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Hay Festival 2020 was cancelled and replaced by Hay Festival Digital 2020

We deeply regret that Hay Festival 2020 was cancelled due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Page  6 of 20
ConversationKaliane Bradley talks to Francis Spufford

Event 97

Kaliane Bradley talks to Francis Spufford

Debut Discoveries: The Ministry of Time

–  Spring Stage
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Kaliane Bradley, a British-Cambodian writer and editor, talks to the author of Cahokia Jazz about her first novel, set in the near future. A disaffected civil servant is offered a lucrative job in a mysterious new government ministry gathering ‘expats’ from across history to test the limits of time-travel. Her role is to work as a ‘bridge’: living with, assisting and monitoring the expat known as ‘1847’ – a man supposed to have died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition to the Arctic. As the true shape of the project that brought them together begins to emerge, both have to confront their past choices.

Price: £11.00
Last few remaining tickets
WorkshopPlanet Assembly 2: Food for the Future

Event 98

Planet Assembly 2: Food for the Future

A Thought Laboratory

–  Creative Hub
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Bring your best ideas to this solutions-focused workshop session. Facilitated by sustainability entrepreneur Andy Middleton and joined by key speakers to be announced, we’ll look at the key issue of food production, discussing the scale of the issue and a range of solutions.

Speakers include remarkable individuals leading climate and biodiversity resilience projects, igniting hope and progress in their neighbourhoods and the wider community. We want you to share your ideas and to be inspired by those making a difference. Be part of the change in this two-hour thought laboratory.

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ConversationBBC Radio 4: The Coming Storm

Event 431

BBC Radio 4: The Coming Storm

–  Exchange Marquee
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Reporter and presenter Gabriel Gatehouse’s award-winning podcast dives into the labyrinthine rabbit warren of American conspiracy theories to explore how millions of Americans have become convinced their democracy has been highjacked by a sinister Deep State cabal. Where did this story come from? And what are the prospects for the survival of the American political system? With a second series of the podcast coming later in the year, Gabriel talks to journalist Jenny Kleeman about these vital issues ahead of the US Presidential Election.

Free – drop in
PanelMark Cocker, Nick Hayes and Nadia Shaikh talk to Caroline Lucas

Event 99

Mark Cocker, Nick Hayes and Nadia Shaikh talk to Caroline Lucas

Thinker in Residence: Nature Connections

–  Meadow Stage
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Our connection to nature is essential both for our own health and the health of the environment. Author and naturalist Mark Cocker and Right to Roam’s Nick Hayes and Nadia Shaikh join Green MP Caroline Lucas to explore the interconnections that underpin the natural world and explore a new moral framework for relating to nature, putting belonging before ownership and co-dependence above competition. Lucas is a Hay Festival 2024 Thinker in Residence, questioning norms, finding new perspectives and challenging us to action.

Price: £13.00
ConversationMaria Ressa talks to Misha Glenny

Event 100

Maria Ressa talks to Misha Glenny

How to Stand up to a Dictator: The Fight for our Future

–  Global Stage
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Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, who won the accolade in 2021 for denouncing the regime of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, speaks to journalist Misha Glenny about her work. Her latest book How to Stand Up to a Dictator is a call to the world to raise awareness about social media misinformation and a manifesto about press freedom. Ressa was arrested by Philippine authorities in 2019; her conviction for cyberlibel was seen by many as an attempt to silence her criticism of Duterte’s government.

Price: £13.00
ConversationHelen Lederer and Doon Mackichan talk to Samira Ahmed

Event 101

Helen Lederer and Doon Mackichan talk to Samira Ahmed

Women in Comedy

–  Discovery Stage
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Two Titans of the comedy scene share their experiences on stage, screen and in real life with BBC broadcaster Samira Ahmed. Actor and comedian Helen Lederer (author of Losing It) is best known as Catriona, the dippy journalist in Absolutely Fabulous. Her memoir Not That I’m Bitter reveals how choppy the waters could be for women struggling to be seen and heard in the world of comedy. Doon Mackichan played comedy characters in the hugely popular Brass Eye and Smack the Pony, but throughout her career she’s challenged stereotypes. In My Lady Parts, she examines how we can say no to objectification, in an industry that has been exposed for its deep-rooted sexism.

