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James Shapiro talks to Jerry Brotton

Talking About Shakespeare: 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author of 1599 offers an intimate portrait of one of Shakespeare’s most inspired moments: the year of King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. 1606, while a very good year for Shakespeare, is a fraught one for England. Plague returns. There is surprising resistance to the new king’s desire to turn England and Scotland into a united Britain. And fear and uncertainty sweep the land and expose deep divisions in the aftermath of a failed terrorist attack that came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot.

James Shapiro talks to Jerry Brotton

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Jeremy Davies, Steve Colling and Jane Davidson

Changing Consumer: Changing Language

Hay Festival 2011, 
Does the emerging language around the low carbon future and how we use energy capture our hearts and minds, convey meaning and drive change? Or leave us cold, cynical and disorientated? New research by E.ON and Onearth explores what turns on and turns off consumers when thinking about energy. Chaired by BBC environment correspondent David Shukman.

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Wayne Smith

The Drove Roads Of The Middle Marches

Hay Festival 2013, 

The historian follows the trail of Welsh drovers down through the centuries as they moved cattle and sheep to the ever-expanding markets of England. And he offers a detailed walks guide for those keen to discern their own drove roads.

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Fern Elsdon-Baker in conversation with Jaime Bernal

Reviewing Darwin

Cartagena 2010, 
Elsdon-Baker, who manages the project 'Darwin Now', which celebrates the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, explores historical, philosophical and scientific theories that question the arguments of the visionary biologist. His book, The Selfish Genius, defends a more plural approach to understanding the theory of the evolution of species. In conversation with Dr Jaime Bernal, director of the Institute of Genetics of the Universidad Javeriana. 

This event is in English. Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available.

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Ken Follett

Tolerance and coexistence

Segovia 2018, 

Follett’s third novel in the Kingsbridge Series, A Column of Fire, went straight to the No.1 position on bestseller lists in the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In A Column of Fire, voices of tolerance struggle to be heard under authoritarian rule as England faces challenges from Europe. The social and political concerns of the first Elizabethan era resonate loudly in the second. Following the screening of a short film, Follett discusses with the audience how the themes of his Tudor-time novel echo in today’s political theatre.

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Antonio Lobo Antunes in conversation with Claudio López Lamadrid

Segovia 2010, 
Antonio Lobo Antunes, one of the most outstanding authors in Portuguese literature and winner of the awards Camões in 2007 and Juan Rulfo in 2008, will talk to his publisher, Claudio López Lamadrid, about his most recent book published in Spanish, Archipiélago del insomnio.

Simultaneous translation from Portuguese to Spanish will be provided.

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Jeremy Bowen

Our Man in the Middle East

Hay Festival 2017, 

The BBC’s Middle East Editor returns home to bring the news from Mosul, Gaza and Jerusalem. His 25-part series for Radio 4 about the region’s history starts on 15 May. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with analysis of the politics, economics and societies he’s reported on since he first arrived in the Gulf in 1990. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Jeremy Bowen

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James Daunt, Dylan Jones, Kate Wilson and Simon Morrison talk to Gaby Wood

Business Breakfast - The Future of Books

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Waterstones, GQ and Nosy Crow masterminds realise the paper and digital future of books with the Googles' Head of Copyright Policy and the Telegraph’s Head of Books.

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Jonathan Coe and Catherine O’Flynn

The Penguin Readers VIP Breakfast Club – PREVIEW

Hay Festival 2013, 

Come and meet two star novelists reading from their new novels Expo 58 and Mr Lynch’s Holiday months before they are published. Hear about them before the reviewers do!

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Marcus du Sautoy

The Secret Mathematicians

Hay Festival 2011, 
The author of The Number Mysteries examines how the mathematicians' palette of shapes, patterns and numbers has inspired composers, painters, choreographers and writers.
The Number Mysteries - Marcus du Sautoy

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Jim Smith

Barry Loser

Hay Festival 2015, 
Join Jim Smith, author and illustrator of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning Barry Loser series, for an hour of very silly fun. Fast becoming a humour classic, the Barry Loser books are packed full of humour, quirky plots and doodles.
6+ years
Jim Smith

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Christopher Andrew

Cambridge Series: MI5

Hay Festival 2010, 
The author of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 examines the Secret Services and the Cambridge connection...
Christopher Andrew

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Reza Aslan

No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam

Hay Festival 2006, 
Can an Islamic state be founded on democratic values? Aslan believes we are now living in the era of 'the Islamic Reformation'. He examines the roots of this reformation and the future of the Islamic faith.

