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Alison Weir

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obssession

Hay Festival 2017, 

The second novel in the popular historian’s Six Tudor Queens series mines the story of Anne Boleyn, the young woman who changed the course of history. Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love. But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Chaired by Phil Rickman.

Alison Weir

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Andrew O’Hagan

The Atlantic Ocean

Hay Festival 2008, 
Andrew O’Hagan makes an argument for the personal essay as the great British form of writing, a form that once described the world back to itself in the eras of William Hazlitt and George Orwell. More argumentative than film, more risky than the novel, can the essay tell us how the culture of British life has become enslaved to the commercial and military dreams of America?

Hay Player

Peter Florence

The Pity of War

Hay Festival 2015, 

A performed reading of the play about Wilfred Owen, who died in action on 4 November 1918 having written some of the greatest war poetry in the English language. The play is edited from Owen’s poems and letters and tells his story from the outbreak of war when he was teaching in provincial France. Owen joins up and is drafted straight into the realities of trench warfare on the frontline; he is invalided back to hospital in Edinburgh where he meets Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon before returning to his men in France, where he wins the Military Cross. Owen’s writing was savagely critical of church and state, and hugely compassionate towards the soldiers sacrificing their lives: ‘All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the poet must be truthful.’

Peter Florence

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Nicholas Edwards talks to Vincent Kane

Opera House Lottery

Hay Festival 1998, 
Lord Crickhowell discusses his experience of chairing the Cardiff Bay Opera House project to build Zaha Hadid's new theatre with the BBC Wales television presenter.

Hay Player

Jonathan Steele, Shashi Tharoor and George Monbiot

Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq

Hay Festival 2008, 
The ignorance, arrogance and incompetence of the West’s Iraq policy and intervention laid bare by Steele, the Guardian’s senior foreign correspondent. Tharoor was formerl UN Under Secretary General for Communications. Chaired by William Sieghart.

Hay Player

Peter Mandler

Cambridge Series 6: Does Education Cause Social Mobility? If not, What Does?

Hay Festival 2016, 

It’s common sense that the best stimulus to social mobility is education. But the facts of the past 50 years – a period of unprecedented social mobility – suggest that people may be just as mobile however much or little education they have.  So what does cause social mobility, if not education?  And what, if anything, can governments do to promote it?

Hay Player

Erica Whyman talks to Francine Stock

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Deputy Artistic Director of the RSC discusses her current production. As a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and his great legacy, the production features local amateur companies in all 12 regions and nations of the UK playing Shakespeare’s Mechanicals alongside the professional cast. Erica shares her thoughts as the tour concludes in Cardiff and Belfast, and the company prepares to return to Stratford-upon-Avon for a final run featuring performances from all the amateur companies.

Erica Whyman talks to Francine Stock

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Ismail Kadare and David Bellos

Hay Festival 2008, 
The first winner of the Man Booker International Prize and his translator discuss his new novel The Siege which explores the familiar thoughts and sufferings of C15th Ottoman warriors in Albania. Chaired by Peter Guttridge.

Hay Player

Sue Monroe

The Magnificent Moon Hare

Hay Festival 2012, 
Join the dazzling former CBBC presenter for an offbeat story starring a spoilt princess and a moon hare. Alice in Wonderland meets Roald Dahl, with a game of Top Trumps thrown in.
 
7+ years

Hay Player

Martin Brown

Horrible Histories

Hay Festival 2016, 

Terrifying Tudor? No. Rotten Roman? No. It’s Martin Brown – the ever-popular illustrator of Horrible Histories. In Martin’s action-packed show full of jokes, drawing and fantastic facts, he will reveal secrets about illustrating the bestselling series and show why everyone can draw. With tons of activity and audience suggestions, all the family will enjoy this Horrible show.

8+

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Patrick Barkham

Coastlines

Hay Festival 2015, 

Barkham reflects on the long campaign to protect our shoreline from tidal erosion and human damage. He weaves together fascinating tales about every aspect of the coast – from ancient conquests and smugglers’ routes, to exotic migratory birds and bucket-and-spade holidays – to tell a more profound story about our island nation and the way we are shaped by our shores. Chaired by Horatio Clare.

Patrick Barkham

Hay Player

Ellie Sømme

Another Man’s Shoes

Hay Festival 2017, 

Ellie’s father Sven and uncle Jacob, both leading scientists, led the XU Norwegian Resistance movement against the Nazi occupation in WW2. She tells a mesmerising story of espionage and heroism illustrated with artefacts and documents as she traces the survival of the XU all the way through the Cold War until 1988.

Hay Player

David Gange

Dialogues with the Dead: Egyptology in British Culture and Religion

Hay Festival 2014, 

In the century that followed the deciphering of hieroglyphic script in 1822, Egypt became a focal point in disputes over the nature of human origins, the patterns underlying human history, the status and purpose of the Bible, and the cultural role of the classics.