Price: £13.00
ConversationSilvia Vasquez-Lavado talks to Kirsty Lang

Event 102

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado talks to Kirsty Lang

In the Shadow of the Mountain

–  Spring Stage
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Activist Sylvia Vasquez-Lavado discusses her inspiring work against sexual violence and her memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain with journalist Kirsty Lang. A businesswoman named one of the twenty most influential Latin Americans in Silicon Valley, Vasquez-Lavado was struggling with past trauma when she discovered mountaineering. In 2014 she founded Courageous Girls, a non-profit organisation that helps survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking find their inner strength through mountaineering. The following year she became the first Peruvian woman to reach the summit of Sagharmatha (Mount Everest), and in 2018, the first woman from the LGTBQ+ community to climb the seven highest summits on each continent.

Price: £11.00
ConversationCoco Mellors talks to Jack Edwards

Event 103

Coco Mellors talks to Jack Edwards

Blue Sisters

–  Wye Stage
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Coco Mellors introduces her new novel, Blue Sisters, in which the titular sisters reunite in New York to stop the sale of their childhood home. The Blue sisters are Avery, a strait-laced lawyer living in London; Bonnie, a boxer who is now working as a bouncer in LA; and Lucky, the rebellious youngest, a model in Paris whose hard-partying ways are finally catching up with her. They are reeling from the death of Nicky, their beloved fourth sister, and discover that it’s only by returning to each other that they can navigate their grief, addiction and heartbreak. Mellors’ debut novel Cleopatra and Frankenstein is being developed for television by Warner Bros. Mellors talks to the internet’s resident librarian Jack Edwards.

Price: £11.00
ConversationBBC Radio 3: Night Tracks

Event 432

BBC Radio 3: Night Tracks

–  Exchange Marquee
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As the sun sets over Hay, Sara Mohr-Pietsch hosts BBC Radio 3’s immersive late night show Night Tracks, with music, soundscape, readings and conversation. She's joined by multi-instrumentalist and composer Tiny Leaves, who creates a live sonic portrait of the Shropshire countryside, created using instruments alongside field recordings and bio data captured from the plants and trees of the Long Mynd in the Shropshire Hills. Sara will also be joined by writer Jeanette Winterson, exploring the role of darkness and night time in her novels and in life.

Free but ticketed
Price: £0.00
ConversationJeanette Winterson

Event 104

Jeanette Winterson

Night Side of the River: Ghost Stories

–  Global Stage
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Gloriously Gothic and unnervingly contemporary, Jeanette Winterson’s Night Side of the River is a blend of chilling short stories and the author’s real-life encounters with the supernatural. Winterson explores grief, revenge and the myriad ways in which technology can disrupt the boundary between life and death. Our lives are digital, exposed and always on. We can find out everything about our world, but we know little about the world of ghosts. They wander the metaverse just as they haunt our homes and our memories, seeking new ways to connect, to live among us, to remind us, to tempt us, to take their revenge. These are the stories of the dead – of those we’ve lost, loved, forgotten…and feared.

Price: £13.00
PerformanceStuart Goldsmith, Ania Magliano and Ahir Shah

Event 105

Stuart Goldsmith, Ania Magliano and Ahir Shah

Hay Festival Comedy Club

–  Discovery Stage
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Stuart Goldsmith, who has featured on TV shows around the world and is the regular studio warm-up comic for the Graham Norton Show, hosts a night of comedy featuring Thanyia Moore and Ahir Shah. Moore's an award winning comedian, actor and writer, her debut comedy show Just Being Funny sold out and gained critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022. Shah is the 2023 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, and starred in the short films Ahir Shah’s Summer and Ahir Shah’s Life Lessons.

Brought to you by Little Wander, the team behind the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.

Price: £20.00
TalkChristopher Haworth

Event 106

Christopher Haworth

Stolen Voices in Deepfake Pop

–  Spring Stage
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Christopher Haworth, Associate Professor in Music at the University of Birmingham, discusses the moral, ontological and aesthetic issues that are stirred by the proliferation of so-called deepfakes in twenty-first century popular music. Typically viewed as a form of audio clickbait, cases such as ghostwriter’s fusion of Drake and The Weeknd prompt us to ask what happens when music produced by deepfakes is aesthetically and culturally valuable. How will the legal and moral issues of ‘voice theft’ be resolved if the results are in the public interest?

