Hay Festival 2018 Early birds

We are pleased to announce the first events for Hay Festival 2018. The full programme will be released in the Spring.

To receive regular email updates about the 2018 programme join our mailing list. You can also follow us on Twitter @hayfestival

Comedy

Event 436

Tim Key, Suzi Ruffell, David Elms, Fin Taylor

The Machynlleth Comedy Festival Gala

Venue: Good Energy Stage

Our sister festival returns with another belting line-up of acts, fresh from best-of-Machynlleth triumphs. Come and get into the party mood with the most brilliant young comedians.

Tim Key is the wnner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award. ‘I am jealous of my friend Tim Key. He has one of the funniest, smartest comic mminds in the country’ – Stephen Merchant. 

'Suzi Ruffell’s great. A lovely stage persona, hugely likeable and definitely one to watch’ – Time Out.

'For the first time in God knows how long, here is a musical comic [David Elms] who offers somehting that feels entirely new’ – The Guardian.

'Fin Taylor has all the qualities of a world quality stand-up' – The List.

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Tim Key, Suzi Ruffell, David Elms, Fin Taylor

Event 419

Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray and Anna Ptaszynski

QI Presents: No Such Thing As A Fish

Venue: Telegraph Stage

Live recording of the hit podcast from the writers of the BBC show QI who serve up a feast of bizarre, extraordinary and hilarious facts. Prepare to be amazed and amused in equal measure. iTunes Best New Podcast 2014, Chortle Award-winner 2015. ‘The QI Elves drop so many facts your head will spin’ – The Guardian.

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Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray and Anna Ptaszynski

Event 33

Helen Lederer talks to Georgina Godwin

Fictions – Losing It

Venue: Oxfam Moot

When Millie’s asked to be the front woman for a new diet pill, she naively believes that all her troubles will be solved… The actress and comedy writer introduces her desperately funny first novel.

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Helen Lederer talks to Georgina Godwin

Event 48

Greg Jenner

A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life

Venue: Telegraph Stage

Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history Greg Jenner, historical consultant to Horrible Histories, explores the gradual and often unexpected evolution of our daily routines.

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Greg Jenner

Event 50

Stephen Fry

More Fool Me

Venue: Tata Tent

Ultra-high-functioning addict meets gravity in this latest volume of autobiography. The writer and actor talks to Peter Florence.

This event will be palentyped.
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Stephen Fry

Event 51

Irvine Welsh talks to Andrew O’Hagan

Fictions – A Decent Ride

Venue: Good Energy Stage

In his funniest and filthiest novel yet, Welsh celebrates an unreconstructed misogynist hustler – a central character who is shameless but also, oddly, decent – and finds new ways of making wild comedy out of fantastically dark material, taking on some of the last taboos. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is one ride that could certainly get a little bumpy…

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Irvine Welsh talks to Andrew O’Hagan

Event 60

Hannah Rothschild talks to Rosie Boycott

Fictions – The Improbability of Love

Venue: Oxfam Moot

This debut novel is a wicked satire of London society, a redemptive and captivating love story, and a journey into the darker corners of European history. Rothschild, who is also chair of the National Gallery, has created one of the most spectacular villains of recent times. ‘Every painting has a story – and if it could speak, what would it tell us?’

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Hannah Rothschild talks to Rosie Boycott

Event 69

Elif Shafak, Rachael Jolley, Sarah Churchwell and David Aaronovitch

The Index Debate: Diss My Mother: Expect a Punch

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

What are the limits of free speech and civility? What is the nature of ‘offence’? What earns ‘respect’? If words can hurt you, are sticks and stones and broken bones the answer?

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Elif Shafak, Rachael Jolley, Sarah Churchwell and David Aaronovitch

Event 75

Jason Byrne

Stand Up

Venue: Tata Tent

A riotous evening of comedy with the madcap, best-selling-act-ever at the Edinburgh Fringe. An impro genius, Jason is one of the most exciting live performers you will ever see. His live shows are part of comedy folklore. Watch comedy history being written by ‘the outright King of Live Comedy’ – The Times.

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Jason Byrne

Event 119

Eric Lampaert

Comedians’ Cinema Club

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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

Event 157

Jon Ronson

So, You’ve Been Publicly Shamed…

Venue: Telegraph Stage

A powerful and sometimes humorous look at the phenomenon of artificial high dramas and public shamings that are characteristic of a world dominated by social media. Why do we do it and how does it affect the shamed? Ronson was prompted into looking at public shaming after his own online identity was stolen in 2012. He met famous shamers and shamees to discover how public ridicule and vitriol can devastate the victim, and to uncover the true reasons behind the rise in public shaming.

