Hay Festival 2013

Event 134

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Lionel Shriver talks to Georgina Godwin

Should We Stay or Should We Go

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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When her father dies, Kay Wilkinson can’t cry. Over ten years, Alzheimer’s had steadily eroded this erudite man. But surely one’s own father passing should never come as such a relief?

Both healthy and vital medical professionals in their early fifties, Kay and her husband Cyril have seen too many of their elderly NHS patients in similar states of decay. Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal: they should agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned 80. When their deal is sealed in 1991, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together. But then they turn eighty. By turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Goportrays 12 parallel universes, each one a possible future for Kay and Cyril, from a purgatorial retirement home to the discovery of a cure for ageing, from cryogenic preservation to the unexpected pleasures of dementia. The author talks to writer and broadcaster Georgina Godwin.

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Event 135

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Ali Smith in collaboration with Sarah Wood

Summer

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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An exclusive live screening of a one-off film created by Ali Smith and Sarah Wood to celebrate the conclusion of her seasonal quartet. Summer is the story of people on the brink of change. In the present, Sacha knows the world's in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile the world's in meltdown – and the real meltdown hasn't even started yet. In the past, they had a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they're living on borrowed time. They're family, but they think they're strangers. So, where does family begin? And what do people who think they've got nothing in common have in common? This special event includes contributions from film-maker Sarah Wood.

This event will not be available for replay after broadcast.
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Event 136

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Derek Gow talks to Kitty Corrigan

Bringing Back the Beaver

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Farmer-turned-ecologist Derek Gow is responsible for probably the single most dramatic and subversive nature conservation act of the modern era – rewilding the British landscape with beavers. Since the early 1990s, in the face of opposition from government, landowning élites and even some conservationists, he has imported, quarantined and assisted the re-establishment of beavers in waterways across England and Scotland. He makes the case that the return of the beaver offers a natural solution to flooding and drought, and is a crucial part of the aim to enable the broadest possible spectrum of Britain’s wildlife to thrive.

Kitty Corrigan is a journalist with a special interest in rural and environmental issues.

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Event 137

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Frank Skinner talks to Marcus Brigstocke

A Comedian's Prayer Book

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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God is a tough audience as far as audible response is concerned, but at least you don't have to explain the references. In this collection of 'prayers', the comedian, broadcaster and radio host lays bare his convictions, questions, fears and doubts – all presented in an eavesdropper-friendly form. Hell, Judgement, atheism, money, faith and the X-Men all feature: it's a bit like reading the Bible, except you only get one side of the conversation, and all the jokes are left in. Is there a place for comedy in prayer? If there’s a place for comedy in life, there’s a place for comedy in prayer.

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Event 138

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Your Questions Answered by the QI Elves

Funny You Should Ask...

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The QI Elves are the brains behind the hit panel show QI and the hugely popular spin-off podcast No Such Thing As A Fish. Every week the Elves appear on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show's 'Why Workshop' where they answer the ponderings and wonderings of Radio 2's most inquisitive listeners. Join Anne Miller, James Harkin and James Rawson for a live show as they prepare to answer questions such as: "If spiders can walk on the ceiling why can't they get out of the bath?", "Why is there an Essex, a Wessex, a Sussex but no Nossex?" and "How can I live for ever?"

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