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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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Seamus Murphy

The Republic

Event 394 Venue: Starlight Stage

One hundred years after Ireland’s 1916 Rising, who are the Irish and what has become of the republic they made? The award-winning photographer, exile and escapee, digs deep to discover the forces and mysteries that drive, and have often beguiled, the country since its birth. From the streets of Dublin and the suburbs of towns and cities adapting to new multicultural life, to the older habitats of Ireland’s wilder western shores, Murphy endeavours to capture the spirit of contemporary Ireland in this witty, closely observed and beautiful photographic story. Chaired by David Dwan.

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Brix Smith-Start talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Rise, The Fall, and the Rise

Event 395 Venue: Cube

Brix Smith-Start talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Brix spent ten years in the band, The Fall, before a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E Smith. Her story is much more than rock ’n’ roll highs and lows in one of the most radically dysfunctional bands around. Growing up in the Hollywood Hills in the 1960s in a dilapidated pink mansion, her life has taken her from luxury to destitution, from the cover of the NME to waitressing in California, via the industrial wasteland of Manchester in the 1980s.

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KT Tunstall in Concert

Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon

Event 396 Venue: Tata Tent

KT Tunstall in Concert

The singer-songwriter and her band play her new album at Hay. “It’s rambunctious, anti-slick, pro-wild, psychedelic emotional pop,” she says of her new music. “Many of these songs are full-on in their energy. When I play, I have realised that I really have to sweat to deliver what I’m best at, which is going out on stage and creating a physical and emotional experience for a room full of people. It’s primal, tribal, and when it’s really good, it feels transcendent.”

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Showstoppers

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Event 397 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Showstoppers

2016 Olivier Award Winners – Best Entertainment and Family

The Olivier Award winning improv musical comes to Hay. Each night, audience suggestions are instantly transformed into an all-singing, all-dancing production, with unpredictable and hilarious results. The Showstoppers have delighted audiences across the globe with their ingenious blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity, with eight years as an Edinburgh Fringe must-see phenomenon, a BBC Radio 4 series and now a recent critically acclaimed West End run. Whether you fancy Sondheim on a ski lift, or Cole Porter in Poundland: you suggest it and The Showstoppers will sing it!

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Gulwali Passarlay talks to Oliver Bullough

The Lightless Sky: An Afghan Refugee Boy’s Journey of Escape to a new Life in Britain

Event 398 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Gulwali Passarlay talks to Oliver Bullough

Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of 12, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali embarked on a 12-month odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty and violence. He endured a terrifying journey on a tiny boat in the Mediterranean, braved the brutality of those who should care for children and spent a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone. Here in Britain he was fostered, went to a good school, worked hard and won a place at a top university. Gulwali was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Many refugees die along the way. Some are sent back to face imprisonment and possible death. Some survive and make it here, to a country that offers them the chance of a life of freedom and opportunity.

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Michael Marmot talks to Rajan Datar

The Health Gap

Event 399 Venue: Good Energy Stage

There are dramatic differences in health between countries and within countries. But this is not a simple matter of rich and poor. A poor man in Glasgow is rich compared to the average Indian, but the Glaswegian’s life expectancy is 8 years shorter. In all countries, people at relative social disadvantage suffer health disadvantage, and dramatically so. Within countries, the higher the social status of individuals, the better is their health. But globally these health inequalities defy usual explanations. Creating the conditions for people to lead flourishing lives, and thus empowering individuals and communities, is key to development. Datar reports for BBC World News.

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Dai Smith in conversation with Max Porter

The International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University

Event 400 Venue: Cube

Dai Smith in conversation with Max Porter

Join us to celebrate ten years of the prestigious prize for writers aged 39 and under, as the 2016 Winner talks with Dai Smith, Chair of the Judging Panel and Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University. Max Porter won the award for his extraordinary book Grief is the Thing With Feathers.

Dai Smith says: “Max Porter, the judges felt, takes the common place of grief, the pall of death, the loss of loved ones, the things that we will all experience and transforms the ordinary through an extraordinary feat of imaginative prose, but prose that slips in to poetry and out again. The way it plays with the archetypal figure of Ted Hughes’ Crow is both astonishing and beguiling. It is funny, it is deeply moving and it is a book that the judges are proud to see as the winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University.”

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Erwin James talks to Claire Armitstead

Redeemable

Event 401 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Erwin James talks to Claire Armitstead

James lost his mother when he was seven. Shipped from home to home and subject to the whims of various care-givers after his father turned to alcohol and violence, he committed his first crime of breaking and entering when he was ten. His teenage and early adult years were spent drifting, and his petty crime turned increasingly violent, culminating in the terrible events for which he was jailed for life in 1984. Entering prison at 27, James struggled to come to terms with the enormity of his crimes and a future without purpose or hope. Then he met Joan, a prison psychologist, who helped him to confront the painful truth of his past, and to understand how it had shaped him from such a young age. Encouraged to read and to educate himself, over the next 20 years Erwin James would go on to receive a BA in History and become a regular columnist for the Guardian.

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William Troughton

A Regiment of Unknown Soldiers

Event 539 Venue: Hay Castle

Photographer D C Harries (1865-1940) recorded everyday life in a small Welsh town and its rural surroundings prior to the Second World War. After six decades, his business closed and thousands of glass negatives were donated to the National Library of Wales. Although no supporting documentation survives, there are many interesting stories to be gleaned from these negatives, especially his regiment of unknown soldiers. Troughton is Curator of Photography, The National Library of Wales.

