Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
Plop is a baby barn owl. He is the same as every baby barn owl that has ever been – except for one thing…he is afraid of the dark. Riverside Performing Arts, who brought you Elmer, presents Jill Tomlinson's classic tale, illustrated by Paul Howard. Filled with song, puppetry, dance and laughter, this touching story is beautifully adapted for the stage. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark encourages children to be conquerors, is guaranteed to raise a smile, and will calm the biggest fears.
Come to this family and children's nature adventure session run by Rooted Forest School in the Hay Festival Wild Garden. Join in a range of outdoor, Forest School-inspired activities including nature games, natural crafts and making, fire skills, foraging and cooking.
(parents must attend but do not require a ticket)
The mathematician discovers how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the seventh century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative, and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life. But for millennia, contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the 19th century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed it is a number that we can count. They also found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others…
Sue Black confronts death every day. As Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. She reveals the many faces of death she has come to know, using key cases to explore how forensic science has developed, and what her work has taught her. There is tragedy, but there is also humour in stories as gripping as the best crime novel. Our own death will remain a great unknown. But as an expert witness from the final frontier, Sue Black is the wisest, most reassuring, most compelling of guides. Chaired by Hannah MacInnes.
Keshavjee will explore the ideas of internationalism and engagement mapped in Higgins' visionary world affairs books The Seventh Enemy and Plotting Peace: The Owls Reply to the Hawks. The distinguished academic received the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Peace Award for his work in conflict resolution. Patrick Pietroni will pay tribute to Ronald Higgins who died in December. Chaired by Felicity Bryan.
The illustrator is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the winner of the V&A Book Illustration Award. Her work has appeared iVogue, the Guardian and the New York Times. Her books include The Promise by Nicola Davies and The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, which was awarded an honourable mention in the Bologna Ragazzi Award fiction category.
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 came into full force in April 2016. It puts a legal responsibility on the Welsh public sector, including Welsh Government, to consider sustainability in all of its actions. The potential for this to change the private sector, too, is huge, but how much progress has been made? What are the implications of Brexit for the Act and Wales: huge opportunity or damage limitation? Jane Davidson was the original architect of this Act and Sophie Howe is the Commissioner responsible for delivery.
The YA Book Prize singles out the best new fiction every year. Join the authors of Moonrise, Release, and Straight Outta Crongton as they discuss pushing the boundaries of YA fiction. Chaired by Emily Drabble, BookTrust.
Join a table and draw your way round the quick-fire themes that that artist Michael Czerwinski sets for you. Sketchmeet is House of Illustration’s fast-paced live event for all those who love to draw. See your work projected on to the big screen and try out a selection of drawing materials, including the Pro Marker and the Brush Marker, to see which suits your drawing style. Materials provided.
An hour of glorious grammar as the fabulously entertaining language and linguistics guru plays with two-minute lectures. A is for Alphabet – why this order? O may well be Oxford Comma, but it might be Original Pronunciation... (ellipsis). What would you like to hear him explain?
Cunliffe’s classic study of the ancient Celtic world was first published in 1997. Since then huge advances have taken place in our knowledge: new finds, new ways of using DNA records to understand Celtic origins, new ideas about the proto-urban nature of early chieftains' strongholds. Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe, who inspired fear in both the Greeks and the Romans. He investigates the texts of the Classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings.
In 1954, following her death, Frida Kahlo’s possessions were locked away in the Casa Azul in Mexico City, her lifelong home. Half a century later, her collection of clothing, jewellery, cosmetics and other personal items was rediscovered. Wilcox, curator of the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A, offers a fresh perspective on the life story of this extraordinary artist, whose charisma and entirely individual way of dressing made her one of the most photographed women of her time. Specially commissioned photographs show her distinctive Mexican outfits alongside her self-portraits, an unprecedented pairing that is enriched by iconic images taken in her lifetime. Chaired by Tristram Hunt.
Sensationalist media coverage and sci-fi films often give a skewed impression of human-like and social robots, and this has left a major gap between the public perception of what they can do and their actual capabilities. The Senior Lecturer at University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory will give a more balanced view and outline how social robots can contribute to the public good.
This hybrid novel – part research notes, part fictionalised diary, part travelogue – uses the stories of polar exploration to make sense of the protagonist's own concerns as she comes of age as an artist, a daughter, and sister to an autistic brother. Conceptual and emotionally compelling, it advances fearlessly into the frozen emotional lacunae of difficult family relationships. Deserving winner of multiple awards upon its Catalan and Spanish publication, Kopf has been hailed as one of the greatest emerging talents in world literature.
The rise of Donald Trump has contributed to a shift in the ‘emotional regime’, or the ways in which we talk about and are governed by emotions. The Trump era has made anger the dominant political emotion. This anger cannot be viewed in isolation but should be seen as part of the rise of a broader trend of ‘angry populism’, evidenced in the UK’s Brexit and the success of right-wing populist parties across Europe. Wahl-Jorgensen is Director of Research Development and Environment at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture.
Whether we’re 20, 40 or 60, many of us are still looking for an answer to the question, "What do I want to be when I grow up?". The Silicon Valley design innovator and Co-Director of the Stanford Life Design Lab uses his expertise to help you work out what you want – and how to get it. This simple method will teach you how to use basic design tools such as re-framing, prototyping and ideation to build a life that works for you.
The uncompromising and passionate rationalist calls on us to insist that reason take centre stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’t represent the stirred, dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. He investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers. Dawkins has equal ardour for ‘the sacred truth of nature’ and renders with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. When so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy - 'a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation'– and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues – 'explanation, consolation, and uplift' – without its detriments of superstition and prejudice. Chaired by LBC's Matt Stadlen.
The award-winning violinist presents BBC Radio 3's Breakfast, The Proms, and Young Musician of the Year. She introduces a beautiful engagement with classical music for every day of the year, whoever you are and wherever you’re from. In this session she celebrates the great sounds of spring and summer and mixes a Hay seasonal playlist.