Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2022

We are delighted to announce the full programme of events for Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2022.

Please note: tickets on sale are for live events, to attend in person. You can buy a pass to watch the festival online.

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Event 18

Natalie Haynes talks to Francine Stock

Stone Blind

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

The presenter of Stand Up for the Classics brings the infamous Medusa to life as never before.

Medusa is the only mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her sisters, she quickly realizes that she is the only one who gets older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When desire pushes Poseidon to commit the unforgivable, Medusa’s mortal life is changed for ever. Her punishment is to be turned into a Gorgon: sharp teeth, snakes for hair, and a gaze that will turn any living creature to stone. Appalled by her own reflection, Medusa can no longer look upon anything she loves without destroying it. She condemns herself to a life of solitude in the shadows to limit her murderous range. That is, until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon.

This is the story of how a young woman became a monster. And how she was never really a monster at all. Previous books by the author include The Women’s Prize-shortlisted A Thousand Ships, The Children of Jocasta and Pandora’s Jar.

 
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Event 19

Andrew Simms and Anita Roy

Contagious Tales: 22 Modern Folk Tales in the Wake of the Pandemic & Climate Crisis

 Hay Castle Clore Learning Space

Our troubled times are turned into modern folk tales to shine a light on how we got here and and where we go now. Campaigner and co-author Andrew Simms joins nature writer and author of adult and children’s fiction, Anita Roy, for a lively and playful discussion of winter’s tales and the role of storytelling in getting us out of the mess we’re in. Contributors to the book range from leading Earth scientists and economists to playwrights and poets.

‘This book is like being by a campfire, surrounded by your favourite people telling stories that are funny, inventive, full of pathos and truth’– Caroline Lucas MP

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Event 20

War Horse

A Celebration of Revel Guest with Michael Morpurgo

 Richard Booth’s Bookshop Cinema

Revel was Chair of Hay Festival for over 30 years and during that time was Executive Producer of Steven Spielberg’s film War Horse based on the book by Michael Morpurgo. Revel was a pioneering filmmaker, journalist, author, horsewoman and farmer. Michael Morpurgo will introduce the film along with Revel's daughter Corisande Albert.

Please join us in the cinema bar after the screening for a reception to celebrate Revel's life where Michael will be signing copies of the 40th anniversary edition of War Horse.

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Event 49

Katherine Rundell talks to Owen Sheers (EXTRA EVENT)

The Golden Mole and Other Living Treasure

 St Mary’s Church

A swift flies two million kilometres in its lifetime. That’s far enough to get to the moon and back twice over – and then once more to the moon. A giraffe was once given to the King of France; she marched through the streets, dressed in the finest couture raincoat Paris could produce. A pangolin’s tongue is longer than its body. It keeps it neatly furled in a pouch near the hip.

Each of these animals is extraordinary. And each of them may soon disappear from the Earth. A lavishly illustrated collection of the lives of some of our astounding animals, this is a chance to be awestruck and lovestruck – to reckon with the beauty of the world, its fragility, and its strangeness.

Rundell’s books include Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, and Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise.

Katherine Rundell is in conversation with the novelist, poet and playwright Owen Sheers.

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Event 21

Shaun Bythell in conversation with John Mitchinson

Remainders of the Day: More Diaries from The Bookshop, Wigtown

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

From one booktown to another…

The Bookshop in Wigtown is the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland, with over a mile of shelving supporting 100,000 books, a real log fire, and Captain the cat. The owner continues his diary series with a new edition, filled with the pernickety warmth and humour that has touched readers around the world.

John Mitchinson is the publisher of Unbound, one of the creators of QI, the television panel show, and co-host of the Backlisted books podcast.

 
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Event 22

Charlotte Williams talks to Kirsti Bohata

Sugar and Slate

 Hay Castle Clore Learning Space

The daughter of a white Welsh-speaking mother and a black father from Guyana, the author grew up in a small town on the coast of north Wales, with few role models. In search of her roots, she travelled to Africa and the Caribbean, before returning to Wales. 

Hers is a story of Welshness and otherness, of roots and rootlessness, in which there is a constant going away and coming back with always a sense of being ‘half home’. It is both a personal memoir and a tale that speaks to the wider experience of mixed-race Britons. 

‘An engaging and perceptive voice describing an engrossing and particular personal story’ – journalist Gary Younge

Williams is Honorary Professor at the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences at Bangor University and Honorary Fellow at University of South Wales.

In conversation with Kirsti Bohata, a professor at Swansea University and a leading scholar in the field of Welsh writing in English.

