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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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Jon Anderson

Establishing a Digital Literary Atlas of Wales and its Borderlands – Cardiff University Series

Event 17 Venue: Starlight Stage

Introducing a new literary geography based on the assumption that novels and stories cannot be confined by the covers of a book, but through the reader’s imagination become part of the lived experience of the world around us. Explaining how this new cartography of page and place will be developed is Jon Anderson from the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.

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Robert Service

The End of the Cold War 1985-1991

Event 18 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Robert Service

The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the spread of perestroika throughout the former Soviet bloc was a sea change in world history, and two years later resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The acclaimed Russian historian examines precisely how that change came about and analyses the role of the leaders who held power: Gorbachev and Reagan, Walesa, Havel, and the Pope.

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Ursula Martin

The Scientific Life of Ada Lovelace, a Victorian Computing Visionary

Event 19 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Ursula Martin

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is famous as  “The first programmer” for her prescient writings about Charles Babbage’s unbuilt mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. Biographers have focused on her tragically short life and her supposed poetic approach – in this talk we unpick the myths and look at her scientific education, what she really did, and why it is important, placing her in the rich context of nineteenth century science, and the contemporary misremembering of  female scientists.

Ursula Martin CBE is a Professor in Mathematics and Computer Science in the University of Oxford, and leads Oxford’s project to digitize Lovelace’s mathematics.

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David Whitebread, Jenny Gibson and Sara Baker

Cambridge Series 1: All Work and No Play…?

Event 20 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Could the consequences of curtailing play in schools, at home and in the outdoors be catastrophic in terms of healthy child development? Join experts from the PEDAL Centre to explore the role of play in learning, development and wellbeing.  

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Ilora Finlay, Hywel Francis and Gwyneth Lewis

Leaving a Legacy with Storytelling

Event 21 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Knowing they are about to die often prompts people to become creative, telling their story, leaving a legacy through the arts, whether it be writing, painting or recording. The panel explores how death is viewed in society today and how we can all help lay down a legacy, purely by listening, talking and sharing our stories, hopes and wishes.

Finlay is a Life Peer and former BMA President, Francis is an historian and former MP and Lewis is one of Wales’ greatest poets.

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Dai Smith and Guests

Talking About Port Talbot

Event 22 Venue: Cube

The historian hosts a conversation about the past and future of the industrial town, home to the steel works. Further details about the content of the event will be published on 16 May, as we learn more about the situation.
 
 
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Frank Gardner talks to Peter Florence

Crisis

Event 23 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Frank Gardner talks to Peter Florence

The renowned BBC Security Correspondent, author of Blood and Sand, launches his debut novel, a hi-tech thriller that involves South American drug cartels and a terrorist attack on London.

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Frank Uekötter talks to Mark Lynas

Chernobyl 30 Years On: Making Sense of a Nuclear Disaster – University of Birmingham Series

Event 24 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Frank Uekötter talks to Mark Lynas

Chernobyl is as much a symbol of nuclear risks as a distraction from other problems: some 70 years into the age of nuclear power, we do not have a single reactor that would have a chance without huge public subsidies. Nor do we have words for, or even a proper picture of, those who suffered most from Chernobyl and Fukushima: the people who clean up. Now that Britain is banking on a nuclear revival we need to learn about the long path to a new generation of reactors. Uekötter is a Reader in Environmental Humanities at University of Birmingham. He talks to journalist and author Mark Lynas.

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Sharath Srinivasan, Mariéme Jamme and Rob Burnet

Cambridge Series 2: Africa’s Digital Revolution: Power to the People?

Event 25 Venue: Cube

Can new technology bring greater democracy and allow a wider range of voices to be heard? With Dr Sharath Srinivasan, Director, Centre of Governance and Human Rights at the University of Cambridge; Mariéme Jamme, CEO, blogger, technologist and social entrepreneur; and Rob Burnet, CEO and Founder of Well Told Story.

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Sabrina Ghayour and Oliver Rowe

Talking About Food

Event 26 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Two great international chefs discuss their taste and imagination with John Mitchinson. Ghayour follows her iconic cookbook Persiana with Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East. Rowe, who trained at Moro and later opened Konstam, has written Food for All Seasons - a touching and informative culinary journey exploring the way our lives and our food are intertwined.

