One of pop music’s most enduring figures talks about his life, through the heady early days of Punk and 2-Tone, to the Eighties, where Madness became the biggest selling singles band of the decade. Along the way he tells us what it’s like to grow up in sixties Soho, go globetrotting with your best mates, make a dead pigeon fly and cause an earthquake in Finsbury Park. He talks to Martin Chilton.
Where the majority of a population is illiterate, art is the most effective way to communicate the message. The curator of the new BritishMuseum show examines propaganda ‘art’ as political communication, social cohesion and absolute control.
The actor and hugely successful children’s writer yarns his working life from child stardom in the first production of Oliver! and the joy of Baldrick, to the documenting of Time Team archaeology and The Worst Jobs in History. Robinson was knighted in 2013 for public and political service. Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
A conversation with the plumber’s mate, lawyer, politician and memoirist, who spent 13 years at the heart of the New Labour government. He was Foreign Secretary at the time of 9/11 and the Iraq War.
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.
A conversation between two writers renowned for their explorations of nature and landscape. Robert Macfarlane's Underland, perhaps the most eagerly anticipated non-fiction book of 2019, takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland's glaciers to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet's past and future, and into darkness and its meanings. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, it is both an ancient and an urgent work.
Macfarlane, a winner of the Hay Festival Prose Medal, is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Landmarks and (with Jackie Morris) The Lost Words. Horatio Clare’s latest books are The Light in the Dark and Something of his Art: Walking to Lübeck with JS Bach – Hay Festival’s Book of the Month for December 2018.
See also event  on 29 May – Spell Songs, a musical performance of The Lost Words – Macfarlane's multi-award-winning collaboration with the artist Jackie Morris.
In AD 476, Romulus Augustulus, Emperor in line to Augustus, Trajan and Constantine, was deposed by a German chieftain. It is an event that in most history books is identified as marking the end of the Roman Empire. But did it? The historian explores whether the Romans themselves had any comprehension that their empire could possibly fall. He traces the surprisingly obdurate survival of a Roman imperial identity across the centuries, and attempts to identify a moment in history when the Roman Empire could be said definitively to have come to an end.