From Henry III’s elephant at the Tower to George IV’s love affair with Britain’s first giraffe and Lady Castlereagh’s recalcitrant ostriches, Grigson’s tour through the centuries amounts to an impressively detailed history of exotic animals in Britain. On the way we encounter a host of fascinating and outlandish creatures, including the first peacocks and popinjays, Thomas More’s monkey and Lord Clive’s zebra, which refused to mate with a donkey until it was painted with stripes. It is also the story of all those who came into contact with them: the people who owned them, the merchants who bought and sold them, the seamen who carried them to our shores, the naturalists who wrote about them, the artists who painted them, the itinerant showmen who worked with them, and the collectors who collected them. Grigson is now an honorary professor at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Chaired by John Mitchinson.
Marcus Sedgwick has established himself as a widely-admired writer of young adult fiction, and won several awards including the Printz Award, the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. Sedgwick reflects on his popular, eclectic work with British Council Director Rod Pryde.
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish
Over two full years, Dromgoole and the players of Shakespeare’s Globe toured all seven continents performing Hamlet in sweltering deserts, grand Baltic palaces and heaving marketplaces. We see what the Danish prince means to the students of Cambodia, the effect of Polonius on the citizens of the tiny African nation of Djibouti and how a 16th century play can touch the lives of Syrian refugees. Shakespeare’s timeless power to transcend borders, to touch the human heart and to bring the world closer together has rarely been demonstrated in such a bold and brilliant way.
Liam Ó Maonlaí is one of Ireland’s best-loved musicians and singers, both in rock and traditional music. Bono once described Liam as ‘The best white boy soul singer in the world’, and he has been also been described as one of Ireland’s best Sean Nos (traditional Irish) singers. Spanning over twenty years, Liam’s career has seen him achieve number one hits in over twenty countries, from playing with Aboriginal musicians in the Australian outback to recording with some of the world’s best-known musicians including Carlos Nunes, Donal Lunny, U2 and Van Morrison, to name but a few. A master pianist, Liam also performs on guitar, harp, tin whistle and bodhrán.
Join the award-winning actor, writer and child-rights activist for a fantastical interactive storytelling session, with fun games and animal masks. Nandana has starred in more than 20 feature films, is the author of Mambi and the Forest Fire (Puffin, 2016), and works with children (and grown-ups) at UNICEF, Operation Smile, and RAHI to fight against child abuse. After studying literature at Harvard, she worked as a book editor, screenwriter, poetry translator, and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland. Kangaroo Kisses, her debut children’s book in the UK, is a mix of fantasy and real life as one mischievous child delays getting ready for bed, and has some amazing wildlife encounters along the way.
The day after the award is announced in London, the winner travels to Hay to talk to the chair of judges about her or his work. The shortlisted writers are Juan Tomás Ávila, Jenny Erpenbeck, Tomás González, Daniel Kehlmann, Erwin Mortier and Haruki Murakami.
It is easy to assume that plants don’t do much; and many expressions for inactivity involve plant metaphors – such as the ‘couch potato’. However, plants, including potatoes, are as busy as the rest of us assessing their surroundings and changing their activity accordingly. Dame Ottoline Leyser is Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory.
The first part of an evening of delicious cricket talk celebrates the career of the legendary broadcaster and commentator. Now that 'Blowers' has decided to declare his TMS innings closed, his book reveals the secrets of life in the commentary box and of the rich cast of characters with whom he shared it, from the early days of John Arlott and Brian Johnson to Aggers and new boys Boycott, Swann, Vaughan and Tuffers.
The Cold War is one of the furthest-reaching and longest-lasting conflicts in modern history. It spanned the globe - from Greece to China, Hungary to Cuba - and lasted for almost half a century. It has shaped political relations to this day, drawing new physical and ideological boundaries between East and West, that have suddenly and dramatically resurfaced with Russian resurgence and interventions. Kendall was foreign correspondent for the BBC in Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Formerly the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, she is now Master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge.
The Colombian writer who won the La Otra Orilla award in 2009 for Necrópolis presents his book Océanos de arena, a diary of travels in the Middle East. He talks to Enrique Bueres, editor-in-chief of Canal+ and contributor to GQ magazine.
A chance to listen to one of the most outstanding British poets reading a selection of his work, confirming him as a poet of many voices, hilarious and surreal. Presented by Rod Pryde, Director of the British Council in Spain.
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish
Listen to this story about bees, the miraculous insects that travel from flower to flower and spread life on the planet. After explaining the importance of bees, this workshop will also encourage young readers to get involved in saving bees, while creating a garden using Britta Teckentrup’s collage technique.
Shiver me timbers! Once upon a time, a mysterious message in a bottle said someone needed help; help from a certain bold, brave knight. So the brilliant Sir Charlie Stinky Socks, his cat Envelope and his good grey mare find a ship to rescue the messenger. Join the author for a musical, storytelling journey complete with pirates, a sea monster, and a delicious surprise.
For 50 years, and from research labs to Cape Canaveral, from Space agencies to Downing Street, Fred Taylor has been at the forefront of the technological adventure of the Space Age. Instruments and experiments he helped imagine and build have travelled into Deep Space and surveyed the Solar System. He is now Halley Professor of Physics Emeritus at Oxford.