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.
The journalists who exposed A Very British Killing: The Death Of Baha Mousa and Bosnia: The Reckoning investigate the grotesque misconduct of war and the insidious moral corruption of everyone involved, the decay of public life, and the endemic parallels that exist with Britain’s current institutional structures.
Warpaint by Alicia Foster is a compelling tale of truth and lies, tragedy and black comedy, loosely based on the lives of four painters of the time. The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter is a haunting and moving novel about a mother and a daughter, caught between a tsunami and a war. In Francesca Rhydderch’s The Rice Paper Diaries, four interweaving accounts relate the intimate havoc wrought by military conflict on individual lives. Chaired by Lisa Dwan.
Is six-party politics here to stay? Is first-past-the-post a bulwark against extremism? What’s the value of a campaign promise in a coalition context? International broadcaster Nik Gowing chairs. Hennessy is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary’s; Scurr lectures in Politics at Cambridge; Wood is leader of Plaid Cymru; Boycott is Food Advisor to the Mayor of London.
We are thrilled to welcome the inspired and hilarious improv show in which Eric and a cast of comics act out a famous movie. They’ve done Die Hard, Pretty Woman, all the Harry Potters, and for tonight they want the Hay audience to choose the movie. Let us know what you’d like them to take on – we’ll go with the best nomination on our Facebook page.
Update 15.05.15 - Film Choice is Mary Poppins.
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.
The international view of Britain’s place in Europe from the French Ambassador to Berlin, the Colombian author of When Latin America Rules The World and the Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
Art is not always just for art’s sake: it has long been used as way of exploring, communicating and engaging people as well as bringing people together. Writers Mahfouz, Sheers and Brigstocke, and Cape Farewell director Buckland, discuss vision, ethics, imagination and integrity. They are joined by Mark Shorrock from the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, who is unveiling the first of two international art commissions.