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Alan Kitching talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

A Life in Letterpress

Hay Festival 2016, 

Kitching is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. Spanning more than 50 years, his new, lavishly illustrated monograph leads us from Kitching’s first typographical experiments under the auspices of mentor Anthony Froshaug to his iconic creations at The Typography Workshop. It showcases his most colourful and expressive pieces, including his prolific work for the Guardian, the National Theatre, British Library, Tate Modern, Penguin Books and Royal Mail. He talks to Clemency Burton-Hill.

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Tom Bullough talks to Oliver Bullough

Addlands

Hay Festival 2016, 

We are thrilled to launch Tom’s new novel, the story of two generations of the Hamer family working the Funnon Farm. There is Idris, stubborn, strong, a man of the plough and the prayer-sheet, haunted by the War. Then comes Oliver, a near mythic giant bestriding the landscape, a fighter, a man of the hills as hard as the prehistoric stone. Then there is Etty, Oliver’s mother, the centre of this close constellation, watching new technologies and old ways converge on the farm and on the life of her son. Addlands is instantly a classic of rural British fiction.  The author talks to the journalist and writer, Oliver Bullough, his brother.

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Simon Callow

Orson Welles: One Man Band

Hay Festival 2016, 
In the third volume in his epic survey of Orson Welles’ life and work, Callow again probes in comprehensive and penetrating detail into one of the most complex artists of the twentieth century, looking closely at the triumphs and failures of an ambitious one-man assault on one medium after another – theatre, radio, film, television, even, at one point, ballet – in each of which his radical and original approach opened up new directions and hitherto unglimpsed possibilities.
He begins with Welles’ self-exile from America, and his realisation that he could only function happily as an independent film-maker, a one-man band; by 1964, he had filmed Othello, which took three years to complete, Mr Arkadin, the biggest conundrum in his output, and his masterpiece Chimes at Midnight, as well as Touch of Evil, his sole return to Hollywood and, like all too many of his films, wrested from his grasp and re-edited. Along the way he made inroads into the fledgling medium of television and a number of stage plays, including Moby-Dick, considered by theatre historians to be one of the seminal productions of the century. Meanwhile, his private life was as dramatic as his professional life.
Simon Callow

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Gregory Doran talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

Talking About Shakespeare

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and this year’s Richard Dimbleby Lecturer, discusses Shakespeare’s legacy in 2016, the 400th anniversary of his death. The RSC’s celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon include two major new productions to be directed by Doran: King Lear with Antony Sher, and a ground-breaking production of The Tempest with Simon Russell Beale, in collaboration with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios.

Gregory Doran talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

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Fearghal McGarry

The Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Easter Rising of 1916 not only destroyed much of the centre of Dublin – it changed the course of Irish history. But why did it happen? What was the role of ordinary people in this extraordinary event? What motivated them and what were their aims? McGarry makes use of a unique source that has only recently seen the light of day: a collection of more than 1,700 eye-witness statements detailing the political activities of members of Sinn Féin and militant groups such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He illuminates their motives, concerns, and aspirations, and highlights the importance of the First World War as a catalyst for the uprising. Chaired by David Dwan.

Fearghal McGarry

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Owen Hopkins

Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture

Hay Festival 2016, 

The history of architecture is a story of continual innovation, and yet at certain points within that story comes an architect whose vision completely defies convention. Hopkins focuses on 12 such figures from the history of British architecture, including Sir John Soane, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Cedric Price and Zaha Hadid. Their work is bold, frequently controversial, often radical; it is architecture that actively resists being pigeon-holed into a particular style or period.

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Jane Davidson and Sophie Howe

The Single Most Important Piece of Legislation in the Past 20 Years?

Hay Festival 2016, 

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 came into full force in April 2016. It puts a legal responsibility on the Welsh public sector, including Welsh Government, to consider sustainability in all of its actions. The potential for this to change the private sector, too, is huge. Jane Davidson was the original architect of this Act and Sophie Howe is the new Commissioner responsible for delivery. Will it change the world, or is it a well-meaning Act with no Teeth?

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Paul Roche

Down to Earth: Impacts from Space – Cardiff University Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

What killed the dinosaurs? And should we be worried about going the same way? Astronomers regularly discover huge lumps of rock and ice hurtling past the Earth, and if some of them were to actually hit us then the effects could be terrifying, with dramatic consequences for all life on Earth. Recent near misses, and the huge airburst explosion over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February 2013, make this a very topical issue. The European Space Agency’s Space Ambassador for Wales spins a tale of death, destruction and dinosaurs.

