WELCOME TO HAY
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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
Morgan & West’s Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show For Kids (And Childish Grown-ups!)
Event 6 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
Time travelling magicians Morgan & West present a jaw dropping, heart-stopping, brain-busting, opinion-adjusting, death-defying, mind-frying, spirit-lifting, paradigm-shifting, outlook-changing, furniture-rearranging magic extravaganza! Witness a mountain of mysterious magic, a hatful of hyper-reality, and of course a truck full of tricks and tea. Mixing brain boggling illusion and good old-fashioned tom-foolery, Morgan & West present a show for all the family, where magic and silliness abound! Fun for ages five to 105! ‘Hilarious” - Primary Times.
Magic Show: Parlour Tricks!
Event 10 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
Time travelling magic duo Morgan & West present an evening chock full of jaw-dropping, brain-bursting, gasp-eliciting feats of magic. The dashing chaps offer up a plateful of illusion and impossibility, all served with wit, charm and no small amount of panache. Be sure to wear a hat – Morgan & West might just blow your mind. ‘Dazzlingly clever and very funny! Superb!’
Event 11 • • Venue: Tata Tent
Force majeure: “superior force”, “chance occurrence, unavoidable accident”. The sublimely gifted comedian returns to Hay after 20 years, with his global tour show. “King of the universe. Comic Genius. Entertainment incarnate” – Telegraph.
Bridget Jones’s Baby
Event 27 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The world’s favourite singleton is back with a bump. Fielding discusses the (gloriously different) book and film versions of her comic masterpiece.
Event 53 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
Worried about your job? Worried about your family? Worried about yourself? Worried about the NHS? Education? Climate change? World War III? Worried about worrying? Sod it! Come and have a laugh about it. It’s one of the things we do best. As seen on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Q.I. etc – and repeated on Dave.
Event 88 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The actor and comedian introduces his debut novel Holding in which the loves and secrets and losses of an Irish community are exposed when human remains are found on a farm. Norton’s best-selling memoirs include The Life and Loves of a He-Devil and So Me.
Event 103 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The brand new stand-up show from the comedian and co-writer of Power Monkeys, Outnumbered, What We Did On Our Holiday and Old Harry’s Game. If you’re feeling flustered because of flux, Andy will teach you how to cope with the changes we have seen and the changes yet to come.
In his 60 years on this planet, comedy writer and performer Andy Hamilton has experienced many changes. For instance, he was once a 6ft 4in professional basketball player, until a tree fell on him. But, of course, change is an inescapable part of the human condition. Why? Is that fair? Some changes are good, some bad. Why can’t they be more clearly labelled? How did we end up working longer hours? Where did all the sparrows go? Contains mild peril.
The Star Witness
Event 114 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The comedy-writer’s first novel is the hilarious story of one self-regarding man’s descent into disgrace and his journey back to join the human race. It’s a pin-sharp satire on the shallows of modern media culture and the dysfunctional relationship we all have with the idea of ‘celebrity’.
Fictions: Funny Business
Event 133 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The writers introduce their two delightful comic novels: Rosoff’s Jonathan Unleashed is a blisteringly funny, touching story of a man whose love life is going to the dogs. Khorsandi’s Nina is Not OK is a darkly funny coming-of-age novel.
No Cunning Plan
Event 145 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The actor and hugely successful children’s writer yarns his working life from child stardom in the first production of Oliver! and the joy of Baldrick, to the documenting of Time Team archaeology and The Worst Jobs in History. Robinson was knighted in 2013 for public and political service. Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
Oh My Country!
Event 157 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The new show from the star of Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Have I Got News for You and Q.I. From Morris Dancing to Morrissey, Shappi is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of her arrival in Britain. She’s reclaiming patriotism and sending a love letter to her adopted land. The daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran, Shappi’s upbringing has been in no way conventional. From mental illness to opium dens, it’s all gone on in the Khorsandi household and now she recounts it all the only way she knows how, with wit, warmth and hilarity.
Sponsored by GL Events UK
I’m An Expert, Get Me Out of Here
Event 198 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Join enthusiastic host Ed Gillespie and two teams of the great and the good for this riotous and irreverent game show. Expect a heady mix of topicality, tomfoolery and randomness. No (live) insects will be hurt during the proceedings. We can’t guarantee the same for our heroic participants’ feelings, pride or reputation.
Parsnips, Buttered: bamboozle and boycott modern life, one email at a time
Event 199 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
This is the comedian’s first book. His first book that he’s written. He’s read loads of books. “Using letters, emails, tweets and telegrams I will show you how the things in your life that make you sad, low or anxious can soon appear trivial, insignificant and like a fish. In short, I will butter your parsnips.” So..
I Can Spin A Rainbow
Event 203 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
An intimate concert-performance unveils the first full-length collaboration between Palmer and Ka-Spel, founding member of visionary Anglo-Dutch psychedelicists The Legendary Pink Dots. Both artists’ stories, song fragments, poems, and lyrics became wholly meshed with loops, melancholy piano playing, melodic beds, and strange rhythms. The results range from the enchantingly minimal The Clock at the Back of the Cage to the luxurious theatricality of the album-opening Pulp Fiction.
Machynlleth Comedy Festival @ Hay
Event 205 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
A gala night with some of the best-loved performers from the annual comedy festival. Lycett was the Best Show winner at the 2016 Chortle Awards; Kumar is “utterly brilliant” – Time Out; Tiernan has “an inspired comic mind” – The Scotsman; and MC Kiri Pritchard-McLean is one of the most quick-witted and engaging hosts in the business.
Quarrybank Women’s Work
Event 207 • • Venue: Cube
The comedian and poet performs work produced during her residency at Quarry Bank, one of the Industrial Revolution’s best-preserved textile mills. Fox has had unique access to journals of women who worked in the mill, which has informed her lifelong commitment to the issues of gender history and ‘Northern-ness’.
The Early Edition: The News Review Revue
Event 213 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
What’s hot? What’s not? How do you decode the qualities’ agendas and how far can you trust the red tops? Why did this make the news and that make chip-wrapping? The comedians spend an hour in the human zoo, tearing up stories, making mad the guilty and appalling the free…
The Return of the Kings and Queen…
Event 254 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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
Comedy Big Data
Event 258 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
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.
Play: My Mouth Brought Me Here
Event 259 • • Venue: Cube
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
Comedy: Some People vs Reginald D Hunter
Event 301 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The American comic’s searingly honest material has garnered him a popular fan base that spans the generations. ‘Hunter joins the top rank of stand-up comedians working today. A comedian going for broke, flying in the face of received opinion in a way that is simply exhilarating… this is comedy of a rare scope’ – The Times. He is very, very funny.
The Early Edition: The News Review Revue 2
Event 308 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The comedians read the papers for laughs. A little breakfast-time mockery may be in order as they hunt for the news that makes the biggest splash and the least sense. Not for the easily offended or the politically confident. #factcheck #funcheck
The Ken Dodd Happiness Show
Event 344 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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.
Stand-Up: This Is Not A Show Yet!
Event 352 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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.