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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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Zoë Svendsen and Paul Mason

Cambridge Series 20: Talking About Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the Emergence of Capitalism

Event 455 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Zoë Svendsen and Paul Mason

Theatre director Zoë Svendsen and journalist and economist Paul Mason explore the theatricality of capitalism by examining what an economic analysis of Shakespeare’s plays might tell us about character and how the human is represented. Part of a new research and development project at the Young Vic, London.

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David Aaronovitch talks to Rosie Boycott

Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists

Event 456 Venue: Oxfam Moot

In July 1961, just before David Aaronovitch’s seventh birthday, Yuri Gagarin came to London. The Russian cosmonaut was everything the Aaronovitch family wished for - a popular and handsome embodiment of modern communism. But who were they, these ever hopeful, defiant and (had they but known it) historically doomed people? Like a non-magical version of the wizards of J K Rowling’s world, they lived secretly with and parallel to the non-communist majority, sometimes persecuted, sometimes ignored, but carrying on their own ways and traditions. Aaronovitch revisited his own memories of belief and action. He found himself studying the old secret service files, uncovering the unspoken shame and fears that provided the unconscious background to his own existence as a party animal.

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Fiona Reynolds

Subject Areas – Geography and Land Economy

Event 578 Venue: Compass

Please drop in to our new Compass venue, quiz leading academics about their subject and engage in some critical thinking. As part of Hay Festival 2016 and with help from the Welsh Government we have invited a range of university lecturers and speakers to drop in, talk about their subject areas and about university life.

Fiona Reynolds is Master of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.

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Winnie-the-Pooh

Event HD87 Venue: Starlight Stage

Join Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore at a magical event that will take you deep into the heart of Hundred Acre Wood.

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Emerald Fennell

Monsters

Event HD88 Venue: Cube

Emerald Fennell, author and Call the Midwife star talks about her new book: A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand...

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Siddhartha Mukherjee talks to Claire Armitstead

The Gene: An Intimate History

Event 457 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Siddhartha Mukherjee talks to Claire Armitstead

The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganises our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds – from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes. Woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The cancer physician’s book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the Pulitzer Prize. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.

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Fiona Reynolds

Cambridge Series 21: The Fight for Beauty

Event 458 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Fiona Reynolds

In a world where too often, it seems, only the economy matters, Fiona Reynolds argues that beauty should shape our lives. Dame Fiona is Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was formerly Director-General of The National Trust.

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Alain de Botton talks to Viv Groskop

The Course of Love

Event 459 Venue: Tata Tent

Alain de Botton talks to Viv Groskop

What does it mean to live happily ever after? At dinner parties and over coffee, Rabih and Kirsten’s friends always ask them the same question: how did you meet? The answer comes easily – it’s a happy story, one they both love to tell. But there is a second part to this story, the answer to a question their friends never ask: what happened next? From the first thrill of lust, to the joys and fears of real commitment, and to the deep problems that surface slowly over two shared lifetimes, this is the story of a marriage. It is about modern relationships and how to survive them. Playful, wise and profoundly moving, the essayist and philosopher introduces his first novel in 20 years.

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Eleonora Galasso and Simon Schama

As the Romans Do: Authentic and reinvented recipes from the Eternal City

Event 460 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Eleonora Galasso and Simon Schama

The captivating Instagram gastro star and Roman native conjures up La Dolce Vita with her recipes for earthy breakfasts, alfresco lunches and sumptuous suppers. She is joined by historian and food fanatic Simon Schama. This is table talk in flagrante!

 

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Zoë Wilcox and Julian Harrison

Talking About Shakespeare: Showing Shakespeare in the Library

Event 461 Venue: Starlight Stage

Zoë Wilcox and Julian Harrison

The curators of the two landmark exhibitions of the 400th anniversary celebrations share their treasures at Hay – from First Folios and the now famous handwritten plea for refugees, to Vivien Leigh’s Titania costume and some of the richest theatrical memorabilia of the last 400 years.

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Debbie Moon and Leona Vaughan

Wolfblood

Event HD89 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Meet the creators, producers and stars of hot CBBC drama Wolfblood, an award-winning combination of thrilling action and intrigue entwined with stories of secrets and friendships surrounding the mysterious race of Wolfbloods who live among us.

