The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 26 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.
Burney and Machin, creators of the BBC’s Waking the Dead, tell the story of how, in the first half of the 20th century, the focus of murder inquiries shifted from primarily medical and autopsy-based interest in the victim’s body to an inquest dominated by laboratory technicians pouring over minute trace evidence.
The investigative reporter takes us on a journey through the lawless backstreets of cities as diverse as Mumbai, Bogotá, New Orleans, Barcelona and London. He uncovers the people and the scams that keep the global black economy moving. From dice games in steamy southern states to torture in British suburbs; from the sharp end of currency counterfeiting in Buenos Aires to the terrible truth behind antique forgery in the Middle East.
Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.
Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Renton reveals a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, but very few people have any idea what it is made of. We all know that wine is made by fermenting pressed juice from grapes and cider comes from pressing apples but what about beer? Beer is traditionally made from four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast and water, and each of these has an extraordinary story to tell. Brown is a journalist and author who specialises in making people thirsty.
We should all know exactly where our meat comes from. But what if you took this modern-day maxim to its logical conclusion? What if you only ate animals you killed yourself? Gray decided to do exactly that. Starting small, Louise shucked oysters and caught fish before moving on to shooting pigeons, rabbits and more. Questioning modern attitudes to the meat we eat and asking the question: How did we end up eating so much meat, with so little idea how animals are raised and killed on our behalf?
Leading lights from Latvia’s vibrant poetry scene join contemporaries from Scotland and Wales for a rich reading in three languages. The award-winning poets will share newly translated poems, collaborations and experiments in a special event which reflects their friendship and celebrates the role art plays in building bridges between cultures.
Book a seat in the Relish Festival Restaurant and receive a complimentary drink on us.
Enjoy a delicious meal from our Festival Restaurant buffet. Choose from a wide selection of hot and cold dishes created fresh onsite by our team of chefs using the best local seasonal produce.
Come up to the buffet and choose as much as like from all the dishes on offer for just £20, by booking online you will received a complimentary glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink. By booking online you will 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.
A selection of desserts and local cheeses from Neil's Yard Creamery are also available to buy, as well as a full bar and baristas coffees.
See a Sample Menu Here
The improv comedy superstars Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson, Andy Smart, Neill Mullarkey and Josie Lawrence are joined once more by Marcus Brigstocke of this parish. They spin audience suggestions into silly, surreal, delightful comedy gold. #joy
The charismatic folk trio make their Hay debut. They combine superb musicianship with a wonderful lyric elegance that celebrates traditional forms with contemporary power. Faustus are Paul Sartin, Benji Kirkpatrick and Saul Rose. Their latest album is Death and Other Animals.
The Sky News presenter introduces her book filled with empowering stories of women who have shifted the political landscape, from the Suffragettes to the present day. She discusses sexism, resilience and opportunity with the Labour politician and former Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper. This book went to press on the day the Daily Mail splashed the meeting between the First Minister of Scotland and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom with the headline: ‘Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it?’
The producers of the cult noir film thriller are joined by photographer David Wilson to talk about the silent character in the hit TV show: the landscapes of Ceredigion. Wilson has captured these landscapes for the new book Hinterland Landscapes and the panel will reflect on what the settings have brought to the show, and the impact the show has had on this quiet part of Wales.
Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims. But how well do you know Big Data? Now, thanks to comedian and broadcaster Timandra Harkness, you can grasp the whole subject in an hour, complete with bad puns, audience participation and an electric shock machine.
Deep in a forest, a hunter comes across a skull, he steps on the skull and the skull speaks saying, “My mouth brought me here”. Based on an African proverb, the play features a power-hungry ruler, a few foolish guards and a courageous hunter. In a world where telling the truth has become a game, no one knows the rules. The production is brought to life with live music and enchanting story telling. Directed by Peter Scott and written by Eric Ngalle Charles. Following the show, Ngalle will talk to Owen Sheers.
In association with PEN Cymru Wales
Science sometimes looks like a rather forbidding activity, carried out behind closed doors by mysterious, white-coated individuals, speaking their own incomprehensible language. But at the most basic level, the quest to understand the world around us is a fundamentally human activity. Science belongs, and has belonged, to all of us – and we all have a responsibility for it. That is what the history of science shows – and that’s why it matters very much indeed. Morus is the author of The Oxford Illustrated History of Science.
We are delighted to launch the next instalment in the ‘three great tales’, which began with The Children Of Hurin, painstakingly pieced together by the author’s son, Christopher. Tolkien began work on the story in early 1917 when he returned from the Somme. Set in Middle Earth, at the heart of the tale is a love story between a mortal man and an immortal elf, seen as the precursor to the Aragorn/Galadriel story in the Lord of the Rings. The illustrator Alan Lee has created some iconic Middle-Earth imagery, and worked on the Peter Jackson films, for which he won an Oscar.
Herefordshire in 1913 was an old-fashioned shire under the benevolent rule of the Church and the gentry. Its bishop was opposed to war and his successor was opposed to women’s suffrage. Many of its farmers refused to plough on a Sunday: many more regarded women as being incapable of farm work. By 1919 the shire was in mourning for more than 4,000 men, had employed 4,000-plus women in munitions factories and another 2,500 on farms. It had deprived more children of a proper education than any other English county.
Amid the number counting and hysteria about the refugee crisis, the voices of those who have fled conflict and persecution can be lost. Join us for readings from women across the world who have sought protection in the UK and learnt English with the British Red Cross in South Wales, where they have been writing about their experiences from the point of departure to their arrival in Britain.
Penguin and his friends from Blown Away are back in a new adventure, and this time they’re pirates. While sailing the seven seas in search of treasure, Captain Blue and his friends are unexpectedly sunk. But with a shipwreck to explore and a mysterious stranger on a desert island to meet, they might still find some treasure after all. Join Rob Biddulph for story-telling and drawing.
Come and experience this uplifting and immersive show about a refugee child and the extraordinary power of kindness. The show is produced especially for Hay Festival by Hereford College of Arts and Open Sky Theatre Company, working with writer Nicola Davies to adapt for stage her poem, The Day War Came.
Are you a budding chef or curious in the kitchen? Learn how to cook interesting food from all over the world with the Kitchen Academy using recipes from a different culture every day. You don’t need to bring anything other than your tastebuds and your appetite...you are cooking lunch!
Jemma Westing is an award-winning book designer and paper engineer. Her new book, Out of the Box, is packed full of amazing things to make from recycled cardboard. Join her to make and decorate your own cardboard-tube owl.
Who was Thomas More, the author of Utopia? The distinguished historian of Tudor England parses the propaganda and More’s writings to read behind the myth. He examines the ways in which More’s legacy has been contested or resisted. And he suggests which aspects of his thought are likely to continue to influence the world in the future.
Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923-2014) wrote brilliant novels about what love can do to people, but in her own life the lasting relationship she sought so ardently always eluded her. The biographer examines the life of the author of The Cazalet Chronicle, her marriages to the naturalist Peter Scott and the novelist Kingsley Amis, as well as her turbulent relationships with Cecil Day-Lewis, Arthur Koestler and Laurie Lee. Cooper’s biography depicts a woman trying to make sense of her life through her writing, as well as illuminating the literary world in which she lived.