Ronson is a documentary maker and author of many bestselling books including The Psychopath Test, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Lost at Sea and Them: Adventures with Extremists. Chaired by John Mitchinson.

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Jon Ronson

Event 165

Nina Conti

In Your Face

Venue: Telegraph Stage

Groundbreaking ventriloquist, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker and British Comedy Award-winner Nina Conti welcomes you to see her new improvised show. With the help of Monkey and a bag of tricks, truly anything can happen in this unmissable improvised adventure of hilarious witchery.

The smash hit, total sell-out show of the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 from the star of Live at the Apollo, Russell Howard’s Good News, QI, Sunday Night at the Palladium and HBO’s Family Tree.

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Nina Conti

Event 168

Mark Watson

Flaws – Stand-Up

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Flaws is Mark’s darkest, most personal show yet, but luckily also his funniest. Watson rips up his parental crisis, his relationships with Madonna (non-existent) and alcohol (over familiar), his contempt for tapas and his fondness for drunk-giving to charities. He makes glorious fun of himself, and spins comedy gold out of his return to health and happiness. It’s a life-affirming triumph of physical and verbal stand-up.

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Mark Watson

Event 209

Terence Blacker

My Village

Venue: Starlight Stage

Somewhere between song and story, and between fiction and truth, is the world of Terence Blacker, a place of secrets, surprises and humour. His songs have been compared to those of Jake Thackray, and his stories to those of Roald Dahl. Combining the two for this guided tour around his private village – developed from his successful Edinburgh Fringe show My Village and Other Aliens ­– he offers a view of our world that is sharp-eyed, funny and affectionate.

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Terence Blacker

Event 213

James Ward

Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

We are surrounded by stationery: half-chewed Cristal Bics and bent paper clips, rubber bands to fiddle with or ping, blunt pencils, rubbers and Tipp-ex. Exploring these everyday objects, Ward reveals tales of invention – accidental and brilliant – and bitter rivalry. He also asks the difficult questions, like who is Mr Pritt, and what are the thousands of uses claimed for Blu-Tack?

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James Ward

Event 215

Eddie Butler talks to Peter Florence

The Head of Gonzo Davies

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Gonzo Davies, back-row forward and builder, knows the highs and lows of life; but as political and industrial corruption conspire to give parochial violence a national and international dimension, is he prepared to become the target of dark forces? The bestselling author of The Greatest Welsh XV Ever, best known now as the BBC’s voice of international rugby, brings us his first novel and looks forward to this autumn's Rugby World Cup.

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Eddie Butler talks to Peter Florence

Event 245

Jack Dee’s Help Desk

Venue: Tata Tent

Got a problem? Need a sympathetic ear? Jack and his panel of experts are here to help. Whether it’s relationships, career advice, personal worries or something as simple as how to tell your emotionally stunted in-laws you no longer want them in your life. Come along and share your troubles with Jack – and in no way have them ridiculed in front of a live audience.

Joining Jack Dee on the panel are Rob Beckett, Russell Kane, Roisin Conaty and Danny Wallace.

Please click here to prebook dinner at Relish Restaurant on site.

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Jack Dee’s Help Desk

Event 265

Pam Ayres

An Afternoon With Pam Ayres

Venue: Tata Tent

We toast the 40th anniversary tour of the consummate comedienne and poet. Pam has the rarest gift of exquisite timing and a fond eye for the absurdities of everyday life. Her latest books are the hilarious memoir The Necessary Aptitude and her poetry collection You Made Me Late Again! Bliss…

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Pam Ayres

Event 269

Bill Oddie

Bill Oddie Unplucked

Venue: Telegraph Stage

From a less-than-satisfactory press trip to the Galapagos Islands to encounters with orcas in Argentina and Iceland and an invisible tiger in India, the former Goodie and Springwatch presenter gives a humorous take on some of his experiences animal- and bird-watching around the world.

Please click here to prebook dinner at Relish Restaurant on site.

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Bill Oddie

Event 282

Tony Hawks

Once Upon a Time in the West Country

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

The comedian and bestselling author gives an hilarious account of his move from London life to deepest Devon. Hawks is a townie but, as we know from his entertaining exploits hitchhiking around Ireland with a fridge and taking on the Moldovan football team one by one at tennis, he is up for a challenge. He takes part in a calamitous tractor run, chairs a village meeting, and finds time for one last adventure as fatherdom beckons – cycling coast to coast with a mini pig called Titch.

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Tony Hawks