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PerformanceJasmine Jethwa

Event 107

Jasmine Jethwa

Live at Hay Festival

–  Meadow Stage
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Jasmine Jethwa’s new EP, Same Streets But I Don’t See You Around, deals with the fallout of romantic heartbreak. Sometimes gentle, sometimes acerbic, it’s laced with a sense of spirituality and candour. Jethwa is inspired by a fusion of Western and Indian culture, influenced by the personal stories of her south London upbringing, and has a natural command for melody and harmonies.

She wasn’t always set on being a musician, first training in dance, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap and modern. Then she suddenly changed direction to focus on music, and her deft and tender 2020 debut EP Hurricane garnered acclaim from BBC Introducing, gal-dem, The Independent and more. She’s known for her swaying, folk-tinged acoustic pop songs with a full voice that teems with rich emotion. The dance world’s loss is music’s gain.

Price: £15.00
PerformancePerhaps Contraption

Event 108

Perhaps Contraption

Live at Hay Festival

–  Wye Stage
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Get down for an unforgettable sonic spectacle with the multi-award-winning progressive brass band from London. Part choir, part chamber orchestra, part avant-rock band, Perhaps Contraption creates a unique musical experience, melding elements of jazz, art pop and post-minimalism, infused with choreography and theatricality.

Their intense, exuberant shows are something like John Adams meeting Frank Zappa and Sufjan Stevens in an avant-garde collision; staggering through a fairground – beautiful and astonishing, replete with irregular but irresistible rhythms, big choral harmonies and triumphant horns. Catch them fresh from Glastonbury, the EFG London Jazz Festival, Bestival, Wilderness, Southbank Centre and Latitude.

Price: £20.00
ActivityMorning Yoga with Hay Yoga Collective

Event 109

Morning Yoga with Hay Yoga Collective

–  Creative Hub
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Start your day with an hour of yoga blending movement, mantra, meditation and breathwork. The classes support detoxification and regeneration – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our daily yoga classes are brought to you by a collective of ten highly skilled practitioners, all local to Hay-on-Wye. Each practitioner has their own style, but with all you can expect a mindful, student-focused practice with clear cueing and functional sequencing.

Whether you need grounding and recharging before a busy day at the Festival, an opportunity to stretch and move your body, or simply an hour to focus on your breathing, these classes are open and accessible to all. Practitioners will adapt to different levels of experience, providing options for deepening or softening within poses so that each student takes what they need from the practice. Beginners and experienced students are most welcome. Yoga mats are provided.

Please contact Clare Fry at hello@larchwoodstudio.com with any questions relating to these classes. As capacity is limited, we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and alert your practitioner at the start of class if you have any injuries.
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ActivityTrevithel Court Farm Walk

Event 110

Trevithel Court Farm Walk

Cider and Honey on a Traditional Mixed Farm

–  Meeting Place on Festival Site
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Agronomist Jonathon Harrington and vet Barney Sampson lead a tour of Trevithel Court, David and Catherine James’ traditional mixed farm with orchards supplying apples for Bulmers, Westons and other cider producers in Herefordshire and Wales. Walk among the apple trees and learn about cider production; look inside a beehive and learn how bees make honey and store it for the winter, and why they are so essential for pollination. You can sample some of the cider and honey produced on the farm. See the quality beef cattle fed with the grass and arable crops grown on the farm and the machinery used for crop production and harvesting. Trevithel Court is run by David James in partnership with his son Will James, the fourth generation of the family to farm here.

Please wear walking boots or wellies and waterproof clothing in case of inclement weather. These are visits to real working farms and are suitable for anyone interested in learning more about food and farming. Families are welcome but children must be supervised at all times. We regret we cannot accommodate dogs on this walk.
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ActivityHay Castle Entry Ticket

Event HC6

Hay Castle Entry Ticket

–  Hay Castle
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A fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes of this unique and historic building. Visit at a time of your choice during Castle opening hours.

Price: £5.00
ActivityBreakfast Tour with Tom True

Event HC7

Breakfast Tour with Tom True

–  Hay Castle
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Hay Castle’s executive director Tom True introduces the key moments and characters from the castle’s past followed by a continental breakfast.

