Michael Rosen traces the history of Bevan and the NHS, an institution that Rosen celebrates in his latest work Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS, a collection of stunning new prose poems, moving diaries from nurses and his own reflections on the desperate struggle with Covid-19, which saw him hospitalised for months in 2020. Aneurin Bevan was one of the most important ministers in the post-war Labour government. This lecture honours his work as the main architect of the National Health Service and his contribution to the UK’s Welfare State.
Publishers abandoning authors. Galleries removing paintings. Universities banning speakers. Cancel culture seems to be all around us. But if decent discourse is dying, how can we maintain the antiquated virtue of tolerance? Speakers include David Olusoga, historian and broadcaster; Shazia Mirza, comedian and writer; Sarfraz Manzoor, author, broadcaster and screenwriter; and Sir Jonathan Bate, author, broadcaster, academic. Chaired by Alan Rusbridger, Editor of Prospect Magazine.
Author of Swimming Lessons and Bitter Orange Claire Fuller discusses her most recent novel exploring how we can build our lives on broken foundations with the Guardian’s Associate Culture Editor. Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from others. At 51, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural poverty. They make music, and in the garden they grow everything they need. When Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. The twins would do anything to preserve their sanctuary against the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about life at stake.
The reconstruction after two World Wars was pre-planned by the Allies and carried out with huge drive and commitment, leading to a reconciliation between the warring nations that has endured. But since then, we have witnessed the tragic fallout of too many civil and international conflicts. In the Congo and Rwanda, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Israel and Palestine, the former Yugoslavia and now, dismayingly, in Ukraine. The panel discuss the reasons behind these failures and look at how reconciliation can be achieved. Lyse Doucet is the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent; Tom Fletcher was UK Ambassador in Lebanon; Oliver McTernan has a background in conflict resolution and interfaith relationships. They talk to Major General Arthur Denaro.
Birds have always inspired and challenged our ideas about science, faith, art and philosophy. We have worshipped them as gods, hunted them, adorned ourselves in their feathers, studied their wings to engineer flight and, recently, attempted to protect them. The ornithologist takes us on an epic journey from the ibises mummified and deified by Ancient Egyptians to Victorian obsessions with egg collecting and the present fight to save endangered species. Birkhead, author of Birds and Us: A 12,000 Year History, From Cave Art to Conservation, is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Emeritus Professor of Zoology in the School of Biosciences at the University of Sheffield.
The First Minister of Scotland and avid reader makes her Hay Festival debut to share her thoughts on being a woman in politics and what a post-Brexit, post-Covid, net-zero world will look like.
AC Grayling’s latest book is For the Good of the World: Is Global Agreement on Global Challenges Possible? Simon Schama is University Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University, New York. Turkish-British author Elif Shafak’s most recent novel is The Island of Missing Trees. They discuss technology, climate, justice and human rights, addressing the question: ‘Can we get the whole world to agree on any of them?’ in conversation with writer, cyber security and organised crime specialist Misha Glenny, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.
Medieval historian Wellesley charts the history of manuscripts in England. She discusses the many contributors to the creation of these venerable, beautiful and delicate objects, and highlights the little-known women’s histories, assembling evidence of an overlooked world of female scribes, patrons and readers.
The Vogue columnist and author of The Panic Years is joined by the author of The Outrun and The Instant to discuss Frizzell’s first novel, Square One. In the book, Hanna – newly single, in her thirties, is forced to move into a tiny flat with her dad Iain, who is newly single, in his sixties and owns a lot of square black plates. As all her friends steam ahead, Hanna is back in her home town, sleeping under a Jungle Book duvet cover and wondering where things went so awry. The two authors talk about everything from homesickness to heartbreak and what it’s like to feel out of sync.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men – with a history stretching back to Shakespeare himself – invite you to join them for a sparkling comedy. One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies, they present this great play as Shakespeare first saw it performed: in the open air, by an all male cast and with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.
Banished to the Forest of Arden, Rosalind, Celia, Orlando and the Duke are freed from the constraints of their former lives – lovers tussle, wits and fools spar, familial bonds are challenged, and everyone wrestles with what it really means to be yourself. A rustic romp packed with music, laughs, cross-dressing confusion and a dash of wrestling!
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” – William Shakespeare.
There are five performances As You Like It, on Thursday 2, Friday 3 and Saturday 4 June. Seating at all performances is unallocated. These are outdoor performances, come rain or shine, so please dress warmly and according to the weather.
