The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in Hay.
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In the second volume of his acclaimed new history of the Second World War, Holland examines the momentous turning points of 1941–1943: Hitler’s invasion of Russia; America’s entry into the conflict; the devastating Thousand Bomber Raids over Germany; the long struggle in the deserts of North Africa and the defeat of the U-boats in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic.
Julian of Norwich was the subject of medievalist and TV historian Janina Ramirez’s latest BBC Four documentary: In Search of the Lost Manuscript, Julian of Norwich. Drawing on the material in her latest book, Ramirez takes us further into the history of the Mother of English Literature, discussing what we know about Julian and why she deserves to be seen as a writer on an equal footing with Chaucer or Thomas More. Chaired by Peter Florence.
As his 50th birthday dawned, Peter Dunne set out to leave a trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs for his three children, so that if they ever needed to know what their father might have had to say they would have him to hand: from compromise to compassion, and democracy to sacrifice, Dunne explores the social mores and morality of our time and tries to answer the eternal questions that line the path to peace of mind. He talks to Sarah Crown.
It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.
In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn. As our lives and our land have been fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. He talks to Oliver Balch author of Under the Tump.
The result of the 2016 EU referendum revealed striking divisions between generations, with a majority of 18-24-year-olds voting to remain, and a majority of over-65s voting to leave. How can we connect the generations? The panellists are all research associates at the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research Data and Methods in Cardiff.
Award-winning film maker Jill Nicholls makes compelling intimate films about some of our greatest writers. Her films for the BBC’s flagship arts documentary series Imagine… include profiles of Toni Morrison, Diana Athill, Salman Rushdie, Judith Kerr, Doris Lessing and most recently Egyptian author and activist Nawal El Saadawi. Jill talks to Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts, BBC, about how she has persuaded some of our greatest literary talents to open up and share their creative insights as well as how she has confronted the challenge of bring books to life on television.
Presented by Alan Yentob, Imagine is the home for original, thought-provoking, intelligent and highly accessible films on the arts and popular culture; bbc.co.uk/imagine
Welcome to the World Elite Dance Academy. Billie has dreamed of being a dancer for as long as she can remember. Now she has an audition at WEDA, a world-famous contemporary dance school, but will she be able to get over her nerves and win a place at her dream school? Join superstar Kimberly Wyatt as she dances you through her brand-new series and always remember…be you, be fearless, be authentic.
Join the Qubit Zone team for a 90-minute workshop where you will learn about the incredible world of quantum computers. The University of Oxford team will introduce you to mysterious quantum phenomena – including qubits, superposition and entanglement – and then let you loose with your own quantum circuitry to try it out for yourself. With David Reutter and Jamie Vicary
Are you a wicked witch or wizard in a magic castle, or a superhero with a secret plan to save the Universe? Let your imagination run wild to conjure up your own characters and help to create a unique Hay Tale. Led by Readathon storyteller Jen Lunn, this session will tell you about the ancient art of this oral tradition, and you can unleash your own storytelling powers. Lunn works with Readathon storytelling in hospitals and schools and has collected more than 100 stories told by children to create professional performances, podcasts and digital books.
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!
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 you like from all the dishes on offer for just £20 per person. By booking online you will receive a complimentary glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink. You will also be able to reserve a seat in the restaurant where our team will be waiting to give you a warm welcome.
Award-winning Alex Gooch breads and water are free for every customer.
A selection of desserts and local cheeses from Neal's Yard Creamery is also available, plus a full bar and barista coffees.
See a Sample Menu Here
The Countryfile star and visionary farmer explores his bond with his life-long hero: his father, Joe. In the 1940s and ’50s Joe, the son of stage and film star Leslie Henson, chose a completely different path and decided to pursue a career as a farmer. Joe overcame a serious stammer to become a regular broadcaster on Country Matters. He became the saviour of Britain’s rare breeds and opened the world’s first Farm Park.
Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment about its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true and that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Penrose is one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists.
Betts and his co-author Paul Collier suggest how international policymakers can deliver humane, sustainable results that are better for refugees and host countries. Drawing upon years of research in the field and original solutions that have already been successfully trialled, they outline a compelling vision that can empower refugees to help themselves, contribute to their host societies and even rebuild their countries of origin. Betts is Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford, where he is also Director of the Refugee Studies Centre.
As one of the country’s leading architectural historians and interior designers, Edward Bulmer has been involved in the restoration and redecoration of numerous historic buildings including Goodwood and Althorp. With this experience he has created a range of Natural Paints that are also historically authentic and accurate. As an artist, he has developed this range using just 12 natural pigments used by artists for centuries. This delivers incredible depth of colour and a high-quality finish. It also allows buildings to breathe and our own air to be toxin-free. He talks to Giles Kime, Interiors editor of Country Life.
Four Thought is a series of exciting and often provocative talks in which speakers mix new thinking, original ideas and personal stories. Four Thought will record four speakers at Hay Festival.
Four Thought is broadcast on Wednesdays at 8.45PM on BBC Radio 4
How does an artist and academic build a museum in a book? Reading from her books Art in the Time of Colony and The Importance of Being Anachronistic, the Birmingham Professor of Global Art discusses the process of writing the poetic and personal into her histories of art.
Join the author for a discussion of her new book, Margot and Me, a tender cross-generation story of the unexpected truth that a girl uncovers about her grandmother, when she reads the diary of her life during the War.
Ken Dodd is a comedian of legendary status; an icon and national treasure who has been entertaining audiences for a lifetime of happiness and laughter. He returns to the festival for a 30th anniversary celebration show.
Come and be absolutely discumknockerated (that’s Knotty Ash for ‘over the moon’) by a truly tattifelarius (fun-filled) evening of laughter and songs presented by a comedy genius.
Enjoy a fun-filled variety show for all the family, with non-stop gags and a selection of songs in Ken Dodd's unique Happiness Show.
The author of This Orient Isle asks how we understand Shakespeare in a global world when his language seems more remote than ever. Drawing on his recent involvement in international productions of Macbeth and Othello he explains how Shakespearean character and language is created through rehearsal and stage action. He concludes by arguing that schools should stop studying the plays as words on the page but instead rehearse and perform them however they can.
The 2017 INSPIRE/ASLE-UKI Lecture
Often overlooked, taken for granted and sometimes even shooed away from our bird tables, the common starling is, as Rachel Dowse shows in this illustrated talk, a beautiful and inspiring bird with a long cultural and linguistic heritage. From Aristotle and Pliny, to Mozart and the Mabinogion and Peter Coates and Robert Macfarlane, the starling has inspired writers, musicians, and scientists.
Hay regular George Monbiot and the folk singer and songwriter Ewan McLennan join their considerable forces for an evening that plays with songs and the human stories that inspired them. Mining the themes of loneliness and social isolation and the ways people overcome them, the interplay of words and music is poignant and encouraging.
Tom Price and guests from the world of comedy and entertainment review the week’s biggest stories, from around Wales and the world.
Broadcast on Friday 2 June at 6.30PM on BBC Radio Wales
Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing can be used to engineer species with increased food output, resistance to pests, drought and harsh environments. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic life forms into complex ecosystems? Parrington is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford.
Who were these Supreme Court judges who might thwart ‘the will of the people’? What were their backgrounds, their politics? In response, there came a reassuring message: the job of judges is simply to apply the law made by our elected Parliament. But this reassurance is based on an understanding of judging that is at best only half true; it does sometimes matter who our judges are. Rackley is Professor of Law at University of Birmingham.
An evening of live music, spoken word and poetry inspired by trees and woods, culminating in a live performance by the sublime, magically engineered folk-mixer Emmy the Great, with a VJ set of woods/trees with visuals from a host of contemporary visual artists.
The super-articulate, erudite and wickedly amusing reflections of the grand curator and historian, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, as he moves out of the art world and London society. His vivid and intimate diaries are a treasurable record of Britain at the turn of the millennium. He talks to Corisande Albert.
If you love planning menus, styling your home for a party and spending laidback time in your kitchen, then this is the gig for you. Supper club superstars Jackson and Levine keep it simple. Their cookbook has the perfect combination of dinner-party ideas and recipes for every occasion. It is the home cook’s ultimate secret weapon; whether you’re throwing a dinner party for six on a Friday night or are putting on a festive Boxing Day spread for the family. Jacskon & Levine was voted the hottest supper club of the year by the Observer magazine in 2016.
Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men; from men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. Juno tells not only her own story but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender –and what we can do about it. A frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what’s in your head is more important than what’s between your legs. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
Come and join a joyous reeling night with the five-piece Bristol ceilidh band. No previous dancing experience necessary but you have to come with a big smile and be up for a party. Come on your own, come with a partner, come with a bunch of friends – everyone is welcome.