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.
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.’
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.