The inspiring and provocative writer and scholar talks about Juliet, Beatrice, Ophelia, Cleopatra, Ann Hathaway and the Dark Lady of the Sonnets with festival director Peter Florence.
The RSC’s Christmas production is JM Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who never grows up, adapted in a spectacular new version by Ella Hickson. Here Ella talks about how she approached the story, what new twists she has brought to it and some of the things that happen to Wendy during the story.
A conversation about how their Quaker faith has informed the life and work of three writers: the actor Sheila Hancock’s books include the memoir Just Me and the novel Miss Carter’s War; award-winning poet Philip Gross’s collections include The Water Table, Deep Field and the forthcoming A Bright Acoustic; Tracy Chevalier’s novels include Girl With a Pearl Earring, At the Edge of the Orchard and now New Boy.
The actor reminisces in an intimate self-portrait, with stories and photographs from her long career – from classic movies Georgy Girl and The Night Porter to Broadchurch and The Sense of an Ending.
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.
Climate change is no laughing matter, but when all else fails, perhaps it’s time to take humour a bit more seriously? We really do need something to laugh about.
You start with a vision, and you deliver a compromise. You want a play to be challenging, ambitious, nuanced and complicated. You also want it to sell tickets. You want to make art, and you know you’re in show-business. The inside story of 12 years at the helm of The National Theatre is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and, of course, William Shakespeare.
In a magical evening of storytelling, the playwright and poet performs his fabulous tales: ‘Indeed the world is two worlds – one for lovers, / Another for the loveless altogether…’
An irreverent, delightful and wickedly clever insight into Shakespeare’s greatest play, with a spectacular performance of their abridged version. Sutherland is Emeritus Professor of English at UCL; Crace is the Digested Read satirist and writes the parliamentary sketch for The Guardian.
What would you sacrifice for the sake of the one you love? The Forbidden Door tells passionate, funny and hauntingly interwoven stories. Twisting human nature’s need to disobey the rules into beautiful tales of love and loss, this is storytelling for adults; there are no big eyes or nursery rhymes. Expect impossible quests, heart-stopping twists, love, loss, high drama, low comedy and pure moments of total abandonment from the real world. The Devil’s Violin is Daniel Morden – story, Oliver Wilson-Dickson – violin, Sarah Moody – cello, and Dylan Fowler – guitar.
The charismatic storyteller takes us on a journey into obsession. Inspired by Perrault’s classic Gothic horror story, it’s magnificently dark, erotic and disturbing. But it’s also fiercely life affirming – a celebration of the love of sisters and the resilience of women. This is a defiantly female version of the tale, in which the sister and mother of the bride, Eva, are given far greater prominence. Eva is awarded infinitely more emotional complexity than usual, as she explosively transforms from a victim into a survivor who will not “rake through the ashes for half burned hopes”.
With simultaneous live drawing by Chris Riddell
The novelist and screenwriter who penned the celebrated Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics looks at the cultural legacy of 2012, the importance of arts in education and the wider influence of the arts on society.
Also drawing upon an epic poem and an intimate portrait of a serving Swansea soldier, Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero brings the stories of war to life but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope. At its heart is a site specific Requiem, realised from a collaboration between the late Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhansson and Owen Morgan Roberts; with a libretto by BAFTA nominated writer Owen Sheers. Artist Owen Griffiths (Arts Council of Wales Creative Ambassador) will also join the conversation to discuss his contribution to the project – the creation of an edible landscape and harvest gathering, as featured in Brangwyn's paintings.
Rees introduces the concepts of Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero and discusses Sheers’ response to the ancient Celtic poem Y Gododdin; Roberts’ interpretation of this in musical form in a specific setting; and Griffiths unique interpretation of paintings as war memorials in contemporary landscape.
Chaired by Jasper Rees.
Now The Hero is the highlight in Wales for the final year of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
Pale Sister, written by Colm Tóibín for the great Beckett actress Lisa Dwan, is a dramatisation of the voice of Ismene, the sister of Antigone, who recounts her sister's defiance of the king as pressures mount on Ismene herself to act to vindicate her sister, or even follow her example. It arises from The Antigone Project, a course taught at Columbia University by Dwan and Tóibín, which examined the ways in which this story – a woman’s powerlessness emerging as power, conscience versus law, defiance versus might, protest versus order, individual versus authority. It runs for one hour and 15 minutes and will be followed by a discussion.
Over two full years, Dromgoole and the players of Shakespeare’s Globe toured all seven continents performing Hamlet in sweltering deserts, grand Baltic palaces and heaving marketplaces. We see what the Danish prince means to the students of Cambodia, the effect of Polonius on the citizens of the tiny African nation of Djibouti and how a 16th century play can touch the lives of Syrian refugees. Shakespeare’s timeless power to transcend borders, to touch the human heart and to bring the world closer together has rarely been demonstrated in such a bold and brilliant way.
A conversation about the greatest play in the English language, with the series editors of the new Arden Shakespeare editions, Michael Dobson and Abigail Rokison-Woodall of the Shakespeare Institute and the actor Simon Russell Beale, “the greatest stage actor of his generation” – the Independent.
A performance of the new one-man play by the Cameroon-born playwright and actor, now a Creative Wales Fellow, is followed by a conversation with Owen Sheers about the work and Charles’ extraordinary life. The Last Ritual is based on the author’s last days in the village of Small Soppo in Buea, Cameroon. It looks at love and ultimate betrayal, exploring the theme of witchcraft and the practice of it.