Paul Roche

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Simon Callow, Rachael Jolley, David Aaronovitch, Alexa Huang

Global Shakespeare: Protest, dissent and slipping by the censors

Hay Festival 2016, 

All over the world, Shakespeare’s plays find an audience, but often hidden within productions are thought-provoking, often controversial themes, about corruption, overthrowing power or teenage love. These areas of debate might rarely get staged, were it not for the cloak of Shakespeare’s ‘respectability’.  This session discusses how Shakespeare slips by the censors, both historically and today. Simon Callow is an actor and writer.  David Aaronovitch is a journalist who writers for The Times. Rachel Jolley is the editor of Index on Censorship. Alexa Huang teaches at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C

Simon Callow, Rachael Jolley, David Aaronovitch, Alexa Huang

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Seamus Murphy

The Republic

Hay Festival 2016, 

One hundred years after Ireland’s 1916 Rising, who are the Irish and what has become of the republic they made? The award-winning photographer, exile and escapee, digs deep to discover the forces and mysteries that drive, and have often beguiled, the country since its birth. From the streets of Dublin and the suburbs of towns and cities adapting to new multicultural life, to the older habitats of Ireland’s wilder western shores, Murphy endeavours to capture the spirit of contemporary Ireland in this witty, closely observed and beautiful photographic story. Chaired by David Dwan.

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Brix Smith-Start talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Rise, The Fall, and the Rise

Hay Festival 2016, 

Brix spent ten years in the band, The Fall, before a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E Smith. Her story is much more than rock ’n’ roll highs and lows in one of the most radically dysfunctional bands around. Growing up in the Hollywood Hills in the 1960s in a dilapidated pink mansion, her life has taken her from luxury to destitution, from the cover of the NME to waitressing in California, via the industrial wasteland of Manchester in the 1980s.

Brix Smith-Start talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Gulwali Passarlay talks to Oliver Bullough

The Lightless Sky: An Afghan Refugee Boy’s Journey of Escape to a new Life in Britain

Hay Festival 2016, 

Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of 12, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali embarked on a 12-month odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty and violence. He endured a terrifying journey on a tiny boat in the Mediterranean, braved the brutality of those who should care for children and spent a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone. Here in Britain he was fostered, went to a good school, worked hard and won a place at a top university. Gulwali was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Many refugees die along the way. Some are sent back to face imprisonment and possible death. Some survive and make it here, to a country that offers them the chance of a life of freedom and opportunity.

Gulwali Passarlay talks to Oliver Bullough

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Michael Marmot talks to Rajan Datar

The Health Gap

Hay Festival 2016, 

There are dramatic differences in health between countries and within countries. But this is not a simple matter of rich and poor. A poor man in Glasgow is rich compared to the average Indian, but the Glaswegian’s life expectancy is 8 years shorter. In all countries, people at relative social disadvantage suffer health disadvantage, and dramatically so. Within countries, the higher the social status of individuals, the better is their health. But globally these health inequalities defy usual explanations. Creating the conditions for people to lead flourishing lives, and thus empowering individuals and communities, is key to development. Datar reports for BBC World News.

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Dai Smith in conversation with Max Porter

The International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University

Hay Festival 2016, 

Join us to celebrate ten years of the prestigious prize for writers aged 39 and under, as the 2016 Winner talks with Dai Smith, Chair of the Judging Panel and Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University. Max Porter won the award for his extraordinary book Grief is the Thing With Feathers.

Dai Smith says: “Max Porter, the judges felt, takes the common place of grief, the pall of death, the loss of loved ones, the things that we will all experience and transforms the ordinary through an extraordinary feat of imaginative prose, but prose that slips in to poetry and out again. The way it plays with the archetypal figure of Ted Hughes’ Crow is both astonishing and beguiling. It is funny, it is deeply moving and it is a book that the judges are proud to see as the winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University.”

