The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.
Freewheeling stand-up Mark Watson presents an ill-ordered but exciting jumble of new material in one of the first ever performances of what will become his 2018 national tour show. The quotes below, then, while attesting to the abilities of Mr Watson as a comedian, should not be taken to vouch for this specific evening. Which is a pity because they’re really favourable: ‘Mark Watson is a prodigy’ – the Guardian; ‘A kind of unstoppable funny superhero’ – The Times.
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.
Wake up and re-energise with our morning yoga class. Iyengar yoga is characterized by precision, alignment and attention to detail and is an inclusive and accessible yoga practice. Mats are provided, wear comfortable clothing.
The NHS collects people’s confidential data to provide their care but how else is it used? Should people be able to opt out of uses of their health data for purposes such as medical research, improving public services or commercial uses? Dame Fiona Caldicott is the National Data Guardian for Health and Care in England; Sir Nick Partridge is the former CEO of the Terence Higgins Trust and Dr Tony Calland is a former GP in Wales. Chaired by Professor Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London.
Godfrey champions a radical vision, not only for the delivery through state and independent sector schooling, but for the very purpose of education in the UK.
Godfrey is one of the most highly regarded educationalists in Britain. He chairs England’s representative body for all sixth form colleges, the Council of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, and for 18 years has been Principal of Hereford Sixth Form College – the TES college of the year. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Jones mixes cultural investigation, art appreciation and dental history in an ingenious and wonderfully entertaining account of how we only learned to really smile in Revolutionary France. Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London. He talks to Rothschild, winner of the Wodehouse Prize and chair of the National Gallery.
A dazzling vision of the future. Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ‘ems’: scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer and you have a robot brain but recognisably human. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science and economics, Hanson uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. Chaired by Daniel Davis.
Hawes takes a long view to ask: did the Germans destroy the culture of Rome or inherit it? Did Bismarck unify Germany or conquer it? Where are the roots of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich? Why did it lose? By what miracle did a better Germany arise from the rubble? Is Germany now the last Western bastion of industrial prosperity and rational politics? Or are the EU and the Euro merely window-dressing for a new German hegemony?
The illustrator of the best-selling Horrible Histories loved drawing when he was little and he loved animals, particularly lesser known ones, so it was only a question of time before he ended up drawing them. Join him as he introduces and draws some of his favourites.
In our divided world, children need empathetic skills more than ever. The author explores empathy themes in an inspiring, interactive Empathy Lab workshop based on her new book. She will lead children through activities designed to help them discover and understand other people’s feelings and perspectives.
Come along to our immersive lantern-lit tented Storytelling Nook to listen to tales from around the world with Veronica Lamond and Auntie Kiko, and experience how solar light is making a difference to millions of families in Africa.
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 taste buds and your appetite...you are cooking lunch!
Stickley uses a variety of techniques to create her illustrations, from collage and mono-printing through to traditional line drawing with pen and ink. Making pictures with Lisa is a fun workshop inspired by her new book, My New Room. Come and learn about collage, printing techniques and mark-making with her.
Autism and scientific talent are linked. Scientists have more autistic traits, mathematicians have higher rates of autism and people with autism score higher on ‘systemising’. So is autism a ‘disease’ or ‘disorder’ or is the framework of ‘neurodiversity’ a more humane and accurate lens through which to view autism?
The Wellcome Book Prize lecture aims to celebrate the place of medicine, science and the stories of illness in literature and culture, and how these stories add to our understanding of what it means to be human. Baron-Cohen is a judge of the 2017 prize and Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge.
The third volume of Alan Johnson's bestselling and award-winning memoirs takes us to the corridors of Westminster and lifts the lid on the life of a hard-working constituency MP in the first Blair administration.
This small country, tucked in the northwestern corner of the Horn of Africa, is a template for what is achievable on the continent. And it’s an antidote to the constant cycle of pessimism about Africa that dominates the Western thought on the current state of the continent. How did the country move from famine, poverty and war to a thriving and prosperous multi-party democracy? Harper is Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and author of Getting Somalia Wrong; Mire is a Swedish-Somali archaeologist.
Factories that forage, X-ray glasses that can see energy, why price is not value and lots of stupid stuff as well. The Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability explores how the industrial system is (slowly) changing and why free energy is ignored. He explains how to be an environmental optimist and to love factories. Chaired by Jane Davidson.
Kalfar’s The Spaceman of Bohemia is an extraordinary vision of the endless human capacity to persist and risk everything in the name of love and home. Nors’ Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is a witty, gut wrenching, lyrical tale of one woman’s journey in search of herself when there’s no-one to ask for directions. The Danish novelist is longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. They talk to Rosie Goldsmith.
The Demon Headmaster is back. Would you settle for success at any price? Even if it meant doing something you hated? That’s what happens at Hazelbrook Academy. Lizzie and her friends find themselves succeeding, beyond someone else’s wildest dreams. Hear all about the Demon Headmaster’s latest evil scheme and then accept Gillian’s challenge and help her invent a new super-villain, especially created for Hay.
Let two dream fairy godmothers take you into a modern fairytale world where the Big Bad Wolf runs the optician’s and Red Riding Hood has a skateboard shop. Abie will read the latest Fairytale Hairdresser story and Lauren will live-draw some of your favourite characters, complete with fabulous hairstyles.