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 104

Susan Golombok

Cambridge University Series 7: Modern Family – Are the Kids Alright?

Venue: Starlight Stage
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How is the modern family changing and what impact do alternative family structures led by gay fathers, donor siblings or mothers who are single by choice have on their children? The Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge talks about her latest research. Susan's new book is Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms.

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Susan Golombok

Event 105

John Hemming

Naturalists in Paradise

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates and Richard Spruce were English naturalists who went to Amazonia 150 years ago. All three explored an unknown river and had many thrilling adventures: violent attacks of malaria, fearful rapids, murder attempts, encounters with newly contacted indigenous peoples, shipwrecks, and many other hardships. In addition to their huge contributions to knowledge of the Amazonian environment, each is particularly famous for one discovery. Wallace is acknowledged as a co-discoverer, along with Charles Darwin, of the theory of evolution. Bates discovered protective mimicry among insects, a phenomenon named after him. Spruce transported the quinine-bearing Cinchona tree, the most important medicinal plant of the nineteenth century, to India, where it saved countless lives from malaria.

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John Hemming

Event 446

William Sieghart

The Independent Library Report

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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The chair of the 2014 Libraries Report shares what his group found in their study of UK Libraries, their recommendations and their hopes for the future of libraries.  Coffee shops, hubs, the heart of the community?

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Event HF34

Clive Gifford and Anil Seth

Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Astound your eyes and boggle your brain, as award-winning author Clive Gifford and neuroscientist Anil Seth take you on a journey through fascinating optical illusions and the science behind them. They talk to Martin Chilton.
9+ years
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Clive Gifford and Anil Seth

Event W13

Drawing From Film

Royal Drawing School Class

Venue: NFU Mutual Studio
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Great films, like great paintings, are rich resources for visual ideas. The artistic vision of Eisenstein, Satyajit Ray, Bergman and Kurosawa is comparable to that of the great artists of the twentieth century. Exploring film through drawing gives participants the opportunity to see through those great filmmakers’ eyes.

Suitable for all ages and abilities

 

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Event 106

Germaine Greer

Shakespeare’s Women

Venue: Tata Tent
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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.

This event will be palentyped.
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Germaine Greer

Event 107

Thomas Buergenthal, Brian Leveson, Richard Goldstone talk to Philippe Sands

Magna Carta 800 – What Do We Want? International Law

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Four internationally acclaimed jurists discuss which rights might be argued into a new charter for the C21st. Buergenthal serves as a judge at the ICJ in the Hague; Goldstone served as a prosecutor at the ICT after running the Goldstone Commission in South Africa; Leveson is President of the Queens Bench Division and chaired the public inquiry into press ethics in the UK; Sands is Professor of Law at UCL.

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Thomas Buergenthal, Brian Leveson, Richard Goldstone talk to Philippe Sands

Event 108

Simon Singh

The John Maddox Lecture: Fermat’s Last Theorem

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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‘I have discovered a truly marvellous proof, which this margin is too narrow to contain…’ Twenty years after a mild-mannered Englishman solved Pierre de Fermat’s 350-year-old theorem, Singh tells the true story of how mathematics’ most challenging problem was made to yield its secrets in a thrilling tale of endurance, ingenuity and inspiration.

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Simon Singh

Event 109

Marina Warner talks to László Krasznahorkai

The Winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The chair of judges interviews the winner of the £60,000 2015 Prize, who was announced on 19 May in London.

Born in 1954, László Krasznahorkai gained considerable recognition in 1985 when he published Satantango, which he later adapted for the cinema in collaboration with the filmmaker Bela Tarr. In 1993, he received the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work of the year for The Melancholy of Resistance and has since been honoured with numerous literary prizes, amongst them the highest award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize.

Krasznahorkai and his translator George Szirtes were longlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for Satantango and Krasznahorkai has won the Best Translated Book Award in the US two years in a row, in 2013 for Satantango and in 2014 for Seiobo There Below. Seiobo There Below was published in the UK on 7 May by Tuskar Rock Press.

The judging panel for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize was chaired by celebrated writer and academic Marina Warner. The panel also comprised Wen-chin Ouyang, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London; acclaimed author Nadeem Aslam; novelist and critic Elleke Boehmer, who is currently Professor of World Literature in English at Oxford University; and Edwin Frank, editorial director of the New York Review Books Classics.

The judges said of Krasznahorkai’s work: ‘In László Krasznahorkai’s The Melancholy of Resistance, a sinister circus has put a massive taxidermic specimen, a whole whale, Leviathan itself, on display in a country town. Violence soon erupts, and the book as a whole could be described as a vision, satirical and prophetic, of the dark historical province that goes by the name of Western Civilisation. Here, however, as throughout Krasznahorkai’s work, what strikes the reader above all are the extraordinary sentences, sentences of incredible length that go to incredible lengths, their tone switching from solemn to madcap to quizzical to desolate as they go their wayward way; epic sentences that, like a lint roll, pick up all sorts of odd and unexpected things as they accumulate inexorably into paragraphs that are as monumental as they are scabrous and musical.’

Announcing the winner, Marina Warner commented: ‘Laszlo Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer of extraordinary intensity and vocal range who captures the texture of present day existence in scenes that are terrifying, strange, appallingly comic, and often shatteringly beautiful. The Melancholy of Resistance, Satantango and Seiobo There Below are magnificent works of deep imagination and complex passions, in which the human comedy verges painfully onto transcendence. Krasznahorkai, who writes in Hungarian, has been superbly served by his translators, George Szirtes and Ottilie Mulzet.’