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Event 50

Kamila Shamsie talks to Alan Bilton (EXTRA EVENT)

Best of Friends

 St Mary’s Church

Fourteen-year-old Maryam and Zahra have always been the best of friends, despite their different backgrounds. Maryam takes for granted that she will stay in Karachi and inherit the family business, while Zahra keeps her desires secret, and dreams of escaping abroad. In 1988, anything seems possible for the girls; and for Pakistan, emerging from the darkness of dictatorship into a bright future under a young woman, Benazir Bhutto. But a snap decision at a party celebrating the return of democracy brings the girls’ childhoods abruptly to an end. Its consequences will shape their futures in ways they cannot imagine…

Three decades later, in London, Zahra and Maryam are still best friends despite living very different lives. But when unwelcome ghosts from their shared past re-enter their world, both women find themselves driven to act in ways that will stretch and twist their bond beyond all recognition.

This is a novel about Britain today, about power and how we use it, and about what we owe to those who have loved us the longest.

Kamila Shamsie’s most recent novel, Home Fire, won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. It was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017, shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award, and won the London Hellenic Prize. She is the author of six previous novels including Burnt Shadows, and A God in Every Stone.

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Event 23

Katherine Rundell talks to Francine Stock

The Golden Mole and Other Living Treasure

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

A swift flies two million kilometres in its lifetime. That’s far enough to get to the moon and back twice over – and then once more to the moon. A giraffe was once given to the King of France; she marched through the streets, dressed in the finest couture raincoat Paris could produce. A pangolin’s tongue is longer than its body. It keeps it neatly furled in a pouch near the hip.

Each of these animals is extraordinary. And each of them may soon disappear from the Earth. A lavishly illustrated collection of the lives of some of our astounding animals, this is a chance to be awestruck and lovestruck – to reckon with the beauty of the world, its fragility, and its strangeness.

Rundell’s books include Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, and Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise.

In conversation with broadcaster and writer Francine Stock

 
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Event 24

Garry J Shaw

The Story of Tutankhamun: An Intimate Life of the Boy who Became King

 Hay Castle Clore Learning Space

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 1922 sparked imaginations across the globe. While Howard Carter emptied its treasures, Tut-mania gripped the world – and in many ways, has never left. But who was the ‘boy king’, and what was his life really like?

This illustrated biography uses the most up-to-date research to present Tutankhamun as a person, rather than as a distant god-king or a symbol of ancient Egypt. The compelling narrative weaves together numerous intriguing details from the boy king’s treasures and possessions – from a lock of his grandmother’s hair to a reed cut with his own hands – to reveal the life of this enigmatic figure.

Shaw is a journalist and author of The Pharaoh: Life at Court and on Campaign, The Egyptian Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends, and Egyptian Mythology.

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Event 51

Leo Houlding ​talks to Andy Fryers (EXTRA EVENT)

Closer to the Edge: Climbing to the Ends of the Earth

 St Mary’s Church

The mountaineer and adventurer is a veteran of a score of epic ascents, including Everest, but specialises in free-climbing the most technical peaks and biggest walls in the world.

What drives him? How does he assess risk and how does he balance this with teaching his own children the lessons he has learnt in some of the world’s most dangerous and extreme places? Honest, raw and exhilarating, this is a ‘warts-and-all’ insight into Houlding’s extreme life and the losses he has faced.

In conversation with Andy Fryers

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Event 25

Richard Herring talks to Natalie Haynes

Can I Have My Ball Back?

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

At the start of 2021 Richard Herring was diagnosed with testicular cancer. For a man whose output includes a stand-up tour titled Talking Cock and who regularly interrogates our attitudes towards masculinity, it was a diagnosis that came with additional layers of complexity.

Mixing his personal story with what defines masculinity and 'maleness' in society, Can I Have My Ball Back? is not your typical cancer memoir. Whether they're nuts, or bollocks, or gonads, or family jewels; from the phrase 'grow some balls' to infamous WWII songs about Hitler, Rich unpicks the tangle of emotions around his own testing times.

In conversation with classicist, broadcaster and comedian Natalie Haynes.

 
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Event 26

Juan Gabriel Vásquez in conversation with Philippe Sands

Retrospective

 Hay Castle Clore Learning Space

The life of Colombian film director Sergio Cabrera is the backdrop for a story about the relationship between parents and children marked by political ideas and fanaticism. From the Spanish Civil War to the exile of his Republican family in Latin America, and from the Cultural Revolution in China to the guerrilla movements of 1960s Latin America, not only will do we discover a series of extraordinary adventures, but also a devastating portrait of the forces that for half a century turned the world upside down and created the one we now inhabit.

