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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
Before the End – Telling Your Story in Time
Event 14 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
Two authors discuss how bereavement encouraged them to tell their own life stories against all the odds, in a society where men still often suffer silently. Historian and Professor Hywel Francis chairs Byw Nawr/Live Now, the end-of-life-care coalition in Wales. He talks to ex-miner George Brinley Evans and broadcaster Phil Steele. Taubert is a palliative and end-of-life-care consultant at Velindre Cancer Centre. They offer a clinical perspective on male depression and grief.
Made In Spain
Event 17 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
The lawyer and Inspiring Girls champion introduces her delicious “recipes and stories from my country and beyond” in a glorious celebration of Spanish culture and cooking.
Politics: Between the Extremes
Event 20 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The former Deputy Prime Minister lifts the lid on the workings and failings of the 2010--2015 coalition government, analyses the 2017 European electoral cycle, and assesses the opportunities for the liberal centre ground of politics.
Protestants: The Faith that Made the Modern World
Event 21 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
500 years ago, Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Pope with a radical new vision of what Christianity could be. The revolution he set in motion has toppled governments, upended social norms, and transformed millions of people’s understanding of their relationship with God. In his dazzling global history charting five centuries of innovation and change, Ryrie makes the case that the world we live in was indelibly shaped by Protestants.
Another Man’s Shoes
Event 24 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
Ellie’s father Sven and uncle Jacob, both leading scientists, led the XU Norwegian Resistance movement against the Nazi occupation in WW2. She tells a mesmerising story of espionage and heroism illustrated with artefacts and documents as she traces the survival of the XU all the way through the Cold War until 1988.
Triumph and Turbulence
Event 28 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’ genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.
A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess
Event 58 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The best-selling author describes the age-old cycle of a farming year and the constant challenges of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, nine children and 1,000 sheep. Chaired by Oliver Balch, author of Under the Tump.
A Life in Questions
Event 65 • • Venue: Tata Tent
“Why is this lying bastard lying to me?” was at the front of his mind as the grand inquisitor conducted every interview on Newsnight. He has been known to be less hard on the students of University Challenge. He is lightly grilled with a touch of spice by the satirist and Now Show star.
Event 68 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
You start with a vision, and you deliver a compromise. You want a play to be challenging, ambitious, nuanced and complicated. You also want it to sell tickets. You want to make art, and you know you’re in show-business. The inside story of 12 years at the helm of The National Theatre is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and, of course, William Shakespeare.
Things That Matter
Event 72 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight: A young man’s voice from the silence of autism
Event 73 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
The novelist launches his translation of the new book by Naoki Higashida. It’s part memoir, part critique of a world that sees disabilities ahead of disabled people, it opens a window into the mind and world of an autistic, non-verbal young adult, providing remarkable insights into autism in general. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Event 77 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The highs and lows of life in and out of politics – from the despatch box to Strictly stage with one of Britain’s most influential and charming political figures. He’s funny, and acute about the madhouse of Parliament. Ed Balls is not currently an MP.
Who I Am
Event 80 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The actor reminisces in an intimate self-portrait, with stories and photographs from her long career – from classic movies Georgy Girl and The Night Porter to Broadchurch and The Sense of an Ending.
The Disappearance of Emile Zola
Event 83 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Emile Zola is on the run. His crime? Intervening in the Dreyfus case and taking on the highest powers in France with his open letter J’accuse. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile. Rosen offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer.
Tom’s Daily Plan
Event 84 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
The Olympian diving star shares what he’s learned about how to stay fit, healthy and positive. His secrets include delicious food, workouts anyone can do (he promises!) and invaluable motivational and lifestyle tips. He talks to the award-winning sports writer Carolyn Hitt.
Where the Line is Drawn: Crossing Boundaries in Occupied Palestine
Event 90 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
Brave, intelligent and deeply controversial, the award-winning author of A Rift in Time, Occupation Diaries, Language of War ~ Language of Peace and Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape explores the devastating effect of Occupation on even the most intimate aspects of life. Looking back over decades of political turmoil, Shehadeh traces the impact on the fragile bonds of friendship across the Israel-Palestine border, and asks whether those considered bitter enemies can come together to forge a common future.
Jane Austen at Home
Event 92 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Honouring the bicentenary of the novelist’s death, Worsley tells the story of Austen’s life and shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle.
The War on Women
Event 97 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
In a tribute to the late frontline journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts and her posthumously-published book, a panel of three exceptional and indefatigable heroes talk to Joan Bakewell about The War on Women. Lamb is the Foreign Correspondent of The Sunday Times and the author of Farewell Kabul and The Girl from Aleppo. Kennedy is a world-renowned Human Rights lawyer. Jolley is editor of Index on Censorship.
With thanks to Nick Guthrie
Jane Austen 200
Event 118 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The author of What Matters in Jane Austen celebrates the bi-centenary of the great novelist and talks about what defines her genius with the novelist, Colm Toíbín and Sarah Churchwell.
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.
Event 149 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
The founder of the Mexican street food cantina Wahaca introduces her most-loved recipes; recipes that she has fed her friends and family at her always busy kitchen table, recipes made up of family classics or food inspired by her travels and her favourite food-writers and chefs.
Event 175 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
Keggie Carew grew up under the spell of an unorthodox, enigmatic father. An undercover guerrilla agent during the Second World War, in peacetime he lived on his wits and dazzling charm. But these were not always enough to sustain a family. As his memory began to fail, Keggie embarked on a quest to unravel his story once and for all. Dadland won the Costa biography award. It is funny and tender and utterly captivating.
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..
Elizabeth Jane Howard: A Dangerous Innocence
Event 265 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
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.
This Long Pursuit
Event 283 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
“If our world is to be saved, we must understand it both scientifically and imaginatively,” writes the great biographer Richard Holmes in his new book – a kaleidoscope of stories and meditations in which he revisits 200 working notebooks and celebrates his beloved art of biography, calling it the vital “handshake across time, cultures, beliefs, disciplines and genders”. Holmes is the biographer of Coleridge and Shelley, and the author of Sidetracks, Footsteps and The Age of Wonder. He talks to Claire Armitstead.