Hay Festival 2019 Programme

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Event W52

NMiTE (New Model in Technology and Engineering)

Ingenuity Flash

Venue: Ingenuity Studio 1
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Join us in NMiTE’s Studio 1, a hi-tech refurbished shipping container, to explore ideas through making. Experience how highly creative and technological engineering can be. NMiTE is located in Hereford and aims to be the city’s first university with a focus on engineering.
Sign up at the venue for 10am, 11.30am or 1pm. Ingenuity Studio 1 free drop-in sessions for families take place between 2.30pm and 5pm, Sunday 26 May – Saturday 1 June. 

9–18
Parental consent required for under 11s
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Event 170

BBC – The Novels that Changed the World

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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To mark the 300th anniversary of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe a new BBC television series to be broadcast this autumn will explore how novels have always been a revolutionary agent of social change. Ahead of the series, BBC Radio 2’s Book Club will be asking guests to discuss the novels that have shaped their worlds. Chaired by Jo Whiley.

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Event 171

Daisy Dunn

In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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The launch of a new literary biography of the younger Pliny, who grew up to become a lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, curator of drains and personal representative of the emperor overseas. Counting the historian Tacitus, biographer Suetonius and poet Martial among his close friends, Pliny the Younger chronicled his experiences from the catastrophic eruption through the dark days of terror under Emperor Domitian to the gentler times of Emperor Trajan.

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Daisy Dunn

Event 172

Christopher Reynolds

Cambridge Series 6: Unravelling the Mysteries of Black Holes

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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What is the role of black holes in the universe? Reynolds is Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University and an expert in the astrophysics of black holes. He will outline what light the latest research throws on one of the biggest questions in our quest to understand our universe.

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Christopher Reynolds

Event 173

BBC Sounds: Classical Fix

Simon Mundie

Venue: BBC Tent
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Clemency Burton-Hill presents a special live edition of Classical Fix, the podcast in which music lovers are introduced to the world of classical music. Clemency will curate a unique playlist of tracks for her special guest, Simon Mundie, who will then join her for an honest and fun discussion about their brand new classical music discoveries and how they relate to day-to-day life.

Free but ticketed
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Event HD29

Reimagined Fairytales with Jessie Burton

The Restless Girls

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Think you know all about fairytales ? Think again! Join bestselling author Jessie Burton as she discusses The Restless Girls: the "wild, wise, generous" and "ferocious" retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses with Claire Armitstead from the Guardian. Imagine a fairytale that doesn't need a dashing prince to save the day. A dazzling, feminist reinterpretation of a classic fairytale for the modern world, The Restless Girls is a timeless story of family, sisterhood, imagination and bravery.

6+
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Event HD30

Ali Sparkes

Nightwalker

Venue: Starlight Stage
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How did you sleep last night? Not well if you’re a Night Speaker, cursed with insomnia but also gifted with the power to speak any language – human or animal. Or maybe you chose to stay awake because, like self-styled vampire Spin, the shadows are the only place you’re safe… Join Ali Sparkes for a journey through the midnight world of Nightwalker Spin and his strange love-hate relationship with the Night Speakers. Be ready to supply sound effects, get hypnotised, shout fabulous foreign words… and find out what it’s really like to be destroyed by daylight

9+
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Event HD31

Discover Story Building

Perfectly Norman

Venue: Cube
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Join Story Builders from Discover Children’s Story Centre (discover.org.uk) to explore picture book Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival. In this interactive event children will hear all about Norman, a boy with an extraordinary secret. Explore why Norman feels the way he does, and reflect on what makes us all unique. The event includes a craft activity for each child to complete and take home.

4–7
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Event W53

HCA Illustration Workshop 1

Working with Nature

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Work with Hereford College of Arts BA (Hons) Illustration students to create exciting and inventive images based on the natural world. Explore ideas about the world around us, and how we can share these with everyone else who inhabits this planet, including animals, insects, plants and sea life. Have fun making 2D and 3D creations using a wide variety of materials.

