Hay Festival 2020 is cancelled

We deeply regret that Hay Festival 2020 is cancelled due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Event 344

Antonia Fraser talks to Simon Jenkins

My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

Venue: Tata Tent
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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.

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Antonia Fraser talks to Simon Jenkins

Event 345

Will Smith and Roberto Ampuero

Fictions – Thrillers

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Mainlander is the thrilling debut set on Jersey from comedy writer Will Smith (Veep, The Thick of It) – a novel about loneliness, about not belonging and about the corroding effects of keeping secrets. Evocative and romantic, Ampuero’s The Neruda Case spans lies and truth, travelling between uneasy peace and political coup, from life to death. Brulé, a daydreamer and reluctant detective, is lost among Latin America’s uncertainties, venality and corruption while his first case introduces one of the great characters of international crime fiction. They talk to Rosie Goldsmith.

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Will Smith and Roberto Ampuero

Event 441

Jon Snow

The Rotblat Lecture: What Happened to Trident?

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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In the aftermath of an election in which the issue of Trident was left to the SNP while the two main UK parties rowed in behind each other, the Channel 4 anchor looks at what the politicians and the media are and are not doing about our nuclear deterrent. What’s it for? Does it work? Will it work? What does it cost?

Jon Snow was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship in May 2015.

This event replaces the advertised lecture. We regret that Eric Schlosser cannot now travel to the UK for family reasons.
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Jon Snow

Event W55

Chess Workshop with Malcolm Pein and Timothy Kett

Chess in Schools and Communities

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Join The Telegraph’s Chess Correspondent and International Master Malcolm Pein and 2014–2015 Welsh Chess Champion Timothy Kett as well as trainers from Chess in Schools and Communities, for a chess extravaganza especially for families who are either new to the game or have played before. 

The session will include a brief introduction to the chess pieces, a simultaneous exhibition and players playing against the champions, Yes2Chess internet chess matches, and games on a giant outdoor chess set. 

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Chess Workshop with Malcolm Pein and Timothy Kett

Event HF140

Jacqueline Mitton

Journey to the Planets

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Space holds a fascination for everyone. What exactly is out there? Take a journey around the planets with astronomer Jacqueline Mitton, who delivers a talk illustrated with amazing facts and stunning images that all the family will enjoy.
8+ years
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Jacqueline Mitton

Event HF139

Peter Lord

Shaun The Sheep: The Movie

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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The Aardman founder and stop-motion genius takes us behind the scenes of Shaun’s blockbusting big-screen adventure. When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home. You’d be baahmy not to join in!
7+ years
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Peter Lord

Event HF141

Rebecca Cobb

The Something

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Rebecca Cobb is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most talented new names in the world of children’s books. When a little boy’s ball disappears down a mysterious hole in the garden, he can’t stop thinking about what could be down there – a little mouse’s house? The lair of a hungry troll? Whatever it may be, he’s determined to find out! Join Rebecca for some storytelling and drawing, and maybe find out if there’s a Something down that hole after all…
5+ years
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Rebecca Cobb

Event W32

Walk and Draw

Royal Drawing School Class

Venue: Meet at back of Hay Castle
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Drawing and walking in the surrounding landscape and hills, participants will have a chance to engage with the changing weather and shifting light through drawing. By working in the live environment, students will heighten perceptions of their surrounding and enliven their drawing practice.

Walking shoes and warm and waterproof clothing are essential.

Suitable for all ages and abilities

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Event 346

Four Thought

A BBC Radio 4 Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
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Four Thought is a series of exciting and often provocative personal talks in which speakers explain new thinking about the big trends and questions in culture and society. Today’s host is the writer and broadcaster Kamin Mohammadi.

Broadcast on Wednesdays at 8.45pm on BBC Radio 4. Four Thought will record four speakers at Hay Festival 2015 for broadcast in June.

BBC Radio 4
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years. Four Thought covers a range of themes, some of them adult, so parental guidance is recommended.
Duration: 45 minutes
Free but ticketed
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Four Thought

Event 347

Helen MacDonald

The Samuel Johnson Prize Lecture: H is for Hawk

Venue: Tata Tent
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‘In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they’re the birdwatchers’ dark grail.’

When her father dies and MacDonald is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge.

‘To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so gain the ability to predict what it will do next. Eventually you don’t see the hawk’s body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. The hawk’s apprehension becomes your own. As the days passed and I put myself in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her, my humanity was burning away.’

Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey – an unflinchingly honest account of MacDonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it’s a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist TH White, best known for The Once and Future King. The author talks about her masterpiece with Stuart Proffitt, chair of the Samuel Johnson Prize.

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Helen MacDonald

Event 349

Peter Jukes and guests

Beyond Contempt

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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You know all about the phone hacking trial, don’t you? Rebekah Brooks was acquitted and Andy Coulson went to jail. But why? Why was Brooks, the public face of the phone hacking scandal, found not guilty on all charges? Why did Coulson’s expensive defense not impress reporters? What impact did Rupert Murdoch’s millons have on the trial? And why did the jurors reach the decisions they did?

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Peter Jukes and guests

Event 350

Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Aged 24, the writer’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how Haig came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. Chaired by John Mitchinson.

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Matt Haig

Event 429

Deborah Moggach

A Festival Exclusive Preview: Something to Hide

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The first sight of the new novel which will be published later in the summer from the author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Tulip Fever. Something to Hide is a warm, witty and wise thriller about the unexpected twists that later life can bring. Moggach is one of the most engaging and entertaining writers and festival speakers. She introduces the complicated loves and agonies of her story, which ranges across four continents, and might even be persuaded to drop some gems about the forthcoming film of Tulip Fever, adapted by Tom Stoppard. She talks to Peter Florence.

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Deborah Moggach

Event W56

Chess Workshop with Malcolm Pein and Timothy Kett

Chess in Schools and Communities

Venue: Scribblers Hut
Read more

Join The Telegraph’s Chess Correspondent and International Master Malcolm Pein and 2014–2015 Welsh Chess Champion Timothy Kett as well as trainers from Chess in Schools and Communities, for a chess extravaganza especially for families who are either new to the game or have played before. 

The session will include a brief introduction to the chess pieces, a simultaneous exhibition and players playing against the champions, Yes2Chess internet chess matches, and games on a giant outdoor chess set. 

This event has taken place
Chess Workshop with Malcolm Pein and Timothy Kett

Event HF142

Gary Northfield

The Big Draw

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Gary Northfield, cartoonist for The Phoenix, Beano, Dandy and Horrible Histories, is joined by special guests to stage a Big Draw with plenty of noisy audience interaction.
7+ years
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Gary Northfield

Event HF143

Gillian Cross, Emma Carroll and Linda Coggin

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Three fantastic writers of quality adventure fiction will share their stories. Poet, writer and performer Linda Coggin’s debut novel The Boy With The Tiger’s Heart explores our relationship with nature and animals in an unusual fantasy adventure. The Girl Who Walked on Air is an historical adventure with a circus theme from Emma Carroll, who wrote the highly-acclaimed Frost Hollow Hall. Multiple award-winner Gillian Cross has written yet another thrilling and thought-provoking adventure with Shadow Cat. Join them for what is sure to be an entertaining and interesting conversation about writing adventure stories.
10+ years
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Gillian Cross, Emma Carroll and Linda Coggin

Event HF144

Nick Cope

Music for Little People

Venue: Make & Take Tent
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Monkeys, bears, socks and mud! Nick Cope sings about everything children are really interested in. The former indie-rocker frontman of The Candyskins, Nick brings his own brand of acoustic folk-rock to the world of children’s music, creating interactive concerts for families. Come and join in.
3+ years
Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.
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Nick Cope

Event HF159

Rastamouse

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Prepare to make some noise and bust some moves as Rastamouse co-creator Michael De Souza presents a reading adventure exploring the riddims and rhymes of Mouseland. Get ready to jam along as CBeebies star Rastamouse makes a special appearance at the festival.
5+ years
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Rastamouse

Event 351

Time for One More Question

A BBC Radio Drama Event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
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A lights-down-and-listen session and Q&A with writer Glyn Maxwell and BBC Radio Drama producer Nadia Molinari. Love is put through the toughest Q&A in Glyn Maxwell’s comedy of festival manners. Come and listen to this 45-minute original drama recorded on location at this year’s Hay Festival, followed by a discussion about how it was created.

This session is not for broadcast, but the original recording of Time for One More Question will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 29 May at 2.15pm.

BBC Radio Drama
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Free but ticketed
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Time for One More Question

Event 352

Meera Syal talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Fictions – The House of Hidden Mothers

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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Little India, East London: Shyama, aged 44, has fallen for a younger man. They want a child together. Meanwhile, in a rural village in India, young Mala, trapped in an oppressive marriage, dreams of escape. When Shyama and Mala meet, they help each other realise their dreams. But will fate guarantee them both happiness? The author of Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee launches her new novel.

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Meera Syal talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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