Regarded as one of the most important Latin American novelists working today, the author has published seven novels, including The Informers and The Sound of Things Falling, two volumes of short stories – The All Saints’ Day Lovers and Canciones para el incendio – and two collections of literary essays.

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He attends the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. His books include the Baillie Gifford Prize-winning East West Street, The Ratline and The Colony.

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Event 52

Vince Cable talks to Rosie Boycott (EXTRA EVENT)

How to be a Politician: 2000 Years of Good (and bad) Advice

 St Mary’s Church

The former Liberal Democrat leader curates the ultimate book of political advice, conjuring the warp, weft, ebbs, flows, highs and lows of a political life, in the words of those who said it best.

His book follows the arc of a life in politics – from childhood signs of potential to running for office, getting elected and forming a government; climbing the greasy pole to the pinnacle of leadership and a place on the world’s stage; dealing with mistakes, detractors, criticism, humiliation and failure; and finally escaping the political life altogether.

The wittiest, wisest and most acerbic political quotations from the last two thousand years are interspersed, making this an entertaining education in the dark art of politics.

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Event 27

Leo Houlding talks to Tori James

Closer to the Edge: Climbing to the Ends of the Earth

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

The mountaineer and adventurer is a veteran of a score of epic ascents, including Everest, but specialises in free-climbing the most technical peaks and biggest walls in the world.

What drives him? How does he assess risk and how does he balance this with teaching his own children the lessons he has learnt in some of the world’s most dangerous and extreme places? Honest, raw and exhilarating, this is a ‘warts-and-all’ insight into Houlding’s extreme life and the losses he has faced.

In conversation with adventurer Tori James, the first Welsh woman to climb Everest.

 
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Event 28

Paul Coldwell

The Printed Image: A Personal Perspective

 Hay Castle Clore Learning Space

This illustrated talk by the Professor of Fine Art at the University of the Arts in London explores the role of printmaking through the work of Dürer, Rembrandt and Morandi, as well as contemporary artists Paula Rego, Patrick Caulfield and Willie Cole. Why do artists make prints and what differentiates an original print from a reproduction? The speaker’s practice

includes printmaking, sculpture, book works and installation, and his work features in the current Hay Castle exhibition, The Printed Line.

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Event 29

Yomi Sode

Poetry Live

 The Poetry Bookshop

The Nigerian-British poet reads from his new collection, Manorism, charting the vulnerabilities and rich nuances of Black masculinity, and exploring family, survival, generational trauma and the complexities of belonging. It takes aim at the legacies of the British Empire – racism, classism and toxic masculinity. Woven with references to white cultural figures from Shakespeare to Caravaggio, this thrillingly original work asks what it means to live as a Black man in Britain today. The poet is a recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was shortlisted for The Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021.

‘Thrilling... once-in-a-generation’ – Jackie Kay

This event has been cancelled.

Event 30

Hay Community Choir and Hay Shantymen

Winter Warmer

 St Mary’s Church

A celebration of our great community at the changing of the season. Hay Community Choir will be joined by Hay Shantymen for a one-off evening guaranteed to get you in the festive mood. With shanties, world songs, excerpts from Handel's Messiah and some surprises to get your feet tapping, this is not your average carol concert. 

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Event 31

Paul Coldwell

After Hours: Tour of The Printed Line exhibition

 Hay Castle

Enjoy the current Hay Castle exhibition with informed commentary from one of the artists featured.

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Event 32

Mike Wozniak: Zusa

Little Wander in Association with PBJ Management present a preview of Wozniak's stand up tour

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle, Great Hall)

Ever wondered how Mike’s great-aunt Zusa made it from Poland to Luton with a war nipping at her heels? Here’s your chance to find out.

As seen on Taskmaster and Man Down (both Channel 4) and Would I Lie To You? (BBC One) and heard on Small Scenes (BBC Radio 4), the podcasts St Elwick’s Neighbourhood Association Newsletter and the Three Bean Salad podcast.



Age guidance: 14+
There will be an interval.
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Event 33

Tom True

Breakfast Tour of Hay Castle

 Hay Castle

Battles, borders, books and breakfast. Explore Hay Castle with Executive Director, Tom True, who will give an introduction to the history and invite you to get to know some of the characters from the Castle's past as well as talking about the recent restoration project. Continental breakfast included in the ticket price.

This event is run by Hay Castle with all proceeds going to the Hay Castle Trust
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