Miss Trunchball? The very hungry Crocodile? Farmers Boggis Bunce and Bean? The Grand High Witch? Who is Hay Festival’s most villainous Roald Dahl villain? Join top authors as they argue for their favourite villain under the supervision of the Blue Peter presenter, then cast your vote!
Join the much-loved illustrator as he sets loose six Vikings in a rollicking, rhyming adventure. Pencils and paper will be provided for the whole family so that you can draw along with Nick. Look out for a tartan-patterened cat, a naughty vampire bat and a clever mermaid.
The great poet discusses her experience of Shakespeare and her long relationship with Lyr, the subject of her masterpiece full-length poem The King of Britain’s Daughter. That poem itself was commissioned by the festival as an exploration of the words and ideas she began to play with in the 1989 Poetry Squantum, held upstairs in the back bar of the British Legion club in Hay.
To launch his delightful and life-changing book on oracy and eloquence, the linguistics professor reveals the tricks of the trade about how to make a speech that’ll wow a wedding, ace an interview or rouse an army. Along the way he analyses Barack Obama’s rhetorically near-perfect Yes We Can speech, and shows how a command of language and delivery can win hearts and minds.
From wild swimming in Sussex to way-finding off Oman via the icy mysteries of the Arctic, Gooley draws on his own pioneering journeys to reveal the secrets of ponds, puddles, rivers and oceans. He shows us the skills we need to read the water around us. Gooley is the author of The Natural Navigator and The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs. Chaired by Laura Powell, Features Commissioning Editor at the Daily Telegraph and author of The Unforgotten.
History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not as simple. In 1583 Elizabeth is 50 and beyond childbearing age, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; and relentless plotting among her courtiers. The pre-eminent Tudor historian presents a gripping and vivid portrait of Elizabeth’s life and times –often told in her own words (“You know I am no morning woman”) and reveals a monarch who is fallible, increasingly insecure and struggling to lead Britain. The London theatre, however, was thriving.
On Easter Sunday, 23 April 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s military council put their names to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, declaring they were the provisional government of an Ireland free from British rule. In effect, each man had knowingly signed his own death warrant. Since then, the seven have been eulogised and used as political weapons by many. To challenge the morality of the Rising was to be denounced as unpatriotic, even un-Irish. One hundred years on, however, there is an increasing recognition within Ireland that it’s time for the founding fathers to come under proper scrutiny.
In this workshop we'll take a witty look at how apathy works and how to combat it.
Expect big political ideas, funny youtubers and creative activism. Bring a fully charged mind and mobile phone because together we are going to take on the mighty forces of apathy!
Explore the magical world of the Harry Potter books with the Professor of Potter’s brand new assistant. Join in with spells and potions and be part of a slow motion Quidditch match. Learn about some of the great characters from J.K. Rowling’s much-loved books. A fun and interactive event for all the family whether you are new to the books or a dedicated fan. Exclusive posters for all who attend only available at these events. Come and share the magic.
Hear from Britain’s most successful Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy as he introduces his new children’s book series Flying Fergus with his co-author Joanna Nadin; a fantastically fun, magical cycling adventure which published its first two titles in February.
Rome was first ruled by kings, then became a republic. But in the end, after conquering the world, the republic collapsed. So terrible were the civil wars that the Roman people finally came to welcome the rule of an autocrat who could give them peace. Augustus, their new master, called himself “the divinely favoured one”. The lurid glamour of the dynasty founded by Augustus has never faded. No other family can compare for sheer unsettling fascination with its gallery of leading characters. Tiberius, the great general who ended up a bitter recluse, notorious for his perversions; Caligula, the master of cruelty and humiliation who rode his chariot across the sea; Agrippina, mother of Nero, manoeuvring to bring to power the son who would end up having her murdered; Nero himself, racing in the Olympics, marrying a eunuch, and building a pleasure palace over the fire-gutted centre of his capital.
Three weeks before the 23 June referendum, a panel of politicians, business leaders and journalists weigh up the pros and cons of membership of the EU.
An all-star line-up of British poets respond with their own poems to their choice of Shakespeare’s 14-line poems. They introduce and read the original sonnets and their own newly commissioned work.
The broadcaster and writer celebrates the centenary of his friend, the prodigiously gifted violinist who broke musical boundaries, intervened courageously in international debate, and gave some of the greatest performances of major concertos ever heard or recorded. The session is chaired by his daughter, the writer and presenter of BBC R3’s breakfast show.
On the one hand, Americans don’t want ‘big government’ meddling in their lives; on the other, they have repeatedly enlisted governmental help to impose their views regarding marriage, abortion, religion and schooling on their neighbours. These contradictory stances on the role of public power have paralysed policymaking and generated rancorous disputes about government’s legitimate scope. How did America reach this political impasse? And what happens now? Gerstle is Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge.
On air since 1947, this broadcasting institution features a panel of the best brains in horticulture answering questions from amateur gardeners in a special edition recorded at Hay Festival.
Doors open 45 minutes prior to the recording for the audience to submit any questions for the panel. Please submit your questions and take your seats by 5.15pm.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years