Writer and comedian Josie Long takes us on a trip through her frank and funny debut story collection, Because I Don't Know What you Mean and What you Don’t, in conversation with classicist and comedian Natalie Haynes. With a cast of characters ranging from friends setting up a business to help relieve the wealthy of their guilt, to a cul-de-sac WhatsApp group with eggs to spare, these tales of the unexpected are comical, refreshing and often deeply relatable. Long won the Best Newcomer award at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has been nominated three times for Best Show. She is a regular on BBC Radio 4 and the co-presenter of Book Shambles with Robin Ince.
Everyday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates discusses empowerment and a new system for an integrated and respectful society with her panel of guests, to be announced. Bates is a Hay Festival 2023 Thinker in Residence, questioning norms, finding new perspectives and challenging us to action. Her most recent book is Fix the System, Not the Women.
Stand-up comedian, activist and presenter David Baddiel isn’t afraid of a big question, and his latest book – The God Desire – asks one of the biggest: does God exist? Despite a lifetime of fantasising about the existence of God, Baddiel has concluded that it’s that very desire that proves God’s non-existence. With openness and vulnerability, Baddiel – whose career also includes writing novels for adults and children – contributes to one of the most ancient of debates with his trademark wit, honesty and humour.
Join actor Callum Scott Howells (It’s a Sin, Cabaret) and writer and director Luke Collins (Cappuccino, Swiped) as they present a screening of On the Black Hill, adapted from Bruce Chatwin’s 1982 novel, which tells the story of identical twin brothers who grow up on a farm in rural Wales and never leave home. Howells, nominated for a Bafta for his performance in It’s a Sin, and Collins, an award winner for his cinematography across two BBC short films, discuss Chatwin’s moving ability to explore the larger questions of the human experience and why the novel remains a classic piece of writing for the rural borderlands of Wales and England. Chaired by poet Owen Sheers. The discussion will last for around 45 minutes, followed by the one-hour film screening.
Dublin poet and playwright Stephen James Smith presents an evening of vibrant spoken word. Smith’s poetry videos have amassed over 2.5 million views, and his short film My Ireland, a companion to a poem of the same name he wrote as a commission for St Patrick’s Festival, was screened at the London Film Festival.
Father Richard Williams’ film nights are renowned. Parish priest in Hay since 2001, he trained as a professional musician at Trinity College of Music, London, studying piano, organ and composition. In the late Georgian-Gothic setting of St Mary’s Church, Hay, he is performing a live accompaniment on the Bevington organ to the classic 1920 German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer.
At a fairground, Dr Caligari has a somnambulist, Cesare, who can predict the future. When a young man visits him and asks how long he will live, the answer is until dawn…
Levellers bring their folk-rock energy to the Festival with an acoustic show featuring additional musicians performing reworkings of some of their finest compositions from We the Collective and recently released second volume Together All the Way.
Welsh comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean hosts our Friday night comedy club featuring the wonderfully offbeat Toussaint Douglass, Edinburgh award-winner Sam Campbell and “furiously funny” (Guardian) Jen Brister. Brought to you by Little Wander, the team behind the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.
Start your day with a morning yoga class designed to reinvigorate your energy and spirit. Enjoy a grounding, energising, alignment‐based yoga practice, using the breath and sound to rediscover and rejuvenate the body and mind. Beginners and experienced students are most welcome. Yoga mats and props are provided.
Please contact Kanga Wellbeing on firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions relating to these classes. As capacity is limited, we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Bring your best ideas to this solutions-focused workshop session. Facilitated by sustainability entrepreneur Andy Middleton, Chief Exploration Officer at the TYF Group, and joined by key speakers to be announced, we’ll look at the key issue of energy. We’ll discuss the scale of the issue and a range of solutions, how to action them, how they might impact on their lives and how to manage the change.
The war in Ukraine has created an unexpected energy shock. But it has also hastened a dramatic redesign in how energy is generated and consumed. New giant investments in wind, solar, hydro, nuclear and ocean power have been impressive. But there are ominous signs that the corporate commitment to move away from fossil fuels is weakening because of the big money still being made by oil and gas producers. The battle to decarbonise our energy is not even nearly won. How do we balance energy generation, energy security and energy poverty, at speed and scale?
This workshop is part of our Hay Festival Planet Assembly, a daily, inclusive conversation over ten days involving lay people, scientists, commentators and experts. We want to empower everyone to be accelerators and multipliers for the dramatic policy transformations that are needed immediately to tackle the acute climate and biodiversity emergencies.
It’s all too easy to think of Agatha Christie as a very proper Edwardian lady of leisure, until you discover she loved fast cars and went surfing in Hawaii, as well as of course writing some of the most enduring and best-loved British murder mysteries. Historian and television presenter Lucy Worsley, joint chief curator at the Historic Royal Palaces, presents a new side of Christie in Agatha Christie – A Very Elusive Woman, her account of the writer’s life, based on personal letters and papers that have rarely been seen. Join Worsley to discover the writer who, despite the obstacles of class and gender, became an astonishingly successful working woman.
Aged 60, Mark Ellison has written his first book, How to Build Impossible Things, the result of 40 years as a carpenter – the best in New York, by some accounts. From building a staircase that the famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava called ‘a masterpiece’ to being profiled in the New Yorker, Ellison is a celebrity in his world. He has worked in the most beautiful homes you’ve never seen, specialising in rarefied, lavish projects for the most demanding of clients including the late David Bowie and Robin Williams. But as a native of the old steel town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his path was an unexpected one. Learn about his early life, his most challenging and fulfilling work, and perhaps pick up a tip or two for constructing your own bit of furniture.
Guides from the Brecon Beacons National Park will lead a gentle walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye, joined by writer and broadcaster Horatio Clare, author of The Light in the Dark.
Hay-on-Wye is based within 520 square miles of beautiful landscape that makes up Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) 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 gentle walks will 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.
Celebrate the 30th year of A Squash and A Squeeze in a fun-packed hour of stories and songs based on the author’s many books. She performs with her guitar-playing husband Malcolm and other actors, bringing to life her much treasured and brand new stories. Get ready to join in!
There will be a BSL interpreter at this event
Develop your illustration skills at this fun collage workshop delivered by Hay Festival 2023 Illustrator in Residence Beth Suzanna. In this empowering workshop you’ll use the medium of collage to reflect who you are and what’s important to you. You’ll create self portraits depicting the things that inspire you. You’ll learn about the art of visual storytelling from one of the UK’s rising stars of illustration, and work together to create a large-scale group collage. Whether you want to feel inspired in a relaxed space or to get stuck in and learn a new skill, this workshop is an informal session for everyone.
Beth recently collaborated with hip hop star, actor and writer Jordan Stephens on a children’s book, The Missing Piece – you can see them in conversation about their collaboration in an event on Sunday 28 May, 10am.
Come and join Rooted Forest School for outdoor family sessions inspired by the Forest School approach. We’ll use foraged materials to craft natural items that you can take away with you, taking part in some simple tool use and finishing off with a hot apple juice around the fire. These sessions are aimed at families and will run whatever the weather, so make sure you’re wrapped up for the conditions.
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. Accompanying adults: please stay in attendance at all times, but you do not require a ticket.
Checking into a psychiatric institution wasn’t on broadcaster and comedian Ruby Wax’s agenda for 2022, and neither was writing about it in her new book, I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was. But with rawness and honesty, she takes us into the depths of her psyche and shows us what trauma can do to someone. Reflecting on years of personal and professional experience, she opens up about her struggles with mental health and different treatments over the years. This intimate event offers hope, reassurance and guidance to anyone struggling with their own mental health.
In 1923, German democracy faced crisis and near destruction. In this remarkable year in modern European history, France and Belgium militarily occupied Germany’s economic heartland, the Ruhr, triggering a series of crises that almost spiralled out of control. Drawing on previously unseen sources, in 1923 Mark Jones weaves together a thrilling and resonant narrative of German lives in this turbulent time. Tracing Hitler’s rise, he shows how political pragmatism and international cooperation eventually steered the nation away from total insurrection, and illustrates how the warnings of 1923 – a rise of nationalist rhetoric, fragile European consensus, and underestimation of the enemies of liberalism – became only too apparent a decade later when Weimar democracy eventually succumbed to tyranny. Jones is assistant professor in history at University College Dublin. He talks to Georgina Godwin, journalist and Books Editor for Monocle 24.
Drawing on over a decade of archival research, Rebecca N Mitchell, professor of Victorian literature and culture at the University of Birmingham, shows that the effortless wit and writing of Wilde – often chided by detractors for being indolent and egotistical – was actually the product of studious and carefully concealed labour. Mitchell takes a look at the manuscript evidence which shows that he worked tirelessly at his craft, filling notebooks with drafts and carefully revising his bon mots.