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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June - you can download a PDF of the programme here. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Gardeners’ Question Time

BBC Radio 4

Event 238 Venue: BBC Tent

Gardeners’ Question Time

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

BBC Radio 4
 
Free but ticketed
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Jay Griffiths talks to Rosie Boycott

Tristimania: A Diary of Manic Depression

Event 239 Venue: Starlight Stage

Jay Griffiths talks to Rosie Boycott

A raw and poetic account of a mind lost in madness, and how the author found her way back from the wilderness. In 2013, while completing work on her book Kith, Jay suffered a devastating, year-long episode of hypomania. She gives a lyrical and painfully honest account of that year. Lost in the depths of her illness, she eventually decided to walk the Camino de Santiago. Undertaking this ancient pilgrimage in her fragile condition against medical advice, she was determined to find a cure for her torment. Jay is the 2015-2016 Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol – Gwyl y Gelli/Creative Wales International Hay Festival International Fellow.

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Peter Parker

The Housman Lecture: The Name and Nature of Poetry

Event 240 Venue: Cube

This year’s lecture is given by the distinguished biographer and critic, author of Housman Country: Into The Heart of England, The Old Lie: The Great War and the Public-School Ethos and biographies of J.R. Ackerley and Christopher Isherwood.

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Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

A Foot in the River: Why Our Lives Change – and the Limits of Evolution

Event 241 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Like other species, we have a culture. But compared with other species, we are strangely unstable: human cultures self-transform, diverge, and multiply at bewildering speed. They vary, radically and rapidly, from time to time and place to place. And the way we live – our manners, morals, habits, experiences, relationships, technology, values – seems to be changing at an ever-accelerating pace. Ultimately, no environmental conditions, no genetic legacy, no predictable patterns, no scientific laws determine our behaviour. We can imagine and re-imagine our world at will. The historian’s award-winning books include Civilizations; Millennium; 1492: The Year Our World Began, and Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration.

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Anthony Lester talks to Martine Croxall

Five Ideas to Fight For: How Our Freedom is Under Threat and Why it Matters

Event 242 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Human Rights, Equality, Free Speech, Privacy and the Rule of Law: the battle to establish these five ideas in law was long and difficult, and Anthony Lester was at the heart of the 30-year campaign that resulted in the Human Rights Act, as well as the struggle for race and gender equality that culminated in the Equality Act of 2010. Today our society is at risk of becoming less equal. From Snowden’s revelations about our own intelligence agencies spying on us, to the treatment of British Muslims, our civil liberties are under threat as never before. The internet leaves our privacy at risk in myriad ways; our efforts to combat extremism curtail free speech; and cuts to legal aid and interference with access to justice endangers the rule of law.

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Alison Weir

Katherine of Aragon

Event 243 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Alison Weir

The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon. Was her union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy Royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts, and the allure of an ambitious woman? The best-selling popular historian and novelist evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment.

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Jo Marchant

Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body

Event 244 Venue: Oxfam Moot

The field of mind-body medicine is plagued by wild claims that mislead patients and instil false hope. But scientists in a range of fields are uncovering solid evidence that our minds influence our bodies far more profoundly than previously thought. The award-winning science journalist delves deep into the latest research and asks: are those who turn to alternative medicine deluded, or are they on to something? Can our thoughts, beliefs and emotions influence our physical health? Can we train our brains to heal our bodies?

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Dan Cruickshank: At Home with the British

A BBC event at Hay

Event 245 Venue: BBC Tent

Dan Cruickshank: At Home with the British

Dan Cruickshank’s new series for BBC Four reveals the stories behind the houses the people of Britain live in. From the terraces of the industrial North to the high-rise towers of East London or the cottages of rural Warwickshire, Dan will be taking on the role of house detective as he traces how and why each flat, terrace or cottage was built. Join him in conversation with Jonty Claypole as he talks about why the British home has ended up looking the way it does.

Not for broadcast. The BBC Four series, in partnership with RIBA and made by Oxford Film & Television, broadcasts this spring.

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years

BBC Four 
 
Free but ticketed
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Joanne Harris, Cristina Fuentes, Nazma Kabir, Claire Cohen

Because I am a Girl

Event 246 Venue: Starlight Stage

Global children’s charity Plan UK introduces Because I am a Girl, the world’s biggest campaign for girls’ rights. With education, skills and the right support, girls in the developing world can make choices over their future and be a force for creating lasting change. Joanne Harris, author of the Rune fantasy series and the bestselling Chocolat trilogy, shares her personal stories as an inspiration for other women and girls worldwide to be able to fulfil their aspirations. She is joined by Plan UK’s Director of Programmes, Nazma Kabir, and Cristina Fuentes, International Director of Hay Festivals, who will talk about our work with Plan in Colombia.  Chaired by Claire Cohen, Deputy Women's Editor for Telegraph Wonder Women.

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Colin Tudge talks to Andy Fryers

Six Steps Back to the Land

Event 247 Venue: Cube

Colin Tudge talks to Andy Fryers

Tudge coined the expression ‘enlightened agriculture’ to describe agriculture that is expressly designed to provide everyone everywhere with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world. He explains how we can achieve that, with truly sustainable, resilient and productive farms.

