Hay Festival 2018 is now over – thanks for joining us.
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Susan Roberts, Editor of BBC Drama North talks to Simon Russell Beale about his portrayal of Satan, the most complex emotional character, in her recent production for Radio 4 of Milton’s masterpiece, Paradise Lost. They discuss the challenges of turning Milton’s epic poem into a two-and-a-half hour dramatisation, written by poet Michael Symmons Roberts.
The poetry curator's latest anthology is a journey through a calendar year, highlighting key moments and dates with a poem for every day, by writers including Wordsworth, Lewis Carroll, Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson. Join Allie and a host of actors including Tobias Menzies (The History Boys, Game of Thrones, starring as Prince Philip in The Crown season three and four), Ophelia Lovibond, Tony Robinson, Toby Jones and Gina Bellman (star of Coupling, currently streaming to a new generation of fans on Netflix, and Ophelia in Peter Hall’s Hamlet opposite Stephen Dillane) in a highly entertaining hour as they perform their favourite poems from the book, a humorous journey through history and human experience.
Work with a Fine Artist and HCA tutor in this life drawing session. You will have a variety of short and long poses and work with a range of materials to explore and extend your creative potential. All materials and equipment provided and all abilities welcome
Join Benedict Cumberbatch and friends as the hugely popular, all-star show returns to Hay for the fifth consecutive year.
Letters Live has rapidly established itself as a wonderfully dynamic and exciting new format for presenting memorable letters to a live audience, and each event celebrates in an unforgettable way the joy, pain, wisdom and humour that so often hallmarks this most intimate of literary forms. Letters Live is inspired by Shaun Usher’s bestselling Letters of Note anthologies and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter.
This event will have a completely different selection of letters to Saturday’s Letters Live show.
Now in his ninth decade, former Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway has spent a lifetime at the bedsides of the dying, guiding countless men and women towards peaceful deaths. In Waiting for the Last Bus, he presents a positive, meditative and profound exploration of the many important lessons we can learn from death: facing up to the limitations of our bodies as they falter, reflecting on our failings, and forgiving ourselves and others. Holloway’s previous books include Leaving Alexandria and Looking in the Distance.
In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were.
The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine's cultural and political leadership - and then by a denial that it had ever happened at all. Some western journalists shamelessly swallowed the Soviet line; others bravely rejected it, and were undermined and harassed. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country's true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. At a moment of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it also shows how far the present is shaped by the past. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
From Waterloo to Whitby, St Pancras to Stirling, these are the marvellous, often under-sung places that link our nation. Blending his usual insight and authority, Jenkins examines the geography, architecture and symbolism of these glories of our national heritage.
Joining the parenting club in our thirties and beyond means that we are spinning an extraordinary amount of plates, often including a career at its peak. Most of us co-parent or fly solo in the true sense of the word, relying solely on our partners and/or friends when, more often than not, extended family are too far away to help on a regular basis. Our parents could look to their parents for the usual guidance and extra support, but our situation is new, modern and unique. We are winging it! The One Show star shares what happens when the best thing ever comes later than planned...
Norwegian journalist and author Åsne Seierstad is renowned for her accounts of day-to-day life from war zones and has written six non-fiction books. The Bookseller of Kabul (2002), based on her time living with an Afghan family following the fall of the Taliban, was an instant best-seller and has since been translated into 29 languages. Her new book Two Sisters: Into the Syrian Jihad follows two teenage girls as they travel from their home in Oslo to Syria, and the shocking consequences of their decision.
Two of the most creative innovators in Britain discuss the impacts and opportunities of new technologies. Mulgan, CEO of NESTA, is the author of Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence can Change our World, which posits that this “bigger mind” – human and machine capabilities working together – has the potential to solve the great challenges of our time. Seldon is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and the author of The Fourth Education Revolution: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Face of Learning.
Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. At its core it argues that racism is inexorably embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome except by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. Yet this Black radical tradition has been diluted and moderated over time; wilfully misrepresented and caricatured by others; divested of its legacy, potency, inclusivity and force for global change. Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Sociology at Birmingham City University, explores the true roots of this tradition and connects the dots to today’s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.
Chaired by Bidisha.
These workshops will explore textiles in fresh and unexpected ways by linking contemporary practices and technology with age-old techniques. By focusing on storytelling, heritage and a respect for craft that is also sustainable, participants will experiment with natural dyes, create three-dimensional lines and threads and practise slow stitch techniques. Materials are supplied and will be sourced from outlets promoting re-use and recycling, to reduce materials going into the waste stream.
A conversation about the greatest play in the English language, with the series editors of the new Arden Shakespeare editions, Michael Dobson and Abigail Rokison-Woodall of the Shakespeare Institute and the actor Simon Russell Beale, “the greatest stage actor of his generation” – the Independent.
A conversation about the most notorious spies of the Soviet era – until today, the most high-profile example of Moscow Station intervention in the UK. Phillips is the author of a new biography, A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean. Christened ‘Orphan’ by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was the perfect spy and Britain’s most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean vanished. Macintyre wrote A Spy Among Friends, a book about Kim Philby, probably the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. His other spy books include Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and Double Cross.
The poet and the film-maker collaborated on the BAFTA Cymru award-winning Aberfan: The Green Hollow, an hour-long film poem about the 1966 tragedy, and are now working on To Provide for All People – a new film celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. They discuss the stories and people who feature in the new film, and the freedoms and forms of working with poetry. They preview clips of the NHS film that will be broadcast later in the summer.
Rainforests are the lungs of our planet – regulators of the Earth's temperature and weather. They are also home to 50 per cent of the world's animals and plants – which for centuries have been the source of many of our key medicines. And yet we’ve all heard of their systematic destruction; the razing of trees to make way for cattle or plantations of oil palms, the disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples, and the corruption that leads to illegal logging and pollution. But the great environmentalist tells the other, inspirational story we’ve almost never heard: what is being done, and can be done in future, to protect the forests and the 1.6 billion people who depend upon them.
From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy, individual rights and the popular will, are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk, Harvard lecturer on government, describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time to waste.
For almost two centuries, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have constantly featured on lists of English literature’s most epic and affecting romances. This event brings together broadcaster Bidisha and novelist Michael Stewart to explore the real-life inspiration for the fascinating figures of Heathcliff and Rochester, examining whether they really are romantic heroes or whether the relationships in the novels show something much darker, and why, despite their flaws, they still appeal to readers today. Chaired by Remona Aly.
The former Chancellor and Prime Minister brings an extraordinary amount of experience to bear in considering the political moment, in a wide-ranging conversation about politics and hope. His memoir My Life, Our Times was published last year.