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Gavin Puckett

Hendrix the Rocking Horse

Event HD90 Venue: Cube

Join the author of the hilarious story about Hendrix, a horse with an ear for music who has a life-changing moment when he hears the band The Tumbling Pebbles and gets hold of one of their guitars. Hendrix makes a musical transformation and turns himself into a rock ’n’ roll rocking horse.

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Paul Mason

PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future

Event 462 Venue: Telegraph Stage

Paul Mason

Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone economic cycles that veer from boom to bust. The campaigning economist and broadcaster argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and profound that this time capitalism itself will mutate into something wholly new. Chaired by Jane Davidson.

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Fay Weldon talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Before the War

Event 463 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage

Fay Weldon talks to Rosie Goldsmith

A new, historical novel from the great tale-teller. Consider Vivien in November 1922. She is 24 and a spinster. She wears fashionably droopy clothes, but she is plain and - almost worse in those times - intelligent. At nearly six foot tall, she is known unkindly by her family as ‘the giantess’. Fortunately, Vivien is rich, so she can travel to London and bribe a charismatic gentleman publisher to marry her… This is a city fizzing with change, full of flat-chested flappers, shell-shocked soldiers and aristocrats clinging onto the past.

 

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Andrew Dickson

Talking About Shakespeare: Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe

Event 464 Venue: Cube

Travelling across four continents, six countries and 400 years, Dickson takes us on a personal journey rich in insight and surprise. We enter the air-conditioned vault deep beneath Capitol Hill, where the world’s largest collection of First Folios is stored; discover the shadowy history of Joseph Goebbels’s obsession with Shakespeare; and uncover the true story behind the scuffed edition in which Nelson Mandela and fellow Robben Island prisoners inscribed their names. Both cultural history and literary travelogue, Worlds Elsewhere is an attempt to understand how Shakespeare has become the international phenomenon he is – and why.

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Matt Wilkinson

Cambridge Series 22: Restless Creatures

Event 465 Venue: Good Energy Stage

The evolutionary biologist shows why our ancestors became two-legged, why we have opposable thumbs, why the backbone appeared, how fish fins became limbs, how even trees are locomotion-obsessed, and how movement has shaped our minds as well as our bodies. He explains why there are no flying monkeys or biological wheels, how dinosaurs took to the air, how Mexican waves began in the animal kingdom, and why moving can make us feel good. Wilkinson opens up an astonishing new perspective – that nothing in life makes sense except in the light of movement.

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Karina Urbach

Go Betweens for Hitler

Event 466 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Karina Urbach

The untold story of how some of Germany’s top aristocrats contributed to Hitler’s secret diplomacy during the Third Reich, providing a direct line to their influential contacts and relations across Europe - especially in Britain, where they included press baron and Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere and the future King Edward VIII.

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Benny Wenda, Jennifer Robinson, George Monbiot

Free West Papua

Event 467 Venue: Scribblers Hut

Benny Wenda, Jennifer Robinson, George Monbiot

The independence leader was arrested, tortured and threatened with death for protesting against the Indonesian occupation of his homeland. Wenda now lives in exile. He argues that over half a million Papuans have been murdered by the Indonesian forces in the 50 years of occupation, constituting genocide. He tells his story (also detailed in the film The Road Home) with his advocate, the international lawyer Jennifer Robinson and the journalist George Monbiot.

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Tom Jones

GQ Platform: Over The Top and Back

Event 579 Venue: Tata Tent

Tom Jones

The singer discusses his autobiography with the editor of GQ, Dylan Jones. Over a career spanning six decades, Sir Tom has recorded an expansive body of work and performed with artists such as Elvis, Sinatra, Robbie Williams and Ed Sheeran. His music encompasses a huge range of different genres, including rock, pop, country, blues and soul.  In this conversation, he revisits his past and explores the twists of fate that took him from wartime Pontypridd to global renown. He reveals the stories behind the hits as well as the ups and downs of a remarkable life and career.  His latest album is Long Lost Suitcase.

With thanks to Live Nation

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Chris Riddell and Friends

The Laureate’s Drawing

Event HD91 Venue: Starlight Stage

The Children’s Laureate is joined by some of the best new illustrators to discuss the challenges and magic of telling stories to all ages through pictures.

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