6–8
Parents must attend but don’t require a ticket
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Event 174

Germaine Greer

Sappho

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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From the Greek island of Lesbos, Sappho presented one of the earliest forms of passionate literary subjectivity in the history of Western love poetry. As one of the first female love poets with verse embracing both men and women, her legacy in popular culture lives on and her persona has become etymologically attached to female homosexuality. What do we really know about Sappho? As a professional performer she wrote poems in various personae, yet scholars have persisted in regarding every fragment that survives as autobiographical.

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Germaine Greer

Event 175

Bart van Es talks to Philippe Sands

The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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A conversation about the extraordinary biography that won the 2018 Costa Award. Little Lien wasn’t taken from her Jewish parents – she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es, the grandson of Lien’s foster parents, knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences, so crucial in defining us, can also be redefined. Philippe Sands’ East West Street won the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction.

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Event 176

Monisha Rajesh talks to Olivia Squire

Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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When Monisha Rajesh announced plans to circumnavigate the globe in eighty train journeys, she was met with wide-eyed disbelief. But it wasn't long before she was carefully plotting a route that would cover 45,000 miles – almost twice the circumference of the earth – coasting along the world's most remarkable railways; from the cloud-skimming heights of Tibet's Qinghai railway to silk-sheeted splendour on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Packing up her rucksack – and her fiancé, Jem – Monisha embarks on an unforgettable adventure that will take her from London's St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. The ensuing journey is one of constant movement and mayhem, as the pair strike up friendships and swap stories with the hilarious, irksome and ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth's most breathtaking views.

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Event 177

Bill Sutherland

Cambridge Series 7: Rethinking Decision-making in a Post-truth World

Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
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Sutherland, who holds the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, will describe attempts to make global evidence available to all, to improve the effectiveness of experts and to change attitudes toward the use of evidence. 

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Bill Sutherland

Event 178

Tonight at Hay

BBC Radio Wales

Venue: BBC Tent
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More lively discussion and ideas as Guto Harri is joined by the BBC’s John Simpson to sift fact from fiction in his new thriller. Plus Anja Shortland on the dilemmas of hostage negotiation, Sarfraz Manzoor on seeing his personal memoirs translated into film and neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow on whether we really are the free-thinkers we imagine ourselves to be.

Free but ticketed
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Event 179

Louis Schwizgebel (piano)

BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Recitals 2

Venue: St Mary’s Church
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The second of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit (Ondine); Claude Debussy Preludes Book 1 (L’isle Joyeuse); Modest Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.

Recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Please arrive in good time.
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Event HD32

Onjali Q Raúf, Sita Brahmachari and Emma Taylor

Refugees: Realities and representations

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Join authors Onjali Q Raúf, Sita Brahmachari and Emma Taylor from Book Aid International as they discuss the realities of refugees’ experiences and how they’re represented in literature. From general ideas like kindness and friendliness, to more practical advice like raising money and which donated household goods refugee camps are most in need of. Chaired by Farrah Serroukh, who leads the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s Reflecting Realities research project.

9+
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Event HD33

Discover Story Building

Bear Hunt

Venue: Cube
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Join Story Builders from Discover Children’s Story Centre (discover.org.uk) as they swish-swash, splash-splosh, squelch-squerch, stumble-trip and tiptoe their way through this classic adventure from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Help celebrate the 30th year of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt in this interactive storytelling event.

0–3 – older siblings welcome
30 mins
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Discover Story Building

Event W55

HCA Illustration Workshop 2

Working with Nature

Venue: Scribblers Hut
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Work with Hereford College of Arts BA (Hons) Illustration students to create exciting and inventive images based on the natural world. Explore ideas about the world around us, and how we can share these with everyone else who inhabits this planet, including animals, insects, plants and sea life. Have fun making 2D and 3D creations using a wide variety of materials.

9-11
Parents may attend but don’t require a ticket
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Event 439

S J Parris

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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S J Parris

Event 180

Miranda Seymour and Fiona Sampson

The Biographer’s Table

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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Seymour’s new book is a double biography, In Byron’s Wake: The Turbulent Lives of Lord Byron’s Wife and Daughter, Annabella Millbanke and Ada Lovelace. Her previous book was a lauded biography of Mary Shelley. Sampson’s brilliant debut biography is In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. They compare notes on female genius, Romanticism, radicalism, the madness and badness of male poets, and the interplay of literature and the sciences, with Rosie Goldsmith in the chair.

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