How does the larynx produce sound? How does it control the pitch of the voice? And how are the throat and mouth manipulated to alter vocal register and quality? The wonders of the human voice – from the lost sound of the castrato voice and the ethereal tones of Mongolian throat singers to Bryn Terfel shaking the rafters of St David’s Hall. With sound recordings, video clips, animations and images.
The Basque Country in the early 1980s was a nation beset by conflict, its economy in ruins. Three decades later and it’s a nation at peace and second only to Luxembourg in Europe’s prosperity stakes. And all this with an equality index on a par with Scandinavia. Come and hear how they did it from the man who led the country from the opening of the Guggenheim to the eve of ETA’s lasting ceasefire. What are the lessons for other countries? You may be surprised… Chaired by Adam Price.
Listen to an evening with the phenomenal comedian.
Part 1: Watching War Films With My Dad
In the first part Al discusses his passion for history with James Holland. Growing up in the 1970s, Al, with the help of his dad, became fascinated with the history of World War Two. They didn’t go to football; they went to battlefields. Because like so many of his generation whose childhood was all about Airfix, Action Man and Where Eagles Dare, he grew up in the cultural wake of the Second World War…
Part 2: The Pub Landlord – The Only Way Is Epic
In the second part Al brings his legendary stand-up character to Hay Festival. Britain’s most irrepressible inn-keeper will be serving up his premier brew of ale-inspired acumen and bar-room buffoonery.
“An exceptional balancing act. Performing in his short-sleeved white shirt, with a working beer pump behind him, Murray’s interaction with his crowd remains one of the wonders of the comedy world…satire with scope and a real sting.” The Times
“It’s wickedly witty stuff, and the knowledge that Murray is in fact a staunch, rather high-born Europhile with an MA in modern history makes this outwardly boorish satire on British provincialism more seductive still – right down, in fact, to the occasional guilt-ridden moment of doubt as to exactly what it is you’re laughing at.” The Telegraph
The winning author of the £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for the best work of contemporary fiction in translation, Arab writer Hassan Blasim, discusses his book with judge Boyd Tonkin, The Independent’s Senior Writer and Columnist. Hassan Blasim won the prize for his second short story collection The Iraqi Christ, translated by Jonathan Wright and published by Comma Press.
WINNER OF THE 2014 BOLLINGER EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE AWARD FOR COMIC FICTION
A fabulous comedy from the bestselling author of the Patrick Melrose novels, who presents a wickedly entertaining insight into a sniping world of literature, celebrity culture and ambition, explored through the judges and contenders of the Elysian Prize for Literature.
Two novels explore the disturbance of the past. Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing is both a detective story and a haunting depiction of dementia. The characters in Murray’s Sugar Hall probe the secret history of a Forest of Dean mansion. Chaired by Sameer Rahim.
In August 1814 the United States’ army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place.
One of the translators of this encyclopedic philosophical lexicon – The Dictionary of Untranslatables – examines some of the philosophical, literary and political terms and concepts that defy easy – or any – translation from one language and culture to another. He talks to Daniel Hahn, the national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.
The Professor of Global Ethics explores the idea of perfection as exhibited in contemporary ideals of beauty. She questions the ways the aspiration can be read: as an individual’s aspiration to perfect themselves (‘I want to be perfect’), as assertion of what being perfect is (‘this is what I would be if I were perfect’), and as a command which a woman feels she should obey (‘you should be perfect’).
O’Connor’s The Thrill Of It All charts twenty-five years of friendship and music for the members of the band The Ships in the Night. Shipstead’s Astonish Me is the story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star to defect in 1975. It’s a fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. They read and talk to the actress and writer Lisa Dwan.
The writer and actor’s life is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, and touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn.
Moore’s first volume covers the Prime Minister’s early life and her political journey to power, drawing on unrestricted access to unpublished material. It is hailed as a masterpiece of biography. He talks with the author of the fabulous, award-winning memoir Maggie and Me.