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Melvyn Bragg

Fiction: Now is the Time

Hay Festival 2016, 

A fictional recreation of the biggest rebellion in English history, the Peasants’ Revolt of May 1381. The plague had returned, the king’s coffers were empty and a draconian poll tax had been introduced but was widely evaded. A large force of common people entered London demanding freedom, equality and the uprooting of Church and State.

Melvyn Bragg

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James May’s Magnificent Machines

Hay Festival 2008, 
Top Gear star James May and Phil Dolling examine the tipping points— when technologies such as the car or the internet became unstoppable—and get up close to the nuts and bolts of remarkable inventions.

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Gary Northfield

Julius Zebra. Rumble with the Romans!

Hay Festival 2015, 
Meet the cartoonist and graphic novelist who created The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs! graphic novel and is a cartoonist for phenomenally successful comics and series including The Phoenix, The Beano, The Dandy and Horrible Histories. 

Join in this interactive family event full of tips for budding young cartoonists, illustrators and writers. Gary introduces his hilarious brand new series Julius ZebraRumble with the Romans! and dazzles with lots of images, live drawing and plenty of Roman facts.
7+ years
Gary Northfield

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Helen Fielding talks to Viv Groskop

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Hay Festival 2017, 

The world’s favourite singleton is back with a bump. Fielding discusses the (gloriously different) book and film versions of her comic masterpiece.

Helen Fielding talks to Viv Groskop

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David Aaronovitch

The Christopher Hitchens Lecture

Hay Festival 2016, 

The journalist interrogates the ideas of safe space on campus, the psychology of “vindictive protectionism” and the practice of “no-platforming” speakers. In a political culture that is susceptible to polarisation, where social media amplifies grievance and offence, how do we wield free speech? Aaronovitch discusses his lecture with Clemency Burton-Hill. He talks about his memoir Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists on Sunday 

David Aaronovitch

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Laura Dockrill

Darcy Burdock

Hay Festival 2013, 

Voted one of the top ten literary talents by The Times, this uniquely gifted young artist who ‘writes, draws and talks’ is here to perform and read from her first book for young readers.

9+ years

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Jan Blake with Kouame and Raymond Sereba

The Old Woman, The Buffalo, and the Lion of Manding – Part 2

Hay Festival 2012, 
See Part 1 – event 339 for details. It is not necessary to see part 1 in order to enjoy part 2.

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Martin Rowson

Gulliver’s Travels

Hay Festival 2012, 
The award-winning cartoonist’s homage to the original masterpiece is a contemporary indictment of the same enduring human idiocies that enraged Swift so magnificently and memorably in the first place.

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Narir Lekha, Narir Dekha

Dhaka 2012, 
Four contemporary Bangla novelists discuss their work. With Selina Hossain, Umme Muslima, Masuda Bhatti and Anwara Syed Haq. Chaired by Shahnaz Munni.

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Oliver Jeffers

Hay Festival 2017, 

Award-winner Jeffers returns to Hay Festival to entertain his many fans with stories and live drawing from his recent titles including A Child of Books, as well as giving an insight into his future titles. A  Child of Books is the winner of the 2017 Bolognaragazzi Fiction Award.

3+
Oliver Jeffers

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Diana McCaulay, Michael Mendis and Maggie Gee

A Commonwealth Writers Conversation

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Untold Story: The Environment in Fiction 

The impact of global warming is likely to be, ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible’, according to a recent UN report. Diana McCaulay, environmental activist and author from Jamaica, Michael Mendis, blogger and short story writer from Sri Lanka, and UK novelist Maggie Gee explore what happens when science and fiction meet, with Daniel Hahn.

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Victoria Hislop talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Cartes Postales from Greece

Hay Festival 2017, 

The beloved, bestselling author’s new novel is illustrated with photographs that make this journey around Greece, already alive in the imagination, linger forever in the mind. Hislop’s other Greek novels include The Island and The Thread.

