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Here is the full programme for our 2019 Winter Festival. You can also browse the programme here.

Event 20

Lindsay McCrae

My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
When the BBC asked Lindsay McCrae to go to Antarctica to film emperor penguins for Dynasties: Emperor to be narrated by Attenborough, he was thrilled. After discussing it with his wife Becky they agreed that, although it would mean him being away for 11 months, he should do it. But then she became pregnant and it seemed like the worst idea in the world.

My Penguin Year recounts Lindsay’s adventure to the end of the Earth, filming the most resilient creatures in nature, while coping with being over 15,000km away from Becky and home – something that almost proved too much. Out of that experience he has written an unprecedented portrait of Antarctica's most extraordinary residents, the emperor penguins. They march up to 100 miles over solid ice to reach their breeding grounds. They choose to breed in the depths of the worst winter on the planet; and in an unusual role reversal, the males incubate the eggs, fasting for over 100 days to ensure they introduce their chicks safely into their new frozen world. And they are uniquely vulnerable to the unprecedented melting of the polar ice cap. Join McCrae as he relives the preparation and the months he was away and paints a portrait of this deeply moving tale of human endeavour in the harshest environment on the planet that formed the programme and led to his BAFTA win.
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Event 21

Impelo Dance

Creative/Contemporary Dance workshop 2

Venue: Hay Primary School

Join Miriam from Impelo in a fun, creative dance workshop with a winter theme. Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to dance in bare feet. Impelo is a charitable organisation that seeks to share the transformational power of dance.

Age 8-11. Children may be accompanied by an adult, but no adult ticket required; unaccompanied children need to be signed in and out
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Impelo Dance

Event 22

Laura Cumming talks to John Mitchinson

On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home. It was another 50 years before she even learned of the kidnap.

The girl became an artist and had a daughter, arts writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast – the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker – but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives – including her own – were affected by what happened that day on the beach.
On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir. Two narratives run through it: the mother’s childhood tale, and Cumming’s own pursuit of the truth. Humble objects light up the story: a pie dish, a carved box, an old Vicks jar. Letters, tickets, recipe books, even the particular slant of a copperplate hand give vital clues. And pictures of all kinds, from paintings to photographs, open up like doors to the truth. Above all, Cumming discovers how to look more closely at the family album – with its curious gaps and missing persons – finding crucial answers, captured in plain sight at the click of a shutter.

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Laura Cumming talks to John Mitchinson

Event 23

Impelo Dance

Family Dancing

Venue: Hay Primary School

Get your whole family moving in this winter-themed dance workshop. Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that you can dance in. Impelo is a charitable organisation that seeks to share the transformational power of dance. 

Family, everyone attending requires a ticket
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Impelo Dance

Event 24

Tom Holland

Dominion – The Making of the Western Mind

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today who have abandoned the faith of their forebears, and dismiss all religion as pointless superstition, remain recognisably its heirs. Seen close-up, the division between a sceptic and a believer may seem unbridgeable. Widen the focus, though, and Christianity's enduring impact upon the West can be seen in the emergence of much that has traditionally been cast as its nemesis: in science, in secularism, and yes, even in atheism. Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC to the on-going migration crisis in Europe today, and from Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles, the historian explores just what it was that made Christianity so revolutionary and disruptive; how completely it came to saturate the mind-set of Latin Christendom; and why, in a West that has become increasingly doubtful of religion's claims, so many of its instincts remain irredeemably Christian. 

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Event 25

Woodland Trust Walk 4

Tree ID

Venue: Meet at the Woodland Trust Stand at the Festival

Join Woodland Trust expert, Derek Wright, on a gentle walk around Hay town, identifying the trees growing among the houses and streets.

This event has taken place
Woodland Trust Walk 4

Event 46

Dorothy Byrne, Guto Harri, Afua Hirsch, Vicky Pryce

Whose Government is it Anyway?

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
What should the new government do? What might a new agenda look like? What if we were to start without party manifestos and vested interest? What might “better” look like? Rosie Boycott is joined by Channel 4’s head of news and author of Trust Me, I’m Not a Politician: A Simple Guide to Saving Democracy, Dorothy Byrne; by the political commentator, formerly Boris Johnson’s mayoral spin doctor, Guto Harri; by the Guardian journalist and author of Brit(ish) Afua Hirsch, and by Vicky Pryce, the economist and author of Women vs Capitalism: We Can’t Have it All in a Free-Market Economy.
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Event 27

John Sentamu talks to Rhidian Brook

Wake up to Advent!

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

'This is the hour of crisis: 

it is high time for you to wake out of sleep, 
for deliverance is nearer to us now 
than it was when first we believed.'

St Paul's encouraging words to the Christians in Rome are the springboard for the Archbishop of York's Advent book for 2019. Chaired by the novelist (The Aftermath, The Killing of Butterfly Joe) and Thought for the Day speaker Rhidian Brook.

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Event 47

Hallie Rubenhold talks to Peter Florence

The Five - The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
WINNER OF THE 2019 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women. Now, in her devastating narrative of five lives, historian Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories. 
 
 
This event has taken place
Hallie Rubenhold talks to Peter Florence

Event 29

Jason Byrne

Stand Up: Wrecked but Ready

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The sublimely gifted comedian returns with his brand-new show, Wrecked but Ready. After 23 consecutive years Jason is wrecked but he is as ever ready (which is a battery, but he’s more Duracell than Eveready). In particular the past year has been extremely testing for the wrecked Jason, but despite all this is he’s waiting to spill it out on stage. No one show is the same, expect all the usual spontaneous fun, come along and witness ‘the outright King of live comedy’ - The Times.

