Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
The uproariously funny comedian is best known as the host of BBC3's Live at The Electric, regular appearances on BBC1’s Live at the Apollo, BBC3’s Unzipped, ITV2’s Celebrity Juice and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Now!
The cult stars have totally re-invented the brass band sound for the modern age. A truly brilliant live act, they have played the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the BRITs, MOBO and Mercury Awards. The group has great playing chops and a fun-loving stage presence that makes every one of their shows both visually and musically compelling.
Hardy is in his fourth decade as a stand-up this year. That’s a more dramatic way of saying he started 33 years ago and, without a lottery win, probably has at least another 33 years to go. The tenth series of Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation was broadcast on Radio 4. He is also well known for his appearances on The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. “In an ideal world, Jeremy Hardy would be extremely famous, but an ideal world would leave him without most of his best material” - Guardian.
Innovative British singer-songwriter, two-time Mercury Prize nominee and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula grew up in Birmingham. She first sang in church and later with all female acapella group Black Voices. By 2008 she had formed and was composing for her own jazz/neo-soul outfit Judyshouse. Her debut album Sing to the Moon was released in 2013 and garnered multiple award nominations and critical acclaim. Discussing her follow-up, 2016 album The Dreaming Room the Guardian described how Mvula “pulls the listener along with her through the most serpentine songs: however, winding their routes, the melodies are almost always beautiful.” Her live gigs are joyful, soulful, and unforgettable.
Following her critically acclaimed 2016, 103-date sell-out international tour, ‘The Kardashians Made Me Do It', Shazia Mirza brings you her brand new stand-up show.
"After starving to death on a desert Island, I've changed my mind about a few things. I knew nothing about men before, I know an awful lot now. Men versus women, survival, and is anyone really an atheist in the middle of a tsunami? Oh, and the answers to everything are in The Periodic Table. A show about lies and truth- or is that the same thing? Nudity and the Periodic Table", these things hold the key to the future. How much do you wear? What do you look like, and will they let you in? Whatever happens, don't you dare wear more than dental floss on a French beach.
Our Hay Poetry Slam is hosted by 2017 SLAMbassador Emmeline Armitage and will feature three of the most celebrated performers of the international spoken word circuit – Antonio Anaxagorou, Zena Edwards and Sabrina Mahfouz, the Young People’s Laureate and Creative Wales award-winning Sophie McKeand, and Rufus Mufasa.
This thrilling seven-piece band fuse hip hop and classical music with a mix of classical strings, operatic vocals, heavy beats and energetic rap. The band’s energy is infectious: audiences dance, jump and join in with moves and lyrical hooks. They come to Hay after a festival tour that included Glasto, Womad and Camp Bestival.
Following two critically acclaimed West End runs, the comedian brings his Olivier-nominated one-man show to Hay. This is a show about memory, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, golf and gay cats. A massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David Baddiel’s late sex-mad mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin. Come and be offended on David’s behalf!
A reading of Norman Florence’s award-winning play about the poet Wilfred Owen MC, who was killed in action on 4 November 1918. The full production toured the world between 1983 and 1995.
This sublime, critically acclaimed collaboration between two adventurous virtuoso musicians – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita – delivers a stunning exhibition of world-class musicianship. Their second album SOAR takes flight on the wings of the osprey, the magnificent bird of prey recently returned to Wales after centuries of absence, which makes its annual 3,000-mile migration from the coasts of West Africa to the estuaries of Wales, soaring like music and dreams over man-made borders, in an innate and epic journey of endurance. Entrancing, mesmeric, intricate and ethereal, this is remarkable music and a thrilling live experience.
The first of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week.
Felix Mendelssohn’s Auf Flugeln des Gesanges Op.34 No.2; Fanny Hensel Warum sind den die Rosen so blass, Op.1 No.3; Felix MendelssohnLieder ohne Worte Op.30 No.3; Fanny Hensel Die Mainacht Op.9 No.6, Lieder ohne Worte Op.8 No.3; Felix Mendelssohn Suleika 1 Op.57 No.3; Robert Schumann Lied der Suleika Op.25 No.9; Clara Schumann Liebst du um Schőnheit Op.12 No.2; Robert Schumann Widmung Op.25 No.1; Johanna Müller-Hermann Lieder Op.2; Richard Strauss Schlagende Herzen Op.29 No.2, Das Rosenband Op.36 No.1, Ständchen Op.17 No.2, Morgen Op.27 No.4
A performance of the new one-man play by the Cameroon-born playwright and actor, now a Creative Wales Fellow, is followed by a conversation with Owen Sheers about the work and Charles’ extraordinary life. The Last Ritual is based on the author’s last days in the village of Small Soppo in Buea, Cameroon. It looks at love and ultimate betrayal, exploring the theme of witchcraft and the practice of it.
Tried and True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul
Sometimes only a poem will do. The founder of National Poetry Day and The Forward Prize offers poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice to give comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realisation – I'm not the only one who feels like this. Whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is something here to ease your pain. With readings of the poems by actors and commentary by Sieghart.
The supergroup of great West African women musicians raise the Bank Holiday Monday roof with a spectacular and glorious concert. Their exuberant harmonies and sublime rhythms make for a perfect celebration.
Mamani Keita (vocal), Rokia Kone (vocal), Awa Sangho (vocal), Joseph Palmer (drums), Mariam Kone (backing vocal), Mamadou Diakite (guitar) and Llorens Barcelo (Keys).
Their first album Republique Amazone is out now on the Real World label.
Viral sensation Rachel Parris, star of BBC’s The Mash Report, presents a comedy show packed with stand-up, song, sketch and, inevitably, a sideways swipe at society. “Tears of laughter... endearingly frank and funny.” – The Guardian.
How does the culture of our past shape and speak to the present? And how might a richer understanding of where we have come from help us discover where we're heading now? The novelist and playwright Barney Norris and the pianist, composer and broadcaster David Owen Norris explore these questions in The Wellspring, a new book of interviews on music and cultural inheritance. Uniquely placed, as father and son artists, to engage with the question of how things are passed on, they meet at Hay to explore the way a life is formed by what has come before, and the way we form that past as we go through our lives.
The second of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Felix Mendelssohn’s Lieder Ohne Worte; Maria Szymanowska’s Nocturne in B flat major; Fanny Hensel Nocturne in G major; Clara Schumann Nocturne in F major, Op.6 No.2; Robert Schumann Waldszenen, Op.82.
Four of the best improvisers in the country come together to play with ideas coming from the audience. Tonight will be a brilliant, one-off, never-to-be-repeated, dazzling, hilarious, silly, exciting, dangerous, innovative show featuring real fire (candles). And there will be cake. Actual cake.