We are delighted to announce the full programme of events for Hay Festival 2022.
Please note: tickets on sale are for live events, to attend in person. Details of our online Festival will be released on Tuesday 17 May.
BBC Radio Wales’ satirical panel show returns to Hay, as Tom Price and guests Jason Byrne, Konnie Huq and Ian Stone offer erudite analysis, interpretation and laughter as they look at the week's biggest news stories from Wales and the World.
May contain adult language, not suitable for children
Home is the word that hovers over the Odyssey from first to last. Festival President Stephen Fry talks about the centenary of the publication of Joyce’s Ulysses and his own journey towards the finish line as he completes the fourth of his Greek mythology metrology. A sense of home is something very deep inside all of us.
Fernanda Melchor’s novel Hurricane Season was a runaway critical success, a New York Times notable book of 2020, and won the 2021 Queen Sofia Translation Prize. For this and her latest novel Paradais, Melchor has been praised for her dazzling technical prowess, perfect pitch for orality, and unsparing depiction of Mexico’s explosive social inequity.
Sophie Hughes is the literary translator tasked with rendering Melchor’s “exceptional gift for ventriloquism” and the controlled rage of her voice in English. In this two-part lecture and conversation, translator and author come together to discuss boldness and artistic bravery in their respective literary roles. This translation lecture is given in the name of the pre-eminent translator whose peerless work rendering French, Danish and German literature into English ranges from Asterix to Austerlitz. Chaired by Chris Power.
Vicky Spratt traces decades of bad policy decisions to show how and why the British dream of homeownership has withered and the safety net of social housing has broken. She illuminates the ways this crisis is devastating our health, communities and political landscape. Hilary Cottam is focused on reforming the British welfare state. She challenges us to stop trying to reform out of date institutions and instead look at how modern solutions might start with people and communities, fostering their capabilities. They talk to Oliver Balch about the real, radical steps we can take to give everyone the chance of a good home.
Vicky Spratt is a journalist, documentary maker, activist and housing rights campaigner. Her new book is Tenants: The People on the Frontline of Britain’s Housing Emergency. Hilary Cottam OBE is a social entrepreneur and Honorary Professor at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Her latest book is Radical Help: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us and Revolutionise the Welfare State.
Sadia Azmat is a comedian who loves sex. She is also a hijab-wearing Muslim woman. The two are in a lifelong relationship, but it’s complicated.
Sadia has many different sides to her: she is the good Muslim sister and the loud and proud comedian; she is the quiet and loving friend and the horny and outspoken one. So why does everyone put her in a box and expect her to choose between one or the other?
In a life of ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, Sadia has learnt the hard way that she can embrace her sexuality and be a proud British-Indian Muslim. Unafraid to spill the honest truth and finding the funny in every experience she has, she makes Sex Bomb explode with personality, warmth and joy.
Lively discussion with Jude Rogers and a selection of the best fiction and non-fiction writers at Hay. Today she’s joined by journalist and novelist Stephanie Merritt, public health expert Professor Devi Sridhar and writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay.
A new collaboration with Shakespeare’s Globe brings nine performances of Julius Caesar to a specially commissioned open-air theatre at the newly renovated Hay Castle. The travelling company of actors, will bring to life Shakespeare’s political thriller with a stripped back production made fresh for our world today.
Touring has been a longstanding tradition at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, since the tours of the Elizabethan Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Shakespeare’s versatile troupe toured frequently in the summer especially when there was a plague or political unrest. Shakespeare’s Globe has now established a world renowned reputation for highly ambitious and economical Shakespearean storytelling in the rough and ready fashion of Elizabethan times.
“We are so delighted to be able to finally come to the Hay Festival to perform against the breath-taking backdrop of Hay Castle.” – Shakespeare’s Globe
Click here to pre-book a delicious picnic box to enjoy during the performance.
Jason Byrne has not only had his heart unblocked and been given a new lease of life, but his whole career has been unblocked too! The constipation of Covid has been cleared, live entertainment has been colonically irrigated and readied up for us all. The bans from social media platforms have been lifted and Jason is back dishing up platters of fun to everyone.
Join him live on stage as he unleashes what he does best. Guaranteed pure and utter unblocked joy and laughter. (This guarantee is not guaranteed.)
Following in the footsteps of his father, Simon Jeffes of the iconic Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Arthur Jeffes formed Penguin Cafe with a brand new line-up in 2009, bringing together a talented array of musicians to create a new generation Penguin Collective. Arthur, a talented composer in his own right, quickly began to create new and unique genre-defying music, with the philosophy of the Penguin Cafe always in his mind. The group have toured internationally and released an album, Handfuls of Night, to great acclaim. This concert promises an evening of sinuous, spellbinding sound.