Victoria Hislop talks to Rosie Goldsmith

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Charlie English

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu

Hay Festival 2017, 

A medieval centre of learning, Hay’s twin-town was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology to astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. This is their story. Chaired by Francine Stock.

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Lisa Dwan

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour: Samuel Beckett

Hay Festival 2017, 

Dwan’s sensational performances of Beckett’s Not I and No’s Knife in London, on Broadway and around the world have perfectly captured the rhythms and beauty of his language.  In this specially commissioned Poetry Hour she introduces and reads his poetry and drama.

Lisa Dwan

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Adele Nozedar and Lizzie Harper

Hedgerow Handbook

Hay Festival 2012, 
Recipes, Remedies and Rituals. With drawings by Lizzie Harper.
 
Join Adele for foraging trips throughout the week.

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Robert Coover and DBC Pierre talk to Gaby Wood

Fictions: The High Stylists

Hay Festival 2011, 
Coover’s Briar Rose & Spanking the Maid form a pair of ground-breaking, darkly playful novellas. Booker-winner Pierre’s Lights Out In Wonderland pushes a global odyssey to extremes.
 

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Miranda July and Marina Lewycka chaired by Ariane Koek

Hay Festival 2007, 
The screenwriter, July, launches her debut collection of stories Nobody Belongs Here More Than You. Lewycka discusses her comic jewel Two Caravans set amongst an international brigade of Kent strawberry pickers. They talk to the Arvon Foundation Director.

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David Crystal and Vicente Molina Foix

Talking About Shakespeare: Language

Hay Festival 2016, 

What did performances of Shakespeare’s plays sound like in his day? Linguistics professor David Crystal introduces OP (original pronunciation) and marvels at the wonders of the playwright’s revolutionary vocabulary. Molina Foix (who translates Shakespeare for contemporary Spanish theatre) considers the reality that most people in the world discover the great writer’s work in translation.

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Manchan Magan

Kells 2013, 

The writer, traveller and television programme-maker runs through the pleasures and pitfalls of travel writing.

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Gillian Beer

Alice in Space

Hay Festival 2015, 

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Beer sets the Alice books in a number of different contexts in the Victorian period – what was going on in Punch, in maths, in language theory, in evolutionary theory, in child development – and asks how the books both thrive on these presences and wriggle free of them. Beer is also the editor of Carroll’s poems Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense.

Gillian Beer

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Polly Samson and Kate Hamer

Fictions – Truths

Hay Festival 2015, 

Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Samson’s second novel The Kindness explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told. In Hamer’s The Girl in the Red Coat Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children’s festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. The authors talk to Georgina Godwin.

Polly Samson and Kate Hamer

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Debut Directors

Dhaka 2012, 
Celebrated actress and director Nandita Das and producer Catherine Masud discuss their first feature films, Firaaq and Matir Moina. Chaired by Sharbari Zohra Ahmed.

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Dragon Gold and Flying Bedrooms

Hay Festival 2014, 

Celebrated illustrator and writer Shoo Rayner, whose drawing tips are a big hit on YouTube, and prize-winning author Heather Dyer, introduce their new books, Dragon Gold and The Flying Bedroom, at a stories-and-pictures event to celebrate the launch of brand new children’s publisher Firefly Press.

6+ years

Dragon Gold and Flying Bedrooms

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Journalists Read Bolaño: Antonio Lucas, Peio H. Riaño, Fernando R. Lafuente and Jesús Ruiz Mantilla

Segovia 2013, 

Antonio Lucas is a consummate poet, as well as a columnist of El Mundo; Peio H. Riaño has displayed his professional insight in the most prominent cultural publications in the country; Fernando R. Lafuente, former director of the Instituto Cervantes; and Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, with five novels in the bookshops, all declare their passion for Roberto Bolaño —already a legend—, justifying and even criticizing it.

 

Co-organised and produced by AC/E (Acción Cultural Española)

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The Jazz Baroness

Hay Festival 2008, 
Film-maker Hannah Rothschild tells the extraordinary story of her eccentric great aunt Pannonica Rothschild, who became famous as the Baroness of the Bebop jazz revolution, and patron to Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.