You can enjoy a tipple, soft drink or ice cream from the licensed bar and ice cream stand before the performance and during the interval.
Click here to pre-book a delicious picnic box to enjoy during the performance.
Toilet facilities are available on site.
Sarfraz Manzoor grew up in a working-class Pakistani Muslim family in Luton – where he was raised to believe that they were different, they had an alien culture and they would never accept him. They were white people. In today’s deeply divided Britain we are often told they are different, they have a different culture and values and they will never accept this country. This time they are Muslims. Weaving together history, reportage and memoir, Manzoor journeys around Britain in search of the roots of this division. He talks to the former editor of The Spectator about his findings, from the fear that Islam promotes violence, to the suspicion that Muslims wish to live segregated lives, to the belief that Islam is fundamentally misogynistic.
Gavin Plumley considered himself a distinctly urban being… until he met his rural husband, Alastair. Together, they bought Stepps House – a three-storey building in Pembridge, Herefordshire. But then came the inevitable question from an insurance salesman: ‘How old is it?’ With ancient beams crossing the ceiling, the date they’d been given of 1800 seemed out by centuries. As he traced Stepps House through various eras, he saw the picture of a past emerge that resonates powerfully with our present. Plumley is a cultural historian who grew up in Wales. He talks to writer and broadcaster Horatio Clare, author of Running for the Hills.
British Comedy Award-winner Nina Conti is back on tour with her pioneering new show. There’s no promise that true love will be found, but a firm guarantee that big laughs will be had in the reign of this quick-thinking queen of ventriloquism. Conti has stormed Live at the Apollo, made a BAFTA-nominated film and enjoyed sell-out shows across the world – all without moving her lips.
The soul-rooted contemporary R&B singer-songwriter shot to stardom with her self-titled number one UK debut album in 2006, featuring the global hits Put Your Records On and Like A Star. Winner of two Grammy awards and two MOBOs, she collaborates and performs with artists across musical genres, including Mary J Blige, Al Green, Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Questlove, Salaam Rami, Paul Weller, Richard Hawley, Stevie Wonder, Tracey Thorn and more. She has performed worldwide from Glastonbury to Byron Bay Blues Festival. In 2021 she sang A Change Is Gonna Come as a duet with Leslie Odom Jr at the BAFTAs. Come along and hear the singer put her tunes on in Hay-on-Wye.
Simon Schama, University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, presents his forthcoming book Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines and the Health of Nations, about Waldemar Haffkine, a Russian Jew who created vaccines against cholera and the bubonic plague before becoming the subject of ‘the Little Dreyfus affair’ when accused of contaminating a vial of plague vaccine causing deaths in a Punjabi village in 1902. Simon Schama is the author of 19 books and the writer-presenter of more than 50 BBC documentaries on history and art history.
The Menopause Revolution goes on the road with the obstetrician and gynaecologist, the author of Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause (But Were too Afraid to Ask), and the menopause expert and author of Preparing for the Perimenopause and Menopause.
Dr Rebecca Gibbs is Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Royal Free Hospital. She is also a volunteer for the Daisy Network, which helps women with premature ovarian insufficiency. Kate Muir’s book is the thinking woman’s guide to the menopause, questioning misplaced shame, bad science and centuries of patriarchy. Dr Louise Newson runs the world’s largest menopause clinic and is on the government’s Menopause Taskforce.
A love story and a ghost story set in modern day Trinidad, this debut work is rich with magic and wisdom, alive with a fresh, modern sensibility. The author weaves a story of loss and renewal, darkness and light; a triumphant reckoning with a grief that runs back generations and a defiant, joyful affirmation of hope. Ayanna Lloyd Banwo talks to Trinidadian-born British writer and memoirist Monique Roffey.
The author of Running for the Hills and Heavy Light joins guides from Brecon Beacons National Park on a gentle walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye, looking at stories from his book Myths and Legends of the Brecon Beacons.
What if your parents wanted you to behave badly? In the snowy fjords of a Viking kingdom, terrible twins Hack and Whack are proud to be the best-worst Vikings. Nothing can stop the marauding pair. Join Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon as she introduces the second book in her new series. Find out lots of interesting facts about Vikings and expect plenty of anarchy and chaos in this fun-filled event.
Dive in to discover why we must protect freshwater to save life on Earth. Catherine Barr reveals the water footprint of your jeans, why fish leap up ladders and who lives in washing-up bowl ponds, while illustrator Christiane Engel shows how to draw rare pink river dolphins.