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Nik Gowing

Thinking The Unthinkable

Event 549 Venue: Compass

Nik Gowing

Brexit? DAESH? President Trump? Europe’s migration crisis? Oil prices crashing? The ‘unusual extremes’ causing UK flooding? The international affairs analyst, a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London introduces new research revealing why top leaders in big corporates and governments struggle to handle the scale of new unthinkables.

Numbers are limited for this seminar. The full report, co-written with Chris Langdon, can be downloaded from here: http://www.thinkunthinkable.org

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Chris Riddell

Ask the Children’s Laureate

Event HD73 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Meet the Children’s Laureate, who will live-draw the answers to your questions. The children he chooses can take their doodle-answers home with them and own a unique piece of art from one of our greatest illustrators.

6+
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Nandana Sen

Kangaroo Kisses

Event HD74 Venue: Starlight Stage

Join the award-winning actor, writer and child-rights activist for a fantastical interactive storytelling session, with fun games and animal masks. Nandana has starred in more than 20 feature films, is the author of Mambi and the Forest Fire  (Puffin, 2016), and works with children (and grown-ups) at UNICEF, Operation Smile, and RAHI to fight against child abuse. After studying literature at Harvard, she worked as a book editor, screenwriter, poetry translator, and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland. Kangaroo Kisses, her debut children’s book in the UK, is a mix of fantasy and real life as one mischievous child delays getting ready for bed, and has some amazing wildlife encounters along the way.

3+
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Kate Summerscale talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

Event 402 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Kate Summerscale talks to Stephanie Merritt

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, 13-year-old Robert Coombes and his 12-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lords. They told their neighbours their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next 10 days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes’ house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm... Summerscale won the Samuel Johnson Prize for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

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Lindy West talks to Laura Bates

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

Event 403 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Lindy West talks to Laura Bates

Lindy West wasn’t always loud. She was once a nerdy, terror-stricken teen who wanted nothing more than to be invisible. Fortunately, that cripplingly shy girl who refused to make a sound grew up to be one of the loudest, shrillest, most fearless feminazis on the internet, making a living speaking up for what’s right instead of what’s cool. She reveals the obstacles and misogyny she’s had to overcome to make herself heard, in a society that doesn’t believe women (especially fat women and feminists) can ever be funny. “Her talent and bravery have made the internet a place where I actually want to be”–  Lena Dunham.

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Tim Whitmarsh

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

Event 404 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Tim Whitmarsh

Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively, free-thinking voices of antiquity. The A G Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief.

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Tom Fletcher talks to Katrin Bennhold

Naked Diplomacy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age

Event 405 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

In the next hundred years, the world will need to deal with the same amount of social development witnessed in the past 43 centuries – the rebirth of the city state, the battle for new energy, disappearing borders, the desire of the world’s people to move to developed nations. The former ambassador explores the core principles of a progressive C21st foreign policy: how to balance interventionism and national interest, and to use global governance to achieve national objectives. He discusses smart power, soft power and the new interventionism alongside lessons from the most notorious leaders and diplomats across the world including Talleyrand, Kissinger, Mandela and the Kennedys.

A former frontman, teacher, boxer and salesman, at 36 Tom Fletcher became the youngest senior British ambassador for 200 years. He pioneered using new technology to connect with people across a Middle East in upheaval. He is now a Professor of International Relations, and a campaigner for global education, the creative industries and coexistence.

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Dan Freedman

CBBC Screening

Event 406 Venue: BBC Tent

Dan Freedman

The Author introduces an exclusive screening of CBBC’s new adaptation of his popular children’s book series Jamie Johnson, followed by a Q&A. Jamie is a boy who lives and breathes football. He has amazing talent and the desire to make it to the top. The books follow him on every step of his journey as he aims to fulfil his dream of becoming one of the biggest football stars in the world.

Not for broadcast.


CBBC





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

 

Free but ticketed
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Marina Lewycka, Patience Agbabi, David Herd and Anna Pincus

Fictions: Refugee Tales

Event 407 Venue: Starlight Stage

Offered as a modern day reworking of The Canterbury Tales, this book brings together the stories of 14 refugees whose voyage to the UK has not been a journey of spiritual salvation, rather one of sheer, physical survival. The tales are retold by writers including Marina Lewycka and Patience Agbabi, and the tales are edited by the poet and teacher David Herd and Anna Pincus of the Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group.

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Hay Castle Tour 15

Mary Morgan, Hay Castle Trust

Event 529 Venue: Meet inside Hay Castle

Discover a world of stories in Hay Castle’s thousand years of tempestuous history with a series of guided tours of the Medieval keep, Jacobean mansion and Victorian service buildings, led by a range of experts from Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Cadw, National Trust Wales, Hay History Group and Hay Castle Trust.
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Peter Millican

Turtle Coding

Event 550 Venue: Scribblers Hut

Peter Millican is Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University (and a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, who recently founded the innovative Oxford degree programme in Computer Science and Philosophy. His workshop is aimed at children between the ages of 7-17 who would like to learn the basics of computer programming. Peter will teach this session using TURTLE, which is a graphics programming system designed by him to enable non-specialist students to learn a range of fundamental concepts of programming and computer science in a straightforward manner, within a user-friendly environment that makes the first steps as easy as possible. Development of TURTLE has been supported by the Department for Education, and it is freely available to everyone, together with learning materials.


7-17
1.5 hours
Participants are asked to bring their own PC (not mac) computers. Turtle Software will be made available to you in advance.
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