Dai Smith in conversation with Max Porter

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Erwin James talks to Claire Armitstead

Redeemable

Hay Festival 2016, 

James lost his mother when he was seven. Shipped from home to home and subject to the whims of various care-givers after his father turned to alcohol and violence, he committed his first crime of breaking and entering when he was ten. His teenage and early adult years were spent drifting, and his petty crime turned increasingly violent, culminating in the terrible events for which he was jailed for life in 1984. Entering prison at 27, James struggled to come to terms with the enormity of his crimes and a future without purpose or hope. Then he met Joan, a prison psychologist, who helped him to confront the painful truth of his past, and to understand how it had shaped him from such a young age. Encouraged to read and to educate himself, over the next 20 years Erwin James would go on to receive a BA in History and become a regular columnist for the Guardian.

Erwin James talks to Claire Armitstead

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Nik Gowing

Thinking The Unthinkable

Hay Festival 2016, 

Brexit? DAESH? President Trump? Europe’s migration crisis? Oil prices crashing? The ‘unusual extremes’ causing UK flooding? The international affairs analyst, a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London introduces new research revealing why top leaders in big corporates and governments struggle to handle the scale of new unthinkables.

Numbers are limited for this seminar. The full report, co-written with Chris Langdon, can be downloaded from here: http://www.thinkunthinkable.org

Nik Gowing

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Chris Riddell

Ask the Children’s Laureate

Hay Festival 2016, 

Meet the Children’s Laureate, who will live-draw the answers to your questions. The children he chooses can take their doodle-answers home with them and own a unique piece of art from one of our greatest illustrators.

6+

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Nandana Sen

Kangaroo Kisses

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

3+

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Kate Summerscale talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

Hay Festival 2016, 

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, 13-year-old Robert Coombes and his 12-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lords. They told their neighbours their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next 10 days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes’ house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm... Summerscale won the Samuel Johnson Prize for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Kate Summerscale talks to Stephanie Merritt

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Tim Whitmarsh

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

Hay Festival 2016, 

Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively, free-thinking voices of antiquity. The A G Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief.

Tim Whitmarsh

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Tom Fletcher talks to Katrin Bennhold

Naked Diplomacy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age

Hay Festival 2016, 

In the next hundred years, the world will need to deal with the same amount of social development witnessed in the past 43 centuries – the rebirth of the city state, the battle for new energy, disappearing borders, the desire of the world’s people to move to developed nations. The former ambassador explores the core principles of a progressive C21st foreign policy: how to balance interventionism and national interest, and to use global governance to achieve national objectives. He discusses smart power, soft power and the new interventionism alongside lessons from the most notorious leaders and diplomats across the world including Talleyrand, Kissinger, Mandela and the Kennedys.

A former frontman, teacher, boxer and salesman, at 36 Tom Fletcher became the youngest senior British ambassador for 200 years. He pioneered using new technology to connect with people across a Middle East in upheaval. He is now a Professor of International Relations, and a campaigner for global education, the creative industries and coexistence.

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Marina Lewycka, Patience Agbabi, David Herd and Anna Pincus

Fictions: Refugee Tales

Hay Festival 2016, 

Offered as a modern day reworking of The Canterbury Tales, this book brings together the stories of 14 refugees whose voyage to the UK has not been a journey of spiritual salvation, rather one of sheer, physical survival. The tales are retold by writers including Marina Lewycka and Patience Agbabi, and the tales are edited by the poet and teacher David Herd and Anna Pincus of the Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group.

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David Spiegelhalter

Cambridge Series 18: Sex by Numbers

Hay Festival 2016, 

How often, with whom, and doing what? The statistics of sexual behaviour are riveting, but can we believe them? A Cambridge professor of statistics investigates. Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk.

David Spiegelhalter

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Emma Barrett and Sian Williams talk to Rajan Datar

Risk and Resilience

Hay Festival 2016, 

A conversation about risk and resurgence. Barrett is the co-author of Extreme: Why Some People Thrive at the Limits, which examines what we can learn from people who embrace high-risk work and life and are attuned to survival. Sian Williams, one the nation’s most trusted broadcasters, is also a trauma assessor. She is the author of Rise: Surviving and Thriving After Trauma (embargoed until 30 May).

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Mark Haddon talks to Rosie Goldsmith

The Pier Falls

Hay Festival 2016, 

An expedition to Mars goes terribly wrong. A seaside pier collapses. A 30-stone man is confined to his living room. One woman is abandoned on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Another woman is saved from drowning. Two boys discover a gun in a shoebox. A group of explorers find a cave of unimaginable size deep in the Amazon jungle. A man shoots a stranger in the chest on Christmas Eve. The author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Red House plays out his dark and wild imagination in his first collection of short stories.

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