Suitable for age 14+
Please note the show includes a 20-minute interval
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Jason Byrne

Event 30

Richard Williams

Metropolis 2 – second screening

Venue: St Mary’s Church

Father Richard Williams, the extraordinary gifted organist, composer and vicar of St Mary’s Church in Hay, performs a stunning live accompaniment to Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film Metropolis, playing the outstanding Bevington organ. This early science fiction film presents a highly stylised futuristic city where a cultured Utopian society exists above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated workers. The love interest is provided by a privileged youth who befriends a rebellious teacher, putting him at odds with his authoritarian father.

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Richard Williams

Event 31

Afua Hirsch and Henny Beaumont

Equal to Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Equal to Everything is a beautifully illustrated, fictionalised tale based on the life of Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. It tells the story of Ama, a girl from Richmond in Yorkshire, who visits the Supreme Court on a school trip and learns all about the work of the court and how another little girl from her town went on to become its president. Throughout the story we learn about Brenda Hale's life – from State school to university and on to becoming the most important judge in the land. The story highlights some interesting cases that Judge Brenda has been faced with and explains how judges make difficult decisions. It teaches children about fairness, justice and how the law can be used for good and to protect us all. Equal to Everything is an inspiring story of a little girl who worked hard at school and went on to be extraordinary. It aims to empower children to believe that they can achieve their dreams and never let other people tell them they are not good enough. Afua Hirsch is a journalist and lawyer, author of Brit(ish). The artist Henny Beaumont is a cartoonist for the Guardian and the creator of the acclaimed graphic story Hole in the Heart.

Hay Days family event, age 6+
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Event 32

Flying Pig Cookery School

Mexican Street Food Workshop 1

Venue: Hay Primary School

Learn how to make Mexican quesadillas using a range of skills to create this delicious street food in a hands-on cookery workshop. All ingredients, packaging and recipe cards are included. 

Age 6-8 (children must be accompanied by an adult, but no adult ticket is required)
This event has taken place
Flying Pig Cookery School

Event 33

Woodland Trust Walk 5

Tree ID

Venue: Meet at the Woodland Trust Stand at the Festival

Join Woodland Trust expert, Derek Wright, on a gentle walk around Hay town, identifying the trees growing among the houses and streets.

This event has taken place
Woodland Trust Walk 5

Event 34

Mike Pitts

Digging up Britain: Ten discoveries, a Million Years of History

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Britain has long been obsessed with its own history and identity, an island nation besieged by invaders from beyond the seas. The long saga of prehistory is often forgotten, but our understanding of our past is changing. In the past decade, astounding archaeological discoveries have shed new light on those who have gone before us, radically altering the way we think about our history. Mike Pitts presents some of the most exciting and surprising of these discoveries – from Stonehenge to the Staffordshire Hoard and the bones of Richard III.

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Event 35

Flying Pig Cookery School

Mexican Street Food Workshop 2

Venue: Hay Primary School

Learn how to make Mexican quesadillas using a range of skills to create this delicious street food in a hands-on cookery workshop. All ingredients, packaging and recipe cards are included.

Age 9-12 (unaccompanied children need to be signed in and out)
This event has taken place
Flying Pig Cookery School

Event 36

Rupert Read talks to Rosie Boycott

Your Money and/or Your Life

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

As the London protests continue, the UEA philosopher and Extinction Rebellion spokesman discusses the extent of the climate emergency, the principles and risks of direct action and disruptive protest, and the current state of the worldwide campaign for action. 

To focus the generational energy of the XR movement, in the latter part of the event he is joined by Elsie Usherwood and Alice Spearman, who convene the Herefordshire climate action campaign.

This event has taken place
Rupert Read talks to Rosie Boycott

Event 37

Flying Pig Cookery School

Mexican Street Food Workshop 3

Venue: Hay Primary School

Learn how to make Mexican quesadillas using a range of skills to create this delicious street food in a hands-on cookery workshop. All ingredients, packaging and recipe cards are included.

Age 6-8 (children must be accompanied by an adult, but no adult ticket is required)
This event has taken place
Flying Pig Cookery School

Event 38

Fiona Evans

Come and sing Messiah – choir rehearsal 2

Venue: St Mary’s Church

The second rehearsal for a performance of Handel’s Messiah this evening at 7.15pm.

please see events 18 and 43

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Event 39

Allie Esiri with Diana Quick and Paapa Essiedu

A Journey Through a Year of Shakespeare (or What You Will)

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Take a journey through the year with Shakespeare, and join curator Allie Esiri and acclaimed actors for this illuminating celebration of the greatest writer in the English language. The show will include insights into Shakespeare’s work and times alongside dazzling readings of some of his best-loved – and lesser known – scenes, soliloquies and sonnets.

Curated by Allie Esiri, editor of Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year. Diana Quick, whose screen credits include Brideshead Revisited, The Missing, and The Death of Stalin has played Shakespeare’s Cressida at the National Theatre and Gertrude at the RSC. Paapa Essiedu has played Hamlet and Edmund at the RSC. His screen credits include Black Earth Rising, Press and The Miniaturist.

This event has taken place