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ActivityWild Swimming in the River Wye

Event 111

Wild Swimming in the River Wye

–  Meet at By the Wye
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Come for a wild swim in the Wye with adventure and wild swimming specialist Angela Jones. The author of Wild Swimming the River Wye is passionate about protecting and respecting the river, its environment and wildlife. She shows how to engage in wild swimming with love and respect, testing the water for cleanliness and observing when it’s safe, before leading a guided wild swim session. Beginners and seasoned swimmers alike will gain a wealth of knowledge, including tips on acclimation, water safety, equipment, technique, reading the river and undercurrents.

You will meet Angela on the banks of the river at By the Wye Glamping Site, HR3 5RS, located just past the main bridge into Hay on the B4351
(What3Words : lifestyle.waving.cavalier).

The session starts at 10am and ends at 12pm at the river.

There is no parking at the swim site, please park in one of the designated carparks around town.

Please bring swimming gear and towel. Water shoes and wetsuits optional. There are no changing facilities by the river, so we recommend donning swimming costumes in advance, worn under loose clothing. Please do not don wetsuits in advance. Bring a thermos or drink and warm clothes for after the swim. Wetsuits can be provided on loan for £5 with prior notice – contact angela@swimwildwye.co.uk.
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ConversationBrenda Hale, Doon Mackichan and guests

Event 112

Brenda Hale, Doon Mackichan and guests

The News Review

–  Global Stage
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Start your day at Hay Festival with our daily news review. Join our leading journalists and special guests as they take us behind the headlines with insider perspectives, insights and an eye on what’s next. Strong coffee recommended! Among today’s guests are judge Lady Hale and comedian Doon Mackichan.

Doon Mackichan is best known for her comedy characters in the hugely popular Brass Eye, Smack the Pony and Toast of London. Lady Hale is former President of the UK Supreme Court. Chaired by The Independent chief books critic Martin Chilton.

Price: £13.00
ConversationElizabeth Day talks to Jack Edwards

Event 113

Elizabeth Day talks to Jack Edwards

Friendaholic

–  Discovery Stage
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How many friends do you have? Growing up, Elizabeth Day wanted to make everyone like her. Lacking friends at school, she grew up to believe that quantity equalled quality. Having lots of friends meant you were loved, popular and safe. But in adulthood she slowly realised that it was often to the detriment of her own boundaries and mental health. Join Day, in conversation with the internet’s resident librarian Jack Edwards, to unpack her Confessions of a Friendship Addict, from her own personal friendships and their distinct importance, to the significance and evolution of friendship across the globe. Day’s critically acclaimed books include How to Fail, The Party and Magpie. She hosts the iTunes chart-topping podcast How to Fail with Elizabeth Day.

Price: £13.00
Last few remaining tickets
ConversationJohn Boyne talks to Stephanie Merritt

Event 114

John Boyne talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Elements

–  Wye Stage
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The Irish novelist’s latest work is a series of four novellas, collectively titled The Elements. Four stories with four very different narrators, all of whom have been involved in, complicit with, or found themselves the victims of trauma. The first, Water, published in 2023, is a confronting, reflective story about a woman coming to terms with the demons of her past. Boyne now unfolds the tale of Earth, which follows young footballer Evan Keogh as he leaves his Irish island, finding work as a male escort before becoming a professional footballer. It’s a gritty and complex narrative exploring guilt, shame and facing the consequences of one’s actions. Boyne is one of the most critically acclaimed novelists of his generation. His best-known book, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, is a modern classic.

Price: £11.00
ActivityWayfaring Walk: Local Ancient Trees

Event 115

Wayfaring Walk: Local Ancient Trees

Sam Harpur and Kathy Jenkins

–  Meeting Place on Festival Site
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Tree Warden Sam Harpur from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park leads a walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye, with Treescapes Policy Officer Kathy Jenkins. Learn more about Hay-on-Wye’s iconic ancient trees.

Hay-on-Wye is based within 520 square miles of beautiful landscape that makes up the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. The National Park is driving change to bring about a sustainable future, meeting our needs within planetary boundaries. Their Hay Festival series of walks take you into the town’s local environment while offering the opportunity to learn more about the Park’s work and its treasured landscape.

