Two blackly comic writers talk about a zombie romcom, Dead Romantic, and a family where it’s really weird if you are not a cannibal, The Savages. Fans of Charlie Brooker and Warm Bodies, this is one for you.
Supposing you’re fed up of romantic rejection and you happen to have a chemistry genius friend? Would you think about making your own dead boyfriend? In Dead Romantic, two friends decide to have a go. Cue the best ZomRomCom around. CJ Skuse has a black and biting streak of comedy in all her fiction – Pretty Bad Things was great and Rockoholic was even better. Dead Romantic is her best yet.
Also on stage is Matt Whyman, author of the highly acclaimed Boy Kills Man, among other books. Matt is an agony uncle for Bliss and Radio 1, and he has written a darkly comic novel called The Savages. If your family were cannibals, would you really bring home a vegetarian boyfriend? Even one as handsome and charming as Jack? Probably not. Is this the first Cannibal RomCom?
CJ and Matt are bound to have a lot in common. If you like your comedy black, you’ll enjoy this one.
Building a sustainable society is perhaps the greatest test that the world’s population has ever faced. Today we have borrowed from the future by grabbing prosperity now and imposing the cost on the next generation.
The Secret History of the American Dream
Now used to describe everything from reality television to The Great Gatsby, ‘the American Dream’ is a phrase that most people assume stretches back to the founding of America. But the history of this catchphrase is much more recent – and surprising – than our casual usages suggest. Professor Churchwell traces the emergence of this cliché in the first decades of the 20th century from debates that drove it into the heart of American popular culture. At the same time, she reveals the ways in which the very idea of the ‘American Dream’ was invented to address the same troubling questions about immigration and nationalism, education and job creation, economic and cultural breakdown, individual ambition and social responsibility, that continue to define our society today.
Chris Priestley and Jon Mayhew join newcomer Emerald Fennell to discuss why ghost stories and horror are so appealing. Chills, thrills, no frills. Bring your most horrifying questions.
Julian of Norwich was the subject of medievalist and TV historian Janina Ramirez’s latest BBC Four documentary: In Search of the Lost Manuscript, Julian of Norwich. Drawing on the material in her latest book, Ramirez takes us further into the history of the Mother of English Literature, discussing what we know about Julian and why she deserves to be seen as a writer on an equal footing with Chaucer or Thomas More. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Did you know that there are 29 bones in your head including six tiny ear bones that help you hear? From the structure of the skeleton to the importance of the respiratory system, Professor Robert Winston explains the working of every part of the human body – the most complex machine on Earth.
A unique and fascinating journey into the private life of a gadget you thought was on your side. Afterwards, you’ll never look at your phone in the same way again… The brainchild of Channel 4 News’ award-winning technology journalist Geoff White and security researcher Glenn Wilkinson: welcome to a live stage performance using cutting-edge interception technology to reveal the people, places and companies your phone is talking to behind your back – and what it’s telling them.
How can a family business withstand the pressures from supermarkets and the demand for cheap food? Meet three producers from Neal’s Yard Creamery, Anglesey Sea Salt, and Coedcanlas Honey who discuss with broadcaster and smallholder Kate Humble what it takes to earn a slice of the pie. Chaired by Kitty Corrigan.
The 1918 global flu pandemic wiped out around 50 million people. In the last 300 years there have been around three flu pandemics every century. We must constantly be on alert for the next one. Global efforts, including those of Professor Derek Smith, to understand how pandemics are caused, will help us mitigate and even prevent future pandemics. However this work has the perverse downside of also generating new, potentially deadly, viruses in the laboratory. Professor Derek Smith will talk about the ethical issues this raises. Chaired by Dan Davis.
Liberated from the death camps of Auschwitz at the age of eleven, in adulthood Buergenthal became a judge at the International Court in The Hague, investigating modern day genocides. He returns to the festival with a new postscript to his memoir.