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Jerry Brotton

Reformations 14: Shakespeare

Hay Festival 2017, 

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.  

Jerry Brotton

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Janne Teller talks to Marian Hens

Segovia 2011, 
Meeting with Janne Teller, Danish writer and author of the novel Nothing, a work which questions the meaning of life and the limits of tolerance that have engendered heated debates in various European countries about existential matters. The tale begins when the young Pierre Anthon leaves school when he discovers there is no point in doing anything because life has no sense.
 
Simultaneous translation will be available from English into Spanish.

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Matthew d’Ancona and Sadie Jones talk to Anita Sethi

Story: Fear

Hay Festival 2009, 
D’Ancona offers his riveting suspense thriller Nothing to Fear. Jones’ The Outcast is a sustained examination of love and disillusion in a small 1950s town.

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Michael Marriott

Roses and Rose Fragrances

Hay Festival 2008, 
What other plant potentially has a beautiful bloom, a wonderful fragrance, is easy to look after and repeat flowers? The David Austin Roses technical director Michael Marriott identifies the best roses available, and discusses their fragrances, and how to look after them.

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Jenny Valentine talks to Julia Eccleshare

Hay Festival 2008, 
Valentine’s debut novel, Finding Violet Park, won the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction. Broken Soup is set to consolidate its author’s reputation as a unique and compelling writer who can combine heart-rending tragedy, quirky characters and intriguing mystery with a masterly lightness of touch.

Hay Fever 12 yrs +

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Martin Kemp

Art & Science

Hay Festival 2010, 
The art historian talks to Ken Arnold of the Wellcome Institute about the relationship between visualizations in art and science, and explores his motion of structural intuitions. He will also look more broadly at major themes that have emerged during the writing of his column in Nature (since 1997), as expressed in his books Visualisations and Seen/Unseen and in the volume produced by his friends and collaborators, Acts of Seeing.
Martin Kemp

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Alison Weir

Katherine of Aragon

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

Alison Weir

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Paul Collier

The Plundered Planet

Hay Festival 2010, 
The visionary economist proposes How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature. Chaired by Andrew Kelly.

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Rebbecca Ray and Rachel Trezise chaired by Richard Davies

Fictions – Stories, Dreams And Yearnings

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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The 2008 Raymond Williams Lecture: Border Country

Hay Festival 2008, 
Dai Smith explores Williams’ relationship with the Black Mountains, landscape and storytelling. Smith is the author of Raymond Williams: A Warrior’s Tale. Introduced by Eric Hobsbawm.

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Colm O’Gorman talks to Jon Snow

Beyond Belief

Hay Festival 2010, 
Abused by his priest, betrayed by his church – The Story of the Boy Who Sued the Pope. O’Gorman is currently Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland.
Colm O’Gorman talks to Jon Snow

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Gillian Clarke

The British Council Poetry Lecture: Nothing Is Until It Has A Word

Hay Festival 2011, 
The National Poet of Wales reflects on her Laureateship, and the place of poetry in the life of the nation.
 
Read more about Gillian Clarke

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Tony Campbell

Cardiff University Series 2: A Life That Sparkles

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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TJ Clark talks to Francine Stock

Picasso And Truth: From Cubism To Guernica

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Will Hill & Richard Kurti

Total Warfare

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

13+ years

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Charles Williams

Harold Macmillan

Hay Festival 2009, 
Portrait of the publisher, soldier, cuckold and politician whose Premiereship was fatally determined by the Profumo Affair.

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Joanne Harris talks to Ariane Koek

Runemarks

Hay Festival 2008, 
Joanne Harris talks to Ariane Koek about her move from the romantic bohemia of Chocolat to the epic fantasy of her first novel for teenagers Runemarks.

Hay Fever 12 yrs +

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George Monbiot

Hay Festival 2011, 
The campaigning journalist, author of Bring On The Apocalypse, Heat and Age of Consent and star of the Left Hook tour, argues that our assessment of the risks of different energy options, from nuclear power to fossil fuels and renewables, is gravely flawed, and urgently needs to change.
Chaired by Andrew Simms of NEF.

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Bob Stanley and Mark Ellen talk to Bethan Elfyn

A History of Pop Music

Hay Festival 2014, 
Two of the biggest names involved in the last 40 years of pop music: Bob Stanley, journalist, producer, and founder of pop group St Etienne, is joined by Mark Ellen, TV presenter (Live Aid, Whistle Test), music journalist and bass player in Tony Blair’s first band. They talk to the BBC’s Bethan Elfyn.

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Sarah Churchwell

The London Library Lecture

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

Sarah Churchwell

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Emma Bridgewater

Pattern & The Secrets of Lasting Design

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

Emma Bridgewater

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Terry Jones

Was Richard II a Tyrant?

Hay Festival 2008, 
With inimitable brilliance and humour Terry Jones revises the conventional history spun by Richard’s successor, and reassesses the King’s reign.

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Javier Argüello, Cristina Grande y Ricardo Menéndez Salmón en conversación con Mal

Nuevos narradores

Segovia 2008, 
¿Hacia dónde va la nueva narrativa? ¿Cuáles son los referentes literarios y culturales que comparten los autores que, recientemente, han reclamado y conseguido un espacio propio en el panorama literario en español?. El editor Malcolm Otero Barral conversará con una selección de escritores jovenes: Cristina Grande, una de las autoras jovenes mas alabadas en el 2008 con Naturaleza Infiel;Javier Argüello, escritor de origen argentino afincado en Barcelona y autor de Siete cuentos imposibles y El mar de todos los muertos (2008) y Ricardo Menéndez Salmón, cuya quinta novela, La ofensa, ha sido galardonada premio Qwerty de Barcelona TV a la revelación literaria del 2007, Premio Librería Sintagma al mejor libro del año y elegida por la revista Quimera como major obra de narrativa del 2007.

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Dugald A. Steer

Dragonology

Hay Festival 2009, 
Dragon scales, riddles and runes; come and learn the secrets of the ancient science of dragonology. Mystery and magic guaranteed.

7 years +

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Black Swan Revisited

Hay Festival 2010, 
The writer extends his elegant and radical thinking beyond economics to climate change and medicine and what to do in a world we don’t understand. Chaired by James Naughtie.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb