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.
Executive Orders and wiretapping, and let’s face it – lying - have called the separation of powers and basic constitutional principles into question in the United States as never before. Trump threatens rights of speech, privacy, religious freedom, voting and equality -- and we’re just getting started. Cole is the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has emerged as a leader in the fight to preserve civil liberties. He explains what’s going on to Philippe Sands.
Unbound presents a brilliant collaboration between the visual artist Rima Staines and the author Sylvia Linsteadt. It is rooted in fantasy and folklore and set in a post-apocalyptic California.
The fiercely demanded encore from the outrageously brilliant comedian. Strap into the mask as the British Comedy award-winner improvises her way through an hour of side-splitting witchery with the help of Monkey and a bag of tricks. No two shows are ever the same.
The Malian/French singer-songwriter superstar touches down in Hay for her only UK gig this Spring. She plays a thrilling blend of hip-hop, disco and soul, flipping around her West African traditions with joyful, irresistible beats. She is one of the most dazzling live performers on the circuit. Come!
The editor of The Amorist magazine chairs a conversation about love and sex in fiction and asks: is erotic passion the hardest form of literary endeavour? Get one line wrong and there’s laughter, or disgust. Gardner writes erotic fiction under the pen name Wray Delaney. Delaney’s first erotic novel, An Almond for a Parrot, is set amidst the brothels of 18thcentury London. Huston is the author of Say My Name, an account of a love affair between a married woman and a much younger man, while Jacobson’s most controversial novel was The Act of Love.
Swing Patrol are a vibrant, energetic bunch who love everything vintage and are passionate about their swing dancing. You may have recently seen them on Dragons’ Den, Call the Midwife or BBC’s Peoples’ Strictly. From high-flying aerials to the basic dance steps and everything in between, Swing Patrol know how to put on a show, raise the energy levels and create a whole lot of fun.
An evening of solo cello and words including the epic sonata by Zoltan Kodaly, written in 1915 as a homage to the virtuosic possibilities of the instrument and to the Hungarian folk music and culture that he so loved. Words, including poetry by Ted Hughes, who also felt deeply connected to the earth in all its rawness.
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.
Cathedrals are custodians of culture and of the rituals of civic life. They offer welfare and relieve suffering. They uplift spirits with their beauty. In a real sense they are still what they were when first built a millennium ago, a glimpse of the sublime. Illustrated lecture.
Responding to today’s international challenges in a rapidly evolving geopolitical environment is placing new strain on the UK’s place in the world. The historian and constitutional expert assesses the challenges the UK faces in the coming years, discussing the impact of withdrawal from the EU and turning into a ‘Global Britain’ may have on the our foreign policy, security and territorial integrity.
Death affects us all. Yet it is still the last taboo in our society and grief is still profoundly misunderstood. Two writers, whose outstanding books offer compassion and solace, discuss ways to live on. Samuel is a grief psychotherapist and author of Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving. Rentzenbrink is the author of The Last Act of Love and now A Manual for Heartache.
Ridley views the Peter Pan stories through the eyes of a neuroscientist and explores J M Barrie's interest in cognition, theory of mind and the nature of consciousness. Barrie's stories are rich in post-Darwinian questions about the origins of human nature and the mental abilities of animals, children and adults. Ridley was Head of the Medical Research Council Comparative Cognition Research Team in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University.
Brexit, then Trump, exposed how out of touch political and corporate leaders are with the deep concerns of voters and consumers. The gap is widening. The challenges for leaders in governments and boardrooms are deepening, fuelled by AI, the threat to jobs and algorithms. Can leaders handle pressures they never expected? A participatory symposium led by Gowing, co-author of the ongoing Thinking the Unthinkable study. Numbers limited.
Writer and comedian Jonathan Meres provides a laugh-out-loud treat as he talks about the twelfth and final instalment in his multi-award-winning series. Although life is undoubtedly still unfair for Norm, Jonathan guarantees that he will cheer up the audience and get everyone singing along to his World of Norm song.
Join the Maisy Mouse creator Lucy Cousins and storyteller Liz Fost for an event of feathered fun as they bring A Busy Day for Birds to life in a storytelling and live illustration event.
Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture? Taking us on a wondrous journey, Rovelli invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, space time is made up of grains and infinity does not exist: a vast universe still largely undiscovered.
‘The man who makes physics sexy. The new Hawking. His writing is luminous.’ – The Times. Chaired by Marcus du Sautoy.
Writing in the immediate aftermath of her decision to stop IVF treatment, Leigh lays bare the truths of her experience: the highs of hope and the depths of disappointment, the grip of yearning and desire, the toll on her relationships and the unexpected graces and moments of black humour. She navigates the science of IVF, copes with the impact of treatment and reconciles the seductive promises of the worldwide multi-billion dollar IVF industry with the reality.
In April 1917, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. His country was at war and his route would take him through enemy territory; the plan was controversial from the start. The destination was the Finland Station and the first steps on the road to Soviet power. Merridale, the great Russia scholar, follows in the leader's tracks, creating a gripping account of events in Russia and Europe at one of the tensest moments of the First World War. Chaired by Peter Hennessy.
A new tale of ageing, lust, helplessness and deception told with the trademark black humour of one of the great British novelists whose films and books include The Buddha of Suburbia, Venus, The Mother and My Beautiful Launderette. Kureishi is one of the wisest and most humane writers with an acute eye for vulnerabilities and quiet desperation.
Martinez brings together a torrent of mind-expanding ideas, facts and arguments to dismantle sacred myths central to our society - myths about free will, free markets, free media and free elections. From the lottery of our birth to the consent-manufacturing influence of concentrated wealth and power, this far-reaching manifesto lifts the veil on the mechanisms of control that pervade our lives.
The hairiest family in Teddington are back for a further adventure and this time they decide to take a well-earned holiday by the seaside with all their relatives in tow. But can they stay hidden on a camping holiday? Join the authors as they introduce their exceptional family’s latest escapade in storytelling and live drawing.