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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.
Click here to see a list of sold out events
Cambridge Series 6: Does Education Cause Social Mobility? If not, What Does?
Event 101 • • Venue: Telegraph Stage
It’s common sense that the best stimulus to social mobility is education. But the facts of the past 50 years – a period of unprecedented social mobility – suggest that people may be just as mobile however much or little education they have. So what does cause social mobility, if not education? And what, if anything, can governments do to promote it?
Event 533 • • Venue: Hay Castle
An insight into the museum’s exquisite collection of more than 1,000 wax botanical models, through the eyes of a model-maker. Find out about the materials and techniques used to make models look realistic, the historical context of the collection and its relevance to modern natural history displays. Townsend is Senior Conservator Natural Sciences, National Museum Cardiff.
Event HD12 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
The writer’s new novel has immigration at its heart. It is the story of Joe’s struggle to save the family-run café in Bryn Mawr that was started before the war by his Italian great-great grandfather. He vows to keep it open, and find out more about his past at the same time, as well as trying to bring a diverse town together through good food and fine times.
Event HD13 • • Venue: Cube
Illustrator and animator Benji Davies describes and demonstrates how he creates his stunningly beautiful picture books. In particular he explores his latest book which touchingly explores how a young child deals with the death of a favourite grandparent.
Research Area – English Literature
Event 556 • • 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.
John Mullan is a professor of English at University College London
BBC Radio Wales LIVE
Event 102 • • Venue: BBC Tent
Join Jamie at lunchtime on Sunday for lively conversation, laughter and music. How’s your week been?
Broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
Event 103 • • Venue: Tata Tent
What happened to the European mind between 1605, when an audience watching Macbeth at the Globe might believe that regicide was such an aberration of the natural order that ghosts could burst from the ground, and 1649, when a large crowd could stand and watch the execution of a king? In this turbulent period, science moved from the alchemy and astrology of John Dee to the painstaking observation and astronomy of Galileo. And if the old ways still lingered and affected the new mindset, Descartes’ dualism presented an attempt to square the new philosophy with religious belief. By the end of that tumultuous century “the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity” had irrevocably taken place.
Broken Vows: Tony Blair, The Tragedy of Power
Event 104 • • Venue: Telegraph Stage
When Tony Blair became prime minister in May 1997, he was, at 43, the youngest person to hold that office since 1812. With a landslide majority, his approval rating was 93% and he went on to become Labour’s longest-serving premier. What went wrong? #Corruptiooptimipessima. The Chilcot report is expected in June.
Talking Books: The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 - 2047
Event 105 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
The brilliant new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk about Kevin centres on three generations of the Mandible family as an extreme fiscal crisis hits a near-future America. This is a frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse into the decline that may await the United States all too soon.
Close to the Brink: Our Energy Future
Event 106 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
A UK energy crisis is looming. 38 Gigawatts is going off-line and only 18GW is currently available to replace it. That includes Hinkley Nuclear and Swansea Tidal Bay. With climate change requiring a low-carbon future, where will our energy come from? Davenport is CEO of Good Energy, Gupta is owner of Uskmouth Power Station, Phillips is National Grid's UK Generator and Asset Compliance Manager and Linder is Energy Futures Partner at Bell Pottinger PR.
The Pursuit of Development: Economic Growth, Social Change and Ideas
Event 107 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
The process by which nations escape poverty and achieve economic and social progress has been the subject of extensive examination for hundreds of years. Goldin considers the contributions that education, health, gender, equity and other dimensions of human wellbeing make to development, and discusses why it is also necessary to take into account the role of institutions and the rule of law as well as sustainability and environmental concerns. Chaired by Jesse Norman.
SOLD OUT - PLEASE SEE EVENT 57
Dr Mark Baker, architectural historian
Event 517 • • Venue: Meet inside Hay Castle
Event HD14 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The best-selling author has jokes a-plenty as he talks about Vikings, Romans, My Brother’s Famous Bottom, a karate princess and Streaker, the world-famous, hundred-mile-an-hour dog.
Draw me a City
Event HD15 • • Venue: Cube
Watch and join the illustrator on an adventure through some of the world’s iconic cities – London, Paris and New York. Learn how to draw wonderful cityscapes and characters and create your own pictures.
Louise Brealey, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Maxine Peake, Mark Strong and Kelvin Jones
Letters Live, Family Show
Event 108 • • Venue: Tata Tent
Letters Live returns to Hay for a third year after very popular shows in 2014 and 2015 at which Benedict Cumberbatch and Jude Law headlined and following a sold-out, highly acclaimed run at the Freemasons’ Hall in London in March 2016. Letters Live has rapidly established itself as a wonderfully dynamic and exciting new format for presenting memorable letters to a live audience and this special family event will feature classic letters by Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter, Barack Obama, Kurt Vonnegut and JK Rowling amongst others.
Cambridge Series 7: Robot Intelligence Versus Human Intelligence
Event 109 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
How intelligent (or otherwise) are robots? Is it a good thing that they can steal our jobs? And will robots ever take over the world? Dr Iida is a Lecturer in Mechatronics at Cambridge.
Shylock is My Name
Event 110 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It’s the beginning of a remarkable friendship. The Man Booker winner’s version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being in the modern world.
The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria
Event 111 • • Venue: Telegraph Stage
Delivered with passion, fearlessness and sensitivity, The Morning They Came for Us is an unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, charting an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war. It is an unforgettable testament to human resilience in the face of devastating, barely imaginable horrors. Di Giovanni is Middle East editor of Newsweek and the author of Madness Visible.
Full STEAM Ahead
Event 112 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
How should we value the Arts in the schools curriculum? What do we learn from putting on plays, playing in bands, painting and dancing? The CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and his guests challenge the government’s focus on STEM subjects and examine the place of culture in British education and the national economy.
BBC Radio 3
Event 113 • • Venue: BBC Tent
BBC Radio 3’s Rana Mitter announces the 2016 New Generation Thinkers who will be turning their academic research into radio. Their ideas range from the history of the hairdresser to the search for Alexander the Great's missing tomb; why Sigmund Freud detested the telephone to the complex relationship between the USSR and its historic churches. At the Hay Festival they will be talking about the significance of bear grease and eating aubergines, exploring the impact of key historic events including the Biafra War and the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan and explaining what the process of recreating an astronomical instrument called an equatorium used by a medieval monk teaches us about early scientific instruments.
New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics who can turn their research into great programmes.
Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 31 May at 10pm.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years