has influenced garden design round the world. From the Real Alcazar and the Alhambra in Spain to a Mughal garden in Bradford, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Maidan in Isfahan, Iran, the birthplace of paradise gardens, they present a glorious celebration of the richness of Islamic culture through some of the most beautiful gardens on earth.
The Turkish novelist reimagines the concept of honour, also the title of her 2015 novel. How has the word come to be understood in different communities? Can it be rescued from the grotesque association with the world “killing”? What might a truer application of honour mean for men and for women, for society and humanity? Chaired by A. C. Grayling.
How can cultural exchange inform community regeneration? In 1974 John Gaventa met Hywel Francis and initiated an exchange between Welsh and Appalachian coalfield communities. This work was expanded by researcher Helen Lewis, cinematographer Richard Greatrex, and community organiser Mair Francis. Tonight they discuss the benefits, pitfalls and insights gained from a long-term cultural exchange over four decades. They are in conversation with Dai Smith.
You can book this event together with events  and  at a discounted price of £12. Please call the Box Office on 01497 822629 to proceed with this offer, and we will remove the £3 booking fee.
The risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006; and far worse than implied by standard economic models. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting? Chaired by the science correspondent of ITV News.
The curator of the V&A’s spring blockbuster exhibition introduces the visionary body of work of one of fashion’s most inspiring and adventurous spirits. ‘People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with a dark side of personality,’ – Alexander McQueen. Chaired by Tamsin Blanchard.
What constitutes fair comment, as opposed to defamation, on social media and should the standard be the same as for traditional media? Is the freedom inherent in social media threatened by the chilling effect of potential claims for libel? To what extent should tweeters and bloggers be as aware of the dangers of libel as are professional journalists? Karlin Lillington of The Irish Times, barrister John Maher, TJ McIntyre, Lecturer in Law at University College Dublin, and Google’s John Kampfner discuss with Myles Dungan.