What parallels are there between contemporary poetry and spoken word movements and hip hop’s past, present and future? Come chill and find out at the RAP (Rhythm And Poetry) Party, a nostalgic, no-clutter, no-fuss night of hip hop-inspired poems and favourite hip hop songs.
This special Hay Festival edition features event founder Inua Ellams and long-time friend and collaborator Theresa Lola going head-to-head, back-to-back, with DJ Sid Mercutio on the decks.
Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright and performer. Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet, writer and editor.
Helen and John Price and the next generation, Rhiannon and Humphrey Wells open the gates to their farm for a visit led by agronomist Jonathon Harrington and vet Barney Sampson. This traditional family farm is adapting to meet the challenges of a new era to build a sustainable future for food production. Learn about the choices they face relating to soil and the environment, livestock and climate change, and their plans to be carbon negative within the next 3 to 5 years. See cattle and sheep and the crops that are grown to feed them. Beef from the farm will be served in bread rolls at the end of the visit.
With thanks to Helen and John Price and Rhiannon and Humphrey Wells
Please wear walking boots or Wellingtons 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.
Loss and adversity are part of the human condition, but an imperfect past isn’t always an indicator of what’s to come. Often the people with the hardest beginnings in life – children who experience displacement, financial ruin, abandonment or bereavement – become the most high achieving adults. From world leaders to CEOs, actors to archbishops, Olympic sports stars to Nobel Prize-winning scientists, many have overcome immense challenges, tragedies and difficulties in early life before going on to achieve extraordinary success and fame.
Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson (What I Wish I’d Known When I Was Young) consider why this is and how the psychological impact of trauma propels people to strive harder, commit more fully and not give up. They bring together the latest psychological research with interviews with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Russell Brand, Brian Cox, Andy Murray, Lemn Sissay, Grayson Perry, Sajid Javid and Hilary Mantel, to help us better understand the art of resilience, motivation, perspective and courage.
The acclaimed historian, Professor of History at Harvard University and a leading authority on the Cold War and nuclear history, tells the tale of the six nuclear disasters that shook the world: Bikini Atoll, Kyshtym, Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Based on wide-ranging research and witness testimony, Plokhy traces the arc of each crisis, exploring in depth the confused decision-making on the ground and the panicked responses of governments to contain the crises and often cover up the scale of the catastrophe. He talks to writer and journalist Oliver Balch.
Dublin, 7 October 2019. One day, one city, two women: Ruth and Pen. Neither known to the other, but both asking themselves the same questions: how to be with others and how, when the world doesn't seem willing to make space for them, to be with themselves? Ruth’s marriage to Aidan is in crisis. Today she needs to make a choice – to stay or not to stay, to take the risk of reaching out, or to pull up the drawbridge. For teenage Pen, today is the day the words will flow, and she will speak her truth to Alice, to ask for what she so desperately wants.
Deeply involving, Ruth & Pen is a portrait of the limits of grief and love, of how we navigate our inner and outer landscapes, and the tender courage demanded by the simple, daily quest of living.
Emilie Pine is Professor of Modern Drama at University College Dublin, Ireland. Her first collection of personal essays Notes to Self won the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award, and Book of the Year 2018 at the Irish Book Awards.
Guides from Brecon Beacons National Park lead a gentle walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye. The National Park is also home to a UNESCO geopark. During this walk, the Park’s Geopark Officer offers a journey through deep time, exploring the geology of the hills.
Please wear appropriate footwear and come prepared for the weather. The walk returns to the Festival site by midday.
Discover how to train your brain and become the best you can be with the nation’s favourite doctor. Dr Ranj not only tells you how it works but also shows you how to train it to get better at stuff you find difficult. Following Dr Ranj’s advice will help you learn how to make the most of your brain and to keep your mind happy and healthy.
Pencils at the ready in this interactive event with the award-winning picture book illustrator, creator of Puffin Peter, Blue Penguin and Silly Suzy Goose. In Petr’s new book A Best Friend for Bear, finding a best friend isn’t easy, especially when you’re a bear. How lonely Black Bear meets Brown Bear and how together they decide to search for a friend for them both is a touching story that everyone can relate to.
An opportunity to get crafting! Activities differ every day, including everything from print-making to junk modelling with recycled materials. Get messy and creative: your imagination is the limit.
Book for the session and you can drop in at any point during the 2.5 hour duration. An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not require a ticket.
The St Matthew Passion is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. But what was it like to play and sing and hear it for the first time? James Runcie, author of The Grantchester Mysteries, talks about the imaginative research involved in writing his new novel The Great Passion, the story behind the composition, rehearsal and first performance of Bach’s masterpiece in April 1727. This event is interspersed with Bach’s D minor partita performed by brilliant young French violinist Irène Duval.