Welcome to the Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2021 programme.
You will need to purchase tickets whether you attend in person or watch online.
If you wish to attend in person, please see the individual listings below for ticket prices.
If you intend to watch online, the best value option is the Online Festival Pass for £25, which will allow you to watch all streamed events either live or on replay for the duration of the festival. Individual online event tickets cost £5 each. Please note that the Online Festival Pass is for viewing events online only.
To whet your appetite, there will also be five Winter Warmer events to watch and enjoy online featuring Matt Haig, Siri Hustvedt, Bill McKibben, Steven Pinker, and the 2021 Booker Prize winner. These events will be free for everyone to watch and will be available online on our website from 15 November.
Anyone attending in-person must adhere to current Welsh Government Covid-19 guidelines and the entry requirements of the Festival, which can be found here.
Meredith has produced collections of poetry and works of fiction more or less alternately since 1984. This year, Seren published his novel Please and his book of poetry Still on the same day. Join him in a conversation about writing in parallel forms, with fellow Welsh writer Jon Gower, whose books include An Island Called Smith and The Story of Wales. He has been making TV and radio documentaries for 30 years.
Do you remember when viewing at a certain time was still a thing? When you spent 3.30pm-5.30pm every day watching CBBC? A forgotten or unknown time for some, but a treasured childhood for the comedian whose memoir revisits the TV of our past, from the CBBC Broom Cupboard, Live & Kicking, Eldorado and Big Break to C4’s bespoke Saturday morning sports output featuring Kabaddi. In conversation with his brother Henry, he reflects on his strange upbringing in Dartmoor where there were only four people in his year at school, and at home they didn’t just leave the front door unlocked, they didn't even have a key.
Fewer than two per cent of the British population regularly attend services in an Anglican church, and since the idea of ‘church’ is its people, the buildings are becoming husks, without meaning or purpose. Some are finding new community roles, but the institutional decline is widely seen as terminal. For Morris, post-war parsonages were the happy backdrop of his childhood. In Evensong he explores what drew his father and hundreds like him to ordination as they came home from war in 1945. We meet archbishops, chaplains, campaigners, bell-ringers, bureaucrats, archaeologists, gravediggers, architects, scroungers – and follow some of them to dark places. Part personal odyssey, part lyrical history, the book spans two thousand years, and ends amid the messy legacies of colonialism and empire.
Stavrakopoulou’s God: An Anatomy reveals that God’s cultural DNA stretches back centuries before the Bible was written, and persists in society, whether we are believers or not. The Bible has shaped our ideas about God and religion, but also our cultural preferences, our concept of life and death; our attitude to sex and gender; our habits of eating and drinking; and our understanding of history. In her book she shows how the Western idea of God developed, investigating the places and artefacts that shaped our view of this singular God and the ancient religions and societies of the biblical world. In doing so she analyses the origins of Western culture.
Outstripping palaces and castles, cathedrals are sensational structures and humankind's greatest creations. The author has travelled from Chartres to York, Cologne to Florence, Toledo to Moscow and Stockholm to Seville to illuminate old favourites and highlight new discoveries. This fully illustrated book tells the stories behind these wonders, inspiring readers to make their own pilgrimage.
Previous books by Simon Jenkins include England's Thousand Best Churches, A Short History of England, and A Short History of Europe.
An evening with the Oscar-winning writer, director and actor as she discusses the complementary crafts of writing and performing. In April 2021, she won the Academy Award for best original screenplay, the first British woman to win (since it was established in its current form in 1958) with her film, Promising Young Woman. She earned two Primetime Emmy Award nominations as a writer on the BBC thriller series Killing Eve. She is known, too, for playing Patsy in BBC’s Call the Midwife and Camilla Parker-Bowles in Netflix's The Crown. In May, Fennell received the 2021 Hay Festival Medal for Drama. She talks to the radio and TV presenter Gemma Cairney.
To whet your appetite, there will also be 5 Winter Warmer events to watch and enjoy online featuring Matt Haig, Steven Pinker, Bill McKibben, Siri Hustvedt and the 2021 Booker Prize winner. These events will be free for everyone to watch and will be available online on our website from 15 November.