Hay Player

Donna Mullen in conversation

Law And The Environment

Kells 2013, 

What are the benefits to society of an unpolluted environment? Donna Mullen, a director at The Irish Environmental Network discusses this and their current Constitutional Campaign.

Hay Player

Owen Sheers

Pink Mist – Reading followed by Q&A

Kells 2013, 

A reading from this verse drama originally broadcast over a week on Radio 4. Three school friends return from Afghanistan to face the consequences of their tours, for them and the women in their lives. Drawn from interviews with wounded veterans, Pink Mist is a lyric narrative of rare dramatic and emotional intensity. Followed by Q&A with poet Nerys Williams.

‘Breathtaking, unforgettable’ – Dannie Abse.

‘A phenomenal poem’ – Captain Ed Poytner, 2 Rifles.

Hay Player

Bettany Hughes

Hay Festival Founders Lecture: Make Art Not War

Hay Festival 2019, 

The historian tells the story of extraordinary, transformative projects helping refugee stonemasons to begin to rebuild the shattered treasures of Syria. The new, trainee masons, artisans and artists are both women and young men. The lecture is illustrated with film footage from Hughes’ documentaries about the project. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Bettany Hughes

Hay Player

Green Dragons Den Final 4 - Sustainable Community Futures

Hay Festival 2012, 
Five participants, four dragons and three minutes to tell a story that will capture the Dragons’ hearts, minds and cheque books, with a chance to win £10,000 for their project.
 
Supported by the Welsh Government

Hay Player

Melvyn Bragg

Twelve Books that Changed the World

Hay Festival 2006, 
Shakespeare, Newton, Wollstonecraft, Wilberforce, Darwin... so (far so?) good. The Rule Book of Association Football? The culture and science champion marks out Britain’s turning points in books.

Hay Player

Gillian Cross, Emma Carroll and Linda Coggin

Hay Festival 2015, 
Three fantastic writers of quality adventure fiction will share their stories. Poet, writer and performer Linda Coggin’s debut novel The Boy With The Tiger’s Heart explores our relationship with nature and animals in an unusual fantasy adventure. The Girl Who Walked on Air is an historical adventure with a circus theme from Emma Carroll, who wrote the highly-acclaimed Frost Hollow Hall. Multiple award-winner Gillian Cross has written yet another thrilling and thought-provoking adventure with Shadow Cat. Join them for what is sure to be an entertaining and interesting conversation about writing adventure stories.
10+ years
Gillian Cross, Emma Carroll and Linda Coggin

Hay Player

Newport Red Cross Writers

Welcome to Wales

Hay Festival 2016, 

Amidst the numbers and summits of the refugee crisis, the voices of those who have fled conflict and persecution can be lost. Join us for readings from women across the world who have sought protection in the UK and learnt English with the British Red Cross in South Wales, where they have been writing about their experiences. Sharing their stories from the point of departure to their arrival in Britain, they write eloquently about the asylum system and life in the UK.

Hay Player

Jo Brand talks to Stephanie Merritt

Born Lippy: How to Do Female

Hay Festival 2019, 

Once upon a (very, very) long time ago Jo Brand was what you might describe as ‘a nice little girl’. Of course, that was before the values of cynicism, misogyny and the societal expectation that Jo would be thin, feminine and demure sent her off down Arsey Avenue. Now she’s considerably further along life’s inevitable bloody ‘journey’ – and she’s fucked up enough times to feel confident she has no wisdom to offer anyone. But who cares? She’s going to do it anyway...

Hay Player

Emily Wilson

The 2018 Anthea Bell Lecture: Translating Homer

Hay Festival 2018, 

The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey, is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage, family and identity; and about travellers, hospitality and the changing meanings of home in a strange world. The vivid new translation, the first by a woman, matches the number of lines in the Greek original, striding at Homer's sprightly pace. Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and a five-beat line to produce a translation with an enchanting ‘rhythm and rumble’. She recaptures what is epic about this wellspring of world literature. This inaugural translation lecture is given in the name of the pre-eminent translator, whose peerless work rendering French, Danish and German literature into English ranges from Asterix to Austerlitz.  Chaired by Charlotte Higgins.

Emily Wilson

Hay Player

Simon Murray and Friends

The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping – Show and Tell

Hay Festival 2017, 

What is this for? And how do I clean it? The National Trust’s Director of Curatorship and his team of expert conservator colleagues display and demonstrate some of the most wonderful and eccentric household items from their collections. They’ll offer advice on anything you’d like to bring along.

Simon Murray and Friends

Hay Player

Susan Molyneux Hodgson, Julie Hill and Dale Sanders

The Royal Society Platform: We Need To Talk About Gene Tech

Hay Festival 2017, 

Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.

Susan Molyneux Hodgson, Julie Hill and Dale Sanders

Hay Player

Philip Ball

Serving The Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler

Hay Festival 2014, 

While some scientists in Nazi Germany tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any ‘Jewish ideas’, many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the regime. Ball examines the records of Max Planck, Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg.