Hay Festival 2019 Programme

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Event HD24

The Booktrust Storytelling Event

Venue: Hay Public Library
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A special storytime session with some of Wales’ finest librarians. Join BookTrust Cymru to share and celebrate some of the titles shortlisted for the new BookTrust Storytime Prize (Best Book for Sharing), as well as some of our favourite bilingual Bookstart books. This is a bilingual session in English and Welsh – suitable for Welsh learners.

Family – 0–4
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The Booktrust Storytelling Event

Event W45

Cookery Workshop 14

Cook School

Venue: Cube
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Cook School is pitching up at Hay Festival to offer hands-on, fun cookery sessions, preparing a couple of Italian classics to take home for dinner along with an easy step-by-step recipe card, written by renowned children’s cookbook author Amanda Grant. Cook School is on a mission to teach as many children and young people to cook as possible. Head to cookschool.club to find out more.

5–18
Parents of children under 9 must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Event W46

Foraged Art Workshop 11

Rooted Forest Schools

Venue: Wild Garden
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Come and join Rooted Forest School (rootedforestschool.co.uk) for an outdoor family session inspired by the Forest School approach. We will be making charcoal on the fire, using natural pigments to create our own paint, making brushes from found materials and creating communal land art. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.

9–11
Parents may attend but don’t require a ticket
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Foraged Art Workshop 11

Event 437

Linda Grant

The 10-minute readings

Venue: Serious Reading Room
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Free, short readings in the Serious Reading Room by some of the stars speaking at Hay.
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Linda Grant

Event 145

Jerry Brotton, Hannah Critchlow, Catherine Fletcher and Germaine Greer

Leonardo 500

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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We celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of the incomparable Renaissance man – artist, scientist, inventor and lover. Brotton and Fletcher are Renaissance historians, Critchlow is a neuroscientist and Greer is a scholar and art historian. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most inspiring figures of European history.

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Event 146

Vernon Bogdanor talks to Matthew d’Ancona

Beyond Brexit: Towards a British Constitution

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Brexit has almost wholly been confined to discussions of economic consequence. But what will happen to the constitution? And what does sovereignty mean? The distinguished professor of government looks at the impact of Brexit and the constitutional consequences of Britain’s EU membership, raising the question of just how the United Kingdom is to be preserved. At the time of going to press…

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Event 147

Gina Rippon

The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. The neuroscientist interrogates what this constant gendering means for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour. And what does it mean for our brains? Chaired by Bronwen Maddox.

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Event 148

Serhii Plokhy

The Baillie Gifford Prize Lecture: Chernobyl, History of a Tragedy

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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On the morning of 26 April 1986 Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine. In the end, less than five per cent of the reactor’s fuel escaped, but that was enough to contaminate over half of Europe with radioactive fallout. Plokhy’s Baillie Gifford Prize-winning account recreates these events in all of their drama, telling the stories of the fire-fighters, scientists, engineers, workers, soldiers and policemen who found themselves caught in a nuclear Armageddon and succeeded in doing the seemingly impossible: extinguishing the nuclear inferno and putting the reactor to sleep. While it is clear that the immediate cause of the accident was a turbine test gone wrong, Plokhy shows how the deeper roots of Chernobyl lay in the nature of the Soviet political system and the flaws of its nuclear industry. Plokhy is Professor of History at Harvard University and a leading authority on Eastern Europe. Chaired by Nik Gowing.

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Event 149

Tonight at Hay

BBC Radio Wales

Venue: BBC Tent
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Guto Harri and guests explore more cutting-edge literature and ideas from this year’s Hay Festival. Poet Jonathan Edwards reads from his latest collection Gen and Amitav Ghosh ponders our inability to grasp the consequences of climate change. Plus human rights barrister Philippe Sands on the threat to writers and thought around the world, plus broadcaster and columnist Grace Dent on the endless pursuit for a magical food experience.

Free but ticketed
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Event HD25

Cerrie Burnell

The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Celebrated children’s author and former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell presents her magical novel The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth. Meet Minnow, a seafaring girl with an incredible underwater ability, who goes on a journey from Brighton to Iceland to Barbados with her friend Raife on a mission to rescue her mother. Follow the call of the wild deep and be immersed in an event with mermaids, sharks and a magical mystery to be solved. Cerrie will share fascinating shark facts, reveal her top storytelling tips, and inspire children to go on their own creative writing adventures.

