The author of This Orient Isle asks how we understand Shakespeare in a global world when his language seems more remote than ever. Drawing on his recent involvement in international productions of Macbeth and Othello he explains how Shakespearean character and language is created through rehearsal and stage action. He concludes by arguing that schools should stop studying the plays as words on the page but instead rehearse and perform them however they can.
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon. Was her union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy Royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts, and the allure of an ambitious woman? The best-selling popular historian and novelist evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment.
Readings of stories from new collections by two of Wales’ most inventive and powerful novelists: Trezise’s Cosmic Latte and Ray’s The Answer And Other Love Stories.
A stunning illustrated talk about how bioluminescence has revolutionised biomedical research and clinical diagnosis. It has led to major discoveries about the biggest ecosystem on the planet, and how cells switch on and off in health and disease. Quite surprisingly, it has also created several billion dollar markets – the pharmacy prof reveals all.
The eminent art historian explores the role of space and the interior, and the battle between intimacy and monstrosity, in Picasso’s art of the 1920s and 1930s, from the Blue Room to Guernica.
Two epic and violent stories. Two brutal wars. Two very different worlds. Will Hill and Richard Kurti will talk about the complex worlds they have created and why they don’t flinch from violence.
Battle Lines is the third instalment in Will Hill’s Dept 19 series – a fantastic mix of sci-fi, horror and sheer action adventure, set in a complex and deeply imagined world. Dept 19 exists to hunt and kill demons and vampires. In Battle Lines, the very existence of humanity is at stake. War is unavoidable.
Monkey Wars is a challenging and unflinching look at the politics of power from screenwriter Richard Kurti. As the Langur monkeys rise to power, there is a brutal masscacre of Rhesus monkeys which drives them out of their homes. One young Langur stands up against the corrupt regime, but when monkeys turn on each other, there can be no survivors.
Find out how these writers create such believable worlds and why they embrace extremes.
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.
Emma Bridgewater’s patterns are as quintessentially British as marmalade on toast – and they have made her distinctive homewares best-sellers across the world. Her inspiration is often deeply personal – a plate of belonging to her mother’s, a favourite children’s book – and as she tells the stories of each pattern’s creation, she reveals the intricate processes of research and collaboration behind the familiar designs she has stamped on our kitchenware – and our hearts – for the past 30 years. Chaired by Kitty Corrigan.