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Marina Warner talks to László Krasznahorkai

Event 110

Simon Armitage

Walking Away

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The poet swaps the moorland uplands of the north (Walking Home) for the coastal fringes of Britain’s south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finish.

From the surreal pleasure-dome of Minehead Butlins to a smoke-filled roundhouse on the Penwith Peninsula, then out to the Isles of Scilly and beyond, Armitage tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we’ve come to expect of one of Britain’s best loved and most popular writers.

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Simon Armitage

Event 111

Ruth Scurr talks to Peter Stothard

John Aubrey: My Own Life

Venue: Starlight Stage
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John Aubrey loved England. From an early age, he saw his England slipping away and, against extraordinary odds, committed himself to preserving for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and life stories. His Brief Lives would redefine the art of biography yet he published only one rushed, botched book in his lifetime and died fearing his name and achievements would be forgotten.

Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly imagination: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s own words, displaying his unique voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey saw himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing past, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. But he was also one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.

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Ruth Scurr talks to Peter Stothard

Event HF35

Melinda Salisbury and Catherine Doyle

New Voices in YA Fiction

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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Vendetta by Catherine Doyle is an intense Romeo and Juliet story that combines love, mystery and adventure. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury is a high fantasy romantic adventure set in a world that is strange and yet completely familiar. Find out about these two young writers’ paths to getting published, their influences and what the future might hold for them and their characters.
12+ years/YA
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Melinda Salisbury and Catherine Doyle

Event 113

Peter Hitchens and Johann Hari

A Rational Debate About Drugs

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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It’s 100 years since drugs were first banned, and drug use and drug crime have continued to grow steadily across the world. What are people addicted to? Are any of the policies adopted around the world based on scientific data? Are any of them working? Hari is the author of Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War Against Drugs; Hitchens is the author of The War We Never Fought. Chaired by Hernando Alvarez, editor of BBC Mundo.

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Peter Hitchens and Johann Hari

Event 114

David Aaronovitch, Rachael Jolley, Tom Holland, David Baddiel, Anita Anand and Jodie Ginsberg

The Index Punch Ups

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Five short arguments about flashpoints in the Freedom of Speech debates – porn, blasphemy, Israel, national security. Where do we draw the lines? And why?

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David Aaronovitch, Rachael Jolley, Tom Holland, David Baddiel, Anita Anand and Jodie Ginsberg

Event 115

Christopher Frayling

The Yellow Peril

Venue: Starlight Stage
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The cultural historian demonstrates the rise of China-phobia in popular culture with the help of some film clips. Frayling chronicles the entry of Dr Fu Manchu, known as ‘the yellow peril incarnate in one man’, into world literature a century ago and asks why the idea developed unfairly that China was a threat to Western civilization, and why such images continue to distort our image of its people. Frayling also explains how we neglect the history of popular culture at our peril if we are to understand our deepest desires and fears. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.

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Christopher Frayling

Event 116

Robert Irwin and Azar Nafisi

Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange

Venue: Elmley Foundation Cube
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On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: ‘I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.’

Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.

Robert Irwin’s books include For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and (as editor) The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabian Literature. Azar Nafisi taught Western literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Iran. In 1981 she was expelled from the University of Tehran after refusing to wear the veil. In 1994 she won a teaching fellowship from Oxford University, and in 1997 she and her family left Iran for America. She is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About.

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Robert Irwin and Azar Nafisi

Event 280

The Secret Life of Your Mobile Phone

Geoff White and Glenn Wilkinson

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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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.

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The Secret Life of Your Mobile Phone

Event 447

Amir Amirani introduces We are Many

Film Screening

Venue: Starlight Stage
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The comedian and the film’s director introduce a special screening of the new documentary film: the never-before-told story of the largest demonstration in human history and how the movement created by a small band of activists changed the world.

On 15 February 2003 up to 30 million people, many of whom had never demonstrated before in their lives, came out in nearly 800 cities around the world to protest against the impending Iraq War. The New York Times called this movement the 'Second Superpower'. How did this day come about? Who organized it? And was it, as many people claimed, a total failure?

This fearless, thought-provoking documentary is the remarkable inside story behind the first ever global demonstration, and its surprising and unreported legacy. The film features testimony from a unique cast of direct participants, including organizers, activists, high-profile figures, and of course the public, filmed in seven countries – Italy, Spain, Egypt, Sweden, Australia, UK, and the USA.

Extraordinary testimony from activists in Egypt reveals how on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, the global anti-war protests inspired those in Tahrir Square to go on to engage in the massive democratic movement that ultimately led to the Arab Spring. In the UK, the government was defeated over the proposed invasion of Syria, a historic event that might not have transpired without the legacy of those demonstrations a decade ago.

The star-studded list of contributors includes Danny Glover, actor Mark Rylance, film director Ken Loach, Prof. Noam Chomsky, musicians Brian Eno and Damon Albarn, writer and Vietnam Vet Ron Kovic (author of ‘Born on the 4th of July’), Rev. Jesse Jackson, Richard Branson and Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, amongst others.

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Event 118

Sasha McVeigh

In concert

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The Herefordshire singer and songwriter with the spectacular voice is a rising star of Country music in America. She’s returning from Nashville with her first full-band album to perform at Hay.

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Sasha McVeigh

Event 119

Eric Lampaert

Comedians’ Cinema Club

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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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.

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Eric Lampaert

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