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Pablo Francisco Arrieta in conversation with David Eagleman

Information Utopia

Cartagena 2011, 
The architect Pablo Arrieta is a master of new technologies. Neuroscientist David Eagleman is a supporter of the digital project Why the Net Matters: How the Internet will Save Civilisation. They bring us up to date with the information industry of today, reflecting on the disappearance of the boundaries between the publishing, digital and media industries.

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Will Anderson and Sunand Prasad talk to Alok Jha

Designing Sustainable Homes and Buildings

Hay Festival 2010, 
Is it possible to build homes and workplaces that are environmentally sound, affordable and a pleasure to live and work in? The former President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Senior Partner of Penoyre & Prasad LLP, and the author of Homes for a Changing Climate are in conversation with Alok Jha of the Guardian.

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Layla Al-Zubaidi, Matthew Cassel and Mohamed Mesrati talk to Jo Glanville

Writing Revolution

Hay Festival 2013, 

The editors and contributors present the best writing on the Arab revolutions from prominent journalists, activists, bloggers, academics and writers who participated in and bore witness to the ongoing uprisings and struggles.

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Venki Ramakrishnan talks to Adam Rutherford

Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome

Hay Festival 2019, 

The Nobel Prize-winning chemist in conversation with the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science and author of The Book of Humans.

Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can’t be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome.

A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan’s unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.

Venki Ramakrishnan talks to Adam Rutherford

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Alaa Al Aswany and Amit Chaudhuri talk to Clemency Burton-Hill

Story: Perspectives

Hay Festival 2009, 
The author of The Yacoubian Building Al Aswany offers a fresh portrait of Cairo in ten stories collected as Friendly Fire. The Immortals by Chaudhuri tells three musicians stories to explore the relationship between art, money and commerce.

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Gareth Malone

Music for the People

Hay Festival 2011, 
The charismatic maestro of The Choir takes us on A Journey through the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Classical Music.

Read the Independent's feature on Gareth Malone
Music for the People - Gareth Malone

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Brian Gambles, Patrick Arends and Ian Ward

Rewriting The Book: The Library Of Birmingham

Hay Festival 2013, 

The £189m Library of Birmingham opens in September this year, and will be the largest public library in Europe. It will provide a showcase for the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books, a gallery space, a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and two garden terraces. The Project Director, architect and the Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council will discuss bringing this ambitious project to fruition.

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Andrés Neuman en conversación con Guillermo Altares

Alhambra 2009, 
El reciente ganador del Premio Alfaguara 2009 con El viajero del siglo, autor seleccionado dentro de la convocatoria Bogotá39 como uno de
los mejores “39 autores latinoamericanos menores de 40 años”, habla sobre sus últimos trabajos en prosa y poesía y las experiencias vividas a
raíz de ser seleccionado como ganador y finalista en diversos premios. En conversación con Guillermo Altares, redactor jefe de Babelia.

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John Mitchinson and guests

Unbound Live 1

Hay Festival 2013, 

The award-winning crowd-funded publisher offers the Hay audience a chance to choose what gets published. Mixing authors whose books have already been funded with others pitching their ideas for books they want to write, this is a literary Dragons’ Den with a difference. Legendary writer and performer Salena Godden pitches her childhood memoir, Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn presents his science fiction sequel, novelist Charles Fernyhough asks whether neuroscience changes love, Strangler Hugh Cornwell and archaeologist-turned-crimewriter Francis Pryor compete for your support with a little help from publisher and QI Elf-master John Mitchinson. Light poetic relief from performance poet George Chopping.

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Liz Fleming-Williams & Simon Fraser with Ruth Bidgood

Gwesyn – Stillffilm

Hay Festival 2009, 
The photographer and sound recordist introduce a journey that follows the river Gwesyn from its source near the summit of Drygarn Fawr in the Cambrian Mountains to its confluence with the river Irfon in the village of Abergwesyn using source material in photographs and multi-track field recordings. The Welsh poet reads her poem ‘Film, Gwesyn’ from her book Time Being inspired by the film.

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Judith Kerr & Michael Morpurgo

Hay Festival 2013, 

Judith and Michael celebrate their 90th and 70th birthdays respectively this year. Be part of a magical event as they reminisce and share Judith’s new book, Creatures.

9+ years (not for young children)

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Simon Schama & Simon Sebag Montefiore

Two Jews...

Hay Festival 2011, 
The two historians from very different backgrounds reflect on their identities and their experiences of being Jewish.
Citizens - Simon Schama