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Media Manipulation with Saci Lloyd

Event 547 Venue: Compass

In this workshop we’ll take a current press story e.g. the EU Referendum or the American Presidential Campaign, pare it back to the bare facts and then look at different techniques journalists use to spin the story. Then groups will be given their own 'bare facts' and using phones and laptops for research, design and writing - will be asked to spin positively or negatively.

16+
Free but ticketed
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Ticket to Dine

Tuesday Dinner

Event DT3 Venue: Relish Festival Restaurant

Book a seat in the Relish Festival Restaurant and receive a free drink on us.

 

Enjoy a delicious meal from our Festival Restaurant buffet. Choose from a wide selection of hot and cold dishes created fresh on site by our team of chefs using the best local seasonal produce. You can view the menu online here.

 

Come up to the buffet and choose as much as you like from all the dishes on offer for just £20. 

 

By booking online or by phone you will receive a complimentary glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink, and guarantee your seat in the restaurant where our team will be waiting to give you a warm welcome.

 

Alex Gooch breads and water are free for every customer, with a selection of desserts to choose from as well as a full bar and barista coffees.

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The Comedy Store Players

Make Hay

Event 248 Venue: Tata Tent

A joyful return for improv comedy superstars Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson, Andy Smart, Neil Mullarkey and Josie Lawrence, joined by special guest Marcus Brigstocke. They spin audience suggestions into silly, surreal, delightful comedy gold. “Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a pale TV imitation” – Telegraph.

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Jane Mayer talks to Philippe Sands

Dark Money

Event 249 Venue: Starlight Stage

Jane Mayer talks to Philippe Sands

The award-winning New Yorker journalist forensically exposes the billionaire Koch brothers’ funding of interest groups, think-tanks and candidate campaigns to manipulate American politics towards their own extreme libertarian interests. She examines the impact on the 2016 US elections and reveals what influence the network has on politics in the UK and Europe.

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Jojo Moyes and Thea Sharrock

‘Me Before You’ – Film Clips and Q&A

Event 250 Venue: Good Energy Stage

A preview of the film to be released on 3 June based on the best-selling novel by Jojo Moyes. It stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games series), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Charles Dance (The Imitation Game), Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), Matthew Lewis (the Harry Potter films), Jenna Coleman (Dr Who) and Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous). Thea Sharrock makes her feature film directorial debut. The movie is released on 3 June. #mebeforeyou

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Simone Cuff

The Ecosystem Inside: Your Body and its Tiny Citizens - Cardiff University Series

Event 251 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Most people think they are human; this is only partly correct. You have within you more cells that are not human than those that are: from bacteria that help you digest your food, to fungi that help keep your skin healthy and mites that live in your eyebrows. You are in fact a whole world. What are the latest ideas on how interactions between you and your tiny citizens affect your health? How do bacteria affect allergies? Is there any point in eating live yogurt? Cuff is based at the Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine.

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Clare Brass, Molly Conisbee and David Boyle

How Quickly Can We Change…Culture?

Event 252 Venue: Compass

Creeping climatic upheaval and corrosive global inequality are like two threads pulling apart civilisation’s fabric. To survive and thrive we face an unprecedented challenge of rapid transition. But the way we live is locked in by a culture of consumerism. David Boyle of the New Weather Institute and Clare Brass, Head of the Royal College of Art Sustain Programme, talk about precedents and our potential for change with historian Molly Conisbee.

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Si Spencer and Dix

Klaxon – the graphic novel

Event 253 Venue: Cube

This disturbing urban horror story from two of the most spectacularly gifted graphic novel artists follows three housebound wasters who pass their days high on wax and cavity wall insulation. When their new neighbours’ landlord begins to exert his malign influence over their lives, they are afflicted by milk binges, metamorphoses and indoor confectionery storms. Tank Girl creator Alan Martin called Klaxon “an urban nightmare of finely balanced dialogue and artwork, as if Raymond Briggs teamed up with Daniel Clowes and they dropped the bad brown acid.”

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Sam Lee and Friends

The Fade in Time: In Concert

Event 254 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Sam Lee and Friends

Sam’s two critically acclaimed albums place songs he has collected first-hand from the Gypsy and Traveller community, with inventive arrangements that bring these ancient songs to life for the present day. The live band perform unconventional and contemporary interpretations, challenging all preconceptions of what ‘traditional folk’ should sound like. Winner of the 2011 Arts Foundation Award, and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee for folk singer of the year, Sam is a pioneer helping to define and energise the sound of folk song for today.

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Maesllwch Farm

Farm Visit

Event 501 Venue: Meet at Box Office

Come to Andrew and Rachel Giles’ dairy farm to see how their herd of dairy cows produce most of their milk from grass. Visitors can enter the milking parlour and help to milk some of the cows, as well as see the young calves. Learn how the cows are fed and find out how their four stomachs enable them to digest grass. Samples of dairy products will be provided for tasting and a cheesemaker will demonstrate the craft.

Children must be eight years or over to take part in this event. Coaches will return to the festival site in time for events starting at 1pm.
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