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Joanna Yarrow and Juliet Davenport talk to Andy Fryers

Good Business-Sustainable Business – Good Energy Series

Event 27 Venue: Starlight Stage

Are businesses better able to address environmental issues than governments and NGOs? Where does genuine motivation to act responsibly need to be backed up by regulation? And how do we ensure that businesses ensure that sustainability isn't just another PR exercise from profit-hungry executives? IKEA’s Sustainability Director, the broadcaster and author Joanna Yarrow, and Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport, talk to the Festival's Sustainability Director.

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Richard Parry and Douglas Hedley

Coleridge in Wales

Event 28 Venue: Summer House

Does Wales understand Coleridge in a unique way? An exploration of hidden Welsh treasure.  Classical baritone and activist Richard Parry uncovers how R.S. Thomas, leading 20th century artist/poet David Jones and Welsh literary wizard Iolo Morganwg found Coleridge a compelling travelling companion, and Coleridge scholar and author Douglas Hedley explores why Coleridge’s significance as a philosopher, theologian and public intellectual is often overlooked in this event marking the arrival of the travelling.


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David Gilmour and Polly Samson

Rattle That Lock

Event 29 Venue: Tata Tent

David Gilmour and Polly Samson

The guitarist and writer discuss their songwriting partnership, the writing process between lyricist and musician. They have collaborated on four No. 1 albums: Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell and The Endless River, David Gilmour’s On An Island, and the recent Rattle That Lock. Hosted by Rosie Boycott.

See also event 86.

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Ben Miller

The Aliens Are Coming!

Event 30 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Ben Miller

Ben Miller is, like you, a mutant ape living through an Ice Age on a ball of molten iron, orbiting a supermassive black hole. He is also an actor, comedian and approximately one half of Armstrong and Miller. He explores The Exciting and Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe.

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Andrew Davies

War and Peace

Event 31 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Andrew Davies

The legendary screenwriter talks to Peter Florence about the craft of screenplay and the challenges of scale and intimacy in his six-part BBC television adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel.

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Front Row

BBC Radio 4 LIVE

Event 32 Venue: BBC Tent

Front Row

BBC Radio 4’s daily arts programme Front Row comes live from Hay. Authors Lionel Shriver, Tracy Chevalier, Juno Dawson, Holly Smale and Patrick Ness join John Wilson to discuss the burgeoning appetite for young adult fiction. Followed by Q&A with the Front Row Team.

Broadcast live on BBC Radio 4.

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

BBC Radio 4
 
Free but ticketed
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Tom Hansell

After Coal: Screening - Swansea University Series

Event 33 Venue: Starlight Stage

What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive? After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky and South Wales. Stories of coalfield residents who must create new careers illustrate the challenge of creating a sustainable future. Introduced by the film’s director.

You can book this event together with events [39] and [40] at a discounted price of £12. Please call the Box Office on 01497 822629 to proceed with this offer, and we will remove the £3 booking fee.

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Christine L Corton

London Fog: The Biography

Event 34 Venue: Oxfam Moot

The classic London fogs, thick yellow pea-soupers, were born in the Industrial Age and remained a feature of cold, windless winter days until clean air legislation in the 1960s. Corton tells the story of the fogs, their dangers and beauty, and the lasting effects on our culture and imagination of these urban spectacles. Chaired by Oliver Balch.

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Dara Ó Briain

Crowd Tickler

Event 35 Venue: Tata Tent

Dara Ó Briain

The great Irish comedian returns to Hay to start the festival with a night of mercurial, joyful humour. He’s brilliant, quicksilver-smart and absolutely hilarious.

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Tracy Chevalier, Phil Grabsky and David Bickerstaff

Girl with a Pearl Earring: The Doc and Other Treasures of the Mauritshuis

Event 36 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Tracy Chevalier, Phil Grabsky and David Bickerstaff

Chevalier’s best-selling novel inspired many readers to look at Vermeer’s famous painting more closely. Now she has participated in a documentary film directed by Phil Grabsky – part of the pioneering series Exhibition on Screen. How did the writer help the award-winning film-makers to bring the work to life? How has the film affected her own understanding of a painting she thought she knew well?  

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