Please wear appropriate footwear and outdoor gear. We regret we cannot accommodate dogs on this walk.
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ConversationBBC Radio 4: Is Psychiatry Working?

Event 433

BBC Radio 4: Is Psychiatry Working?

–  Exchange Marquee
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Welsh Writer and broadcaster, Horatio Clare and Professor of psychiatry, Femi Oyebode are joined by special guests to explore the latest research on how narrative and storytelling can aid recovery from mental ill health.
This is a bonus episode of the second series of Radio 4’s Is Psychiatry Working? which looks at the most hopeful and promising treatments in psychiatry today.

Free – drop in
ConversationJonny Duddle

Event F21

Jonny Duddle

Gigantosaurus

–  Meadow Stage
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Celebrate the 10th anniversary of everyone’s favourite dinosaur-who-cried-wolf story, Gigantosaurus – as seen on TV! Listen to bestselling author and illustrator Jonny Duddle read the story and join in with his draw-along, creating your own dinosaurs to take home.

Please bring your own sketchbook and pencils to draw along in this event.

5+ years
Price: £7.00
ConversationAbi Elphinstone

Event F22

Abi Elphinstone

Ember Spark and the Thunder of Dragons

–  Spring Stage
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Rusty Fizzbang, vet to magical beasts, needs an apprentice. Ember Spark, looking for adventure, is his newest recruit, along with an unlikely friend called Arno. But keeping magical beasts a secret isn’t an easy task, especially with arch-villain Jasper Hornswoggle hot on their heels…

Join bestselling children’s author Abi Elphinstone as she talks about her new book Ember Spark and the Thunder of Dragons. Abi reveals where she finds her ideas – from shower gel bottles and street signposts to adventures in the Arctic and Mongolia – as well as showing you how to plan your own stories, dream up titles and nail that opening line. An event that champions the joy of reading and writing while encouraging you to be curious, courageous and kind.

Please bring your own notebook and pen or pencil to this event.

8+ years
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WorkshopReady, Steady, Music! Workshop

Event W19

Ready, Steady, Music! Workshop

–  Creative Hub
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Get your Hay day off to a brilliant start with our daily Ready, Steady, Music workshops! With different activities each day, these interactive, fun-filled sessions for mini musicians will have you tapping sticks, roaring like dinosaurs, flying with unicorns, dancing with scarves, playing with parachutes and much more. Come and meet our puppets, explore our instruments and be accompanied by the beautiful sound of the cello.

0–4 years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
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WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W20

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
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Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Sold out
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WorkshopStories in the Wilds Workshop

Event W21

Stories in the Wilds Workshop

With Emma Bettridge

–  Meet at Wild Garden
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Come to a fun, story-generating workshop with Emma Bettridge and her dog Nell. During this inspiring outdoor session, you’ll walk to the River Wye where you’ll write, draw and record your stories, inspired by the river and its surrounding area. Emma Bettridge is a theatre producer, nature lover and children’s author whose books include Goodbye Hobbs and Red is Home.

Please come dressed for the weather. We regret that we can’t accommodate dogs at this session.

4–7 years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Sold out
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ActivityMake & Take Crafting

Event MT7

Make & Take Crafting

Monday Morning Session

–  Make & Take Hub
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An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials, with today’s sessions focusing on rivers. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.

Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 1.5 hour duration. Accompanying adults: please stay in attendance at all times, but you do not require a ticket.

3–11 years
Price: £5.00
WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W22

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
Read more

Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Sold out
Please log in to add this event to your wish list so we can notify you in case of further availability
PanelNorma Percy, Oleksii Réznikov and Tim Stirzaker talk to Misha Glenny

Event 116

Norma Percy, Oleksii Réznikov and Tim Stirzaker talk to Misha Glenny

Putin vs the West: At War

–  Global Stage
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American filmmaker Norma Percy’s documentary series Putin vs the West aired a second series this year. At War looks at the first year of the full-scale war in Ukraine, through the eyes of the Presidents and Prime Ministers who had to deal with it, including Volodymyr Zelensky, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, the head of the CIA and the UN Secretary General.

Series Producer Norma Percy, former Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Réznikov and the director of the series Tim Stirzaker discuss the show and what is happening in Ukraine with investigative journalist Misha Glenny.

Price: £13.00
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