9+
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Event W48

Cookery Workshop 15

Cook School

Venue: Cube
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Cook School is pitching up at Hay Festival to offer hands-on, fun cookery sessions, preparing a couple of Italian classics to take home for dinner along with an easy step-by-step recipe card, written by renowned children’s cookbook author Amanda Grant. Cook School is on a mission to teach as many children and young people to cook as possible. Head to cookschool.club to find out more.

5–18
Parents of children under 9 must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Event W49

Foraged Art Workshop 12

Rooted Forest Schools

Venue: Wild Garden
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Come and join Rooted Forest School (rootedforestschool.co.uk) for an outdoor family session inspired by the Forest School approach. We will be making charcoal on the fire, using natural pigments to create our own paint, making brushes from found materials and creating communal land art. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.

4–6
Parents must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Foraged Art Workshop 12

Event W50

Radio Production Workshop 6

Radio Platfform

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Radio Platfform hosts a debate with a panel of young adult Hay Festival-goers. Hay Festival is a hub of creative thought, and this is your chance to discuss the topics of the day and express your opinions. We want to hear what you’ve got to say… Radio Platfform: Your Voice, Your Sound, Your Platfform.

16–18
2 hours
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Event 438

Janne Teller

The 10-minute readings

Venue: Serious Reading Room
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Free, short readings in the Serious Reading Room by some of the stars speaking at Hay.
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Janne Teller

Event 150

Antony Beevor, Artemis Cooper, Edward Fox, Bettany Hughes, Joanna Lumley and Simon Schama

John Julius in the World: A Tribute to the Historian

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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John Julius Norwich had to withdraw from his Hay Festival event last year and died on 1 June. His family and friends offer this celebration of his work on Sicily, Venice and the Mediterranean, Byzantium and the Kings of England. With readings from his books and from his edition of his mother’s letters Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper To Her Son John Julius Norwich.

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Event 151

James Holland

Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Battle for France

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge. Drawing on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world, the war historian challenges much of what we think we know. He reveals how the sheer size and scale of the Allies’ war machine ultimately dominated the strategic, operational and tactical limitations of the German forces. 

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Event 152

Fiona Stafford

The Brief Life of Flowers

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Come rain or shine, flowers feature perennially in the landscape of human history. Their beauty has inspired some of the greatest works of art and literature, captivating creative minds from Wordsworth to Van Gogh, Botticelli to Beatrix Potter. Flowers have also played a key part in forming the past, and may even shape our future. Some have served as symbols of monarchs, dynasties and nations – from the Wars of the Roses to the Order of the Thistle. And while the poppy is often associated with WWI, it was the elderflower that treated its wounded soldiers, joining a long line of healing flowers that have developed modern medicine, including lavender and foxgloves. The right rose, according to the Victorian language of flowers, might mend a broken heart, while sunflowers may just save our planet. Stafford is Professor of English at the University of Oxford. 

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Event 153

Dustin Lance Black talks to Francine Stock

Mama’s Boy

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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“To outsiders, my mom and I should have been enemies. Our house should have been divided – North vs South, red vs blue, conservative vs progressive, or however you want to put it. Instead, my mom and I fuelled each other. Her oil lit my lamp, and eventually mine lit hers.” Dustin Lance Black wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk and helped overturn California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 in the United States Supreme Court. He grew up in a conservative Mormon household outside San Antonio, Texas. This is his story.

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Dustin Lance Black talks to Francine Stock

Event 154

Adi Kliot, Aquila Mavalankar and Jackie Rosette

The Royal Society Platform 3: The Next Big Things

Venue: Starlight Stage
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From the genetics of insects and groundbreaking x-ray technology to measuring the world’s forests with lasers, three Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science with neuroscientist and broadcaster Hannah Critchlow.

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Adi Kliot, Aquila Mavalankar and Jackie Rosette

Event 155

Mary Loudon and Sameer Rahim talk to Olivia Cole

Fiction: First Novels

Venue: Cube
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A conversation with two very experienced and acclaimed writers venturing for the first time into fiction. Loudon’s My House is Falling Down is a vivid and compelling novel about a modern love triangle that asks some provocative questions: what happens when you tell the whole truth in marriage? Is it still infidelity if nobody lies? Can you really love two people at once? Rahim’s Asghar and Zahra is a funny, sympathetic and very human novel about the first year of a marriage, and the difficulties of reconciling the sometimes conflicting demands of family, religion and society. 

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