From the rise and fall of empires in China, Persia, and Rome to the spread of the great religions and the wars of the C20th, this epic work illuminates how the Silk Roads shaped global history, the axis of East and West. Frankopan is the Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University.
A wonderful opportunity to explore the adaptation of the book to big screen of Stephen Fry’s novel, with clips from John Jencks’ new film starring Roger Allam, Emily Berrington, Tim McInnerny, Geraldine Somerville with Fiona Shaw and Matthew Modine. Join the film-makers and the author for a unique insight into the movie. Hosted by celebrated film critic Mark Kermode.
The philosopher imagines a dream school, which includes 12 of the greatest and most colourful thinkers the world has ever known. Each of these ancient philosophers teaches a technique we can use to transform ourselves and live better lives.
Antonia Fraser’s memoir describes growing up in the 1930s and 1940s but its real concern is with her growing love of history. The fascination began as a child, and developed into an enduring passion and a globally successful career from her first biography Mary Queen of Scots to her intensely personal and riveting portrait of her second marriage Must You Go? My Life With Harold Pinter.
Nuremberg, 1946. Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin, prosecuting ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’; Hans Frank, Hitler’s lawyer, the defendant. Three lives, connected to events in Poland, and music that offered solace and hope. A drama about the origins of modern justice, in images, and in words and music by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Louis Aragon and Leonard Cohen.
The intimate story of tsars and tsarinas; some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. The historian’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin. Sebag Montefiore is the author of Catherine the Great & Potemkin and Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar.
The astronomer will share his excitement about recent cosmic ideas and discoveries. Since last festival there have been new searches for life (even intelligent life) in space. One of Einstein’s greatest predictions has been confirmed with the detection of gravitational waves from colliding back holes. Images of Pluto have surprised us, and astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars, some resembling Earth. And there is speculation that physical reality encompasses more than the aftermath of our big bang: we may inhabit a multiverse.
An exclusive preview and discussion of National Theatre of Wales' new ambitious WWI site-specific production, with writer Owen Sheers and Creative Associate Prof. Chris Morris.
Mametz, directed by Matthew Dunster, tells the story of the 38th Welsh Division's July 1916 battle for Mametz Wood. Drawing on the work of writers who fought at the battle, including Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Llewelyn Wyn Griffith and David Jones, the play will take audiences into the heart of the frontline, no man's land and the lives of those who fought and died within Mametz Wood. With readings, video and discussion Owen and Chris will tell the story of the play's genesis from the discovery of an out-of-print book in Hay in 1998, to its current design and development.
Mametz will be performed at Great Llancayo Upper Wood near Usk, Monmouthshire, 24 June–5 July. Tickets and info at http://nationaltheatrewales.org/mametz
Mametz is co-commissioned by National Theatre Wales and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund