His Dark Materials stars join Hay Festival 2021

Actors Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson will join producer Jane Tranter and screenwriter Jack Thorne to discuss the blockbuster series His Dark Materials at Hay Festival 2021 on Sunday 30 May at 11am.

Based on the bestselling books by Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials takes place in a parallel world ruled by the sinister Magisterium, where a battle rages over a mysterious particle called Dust. Orphan Lyra must stop the fight from spilling over into our time with the help of Will.

When it was adapted by Cardiff-based production company Bad Wolf for HBO/BBC One, it was the highest rated drama launch on British TV in more than five years with over 9 million viewers. Keen and Wilson, who play the series leads Lyra and Will, join Tranter and Thorne to look at the joys and challenges of bringing the series to life, translating a world from page to screen.

Aine Venables, Hay Festival education manager, said: “From bestselling books to award-winning TV series, His Dark Materials has been a huge success story for Wales’ creative industries. We’re excited to share the story behind its success at Hay Festival 2021 with some of the most exciting stars of British drama. Join us.”

Taking place 26 May-6 June 2021, Hay Festival brings writers and readers together with a free digital programme for its 34th spring edition, offering an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances. More than 300 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators take part, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction and interrogating some of the biggest issues of our time.

Festivalgoers can explore the programme and register free now at hayfestival.org/wales

Hay Festival 2021 is supported by lead sponsors Visit Wales and Baillie Gifford, and by grant funding from Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund. While events are free to attend, donations to Hay Festival Foundation will be welcomed throughout at hayfestival.org/donate to support upcoming projects and secure the Festival for generations to come. 

Signed books from Festival speakers are available to order now from the Festival bookshop at hayfestival.org/shop along with new lines of merchandise, with proceeds supporting Hay Festival here and around the world.

Events will be broadcast live from temporary studios in Richard Booth’s Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, to hayfestival.org/wales. All events will be closed captioned and available to watch free for 24 hours after the live broadcast.

Explore the free Hay Festival 2021 programme here.