Hay Festival Global unveils The Platform selection

Hay Festival Global has today unveiled the final selection for The Platform, an open call for creatives aged 21–28 to submit new work to be showcased in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

Free tickets to The Platform events are available now.

Supported by funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, The Platform is a brand-new initiative to promote, support and develop young creative talent.

Successful artists will share their work with audiences on Wednesday 29 May in the Festival’s central Exchange Marquee and across the Festival site, plus meet and network with established artists over a three-day visit. 

Applications to The Platform were open to a range of art forms, including theatre poetry, digital art, live arts, film, audio and literature, with a focus on bringing together a diverse and representative group of artists from across the UK.

The successful artists whose work will be featured this year include poet Bradley Taylor; writer and performer Emma Rogerson; theatre maker Grace Waga Glevey; writer and producer Martha Bird; writer and director Paul Koloman Kaiba; poet and film maker Elliot Waloschek; writer and editor Sabine Wilson-Patrick; spoken word artist Samuel Mansell aka DeSide; actor and playwright Tayla Kenyon; and theatre collective Harry Clayton-Lucey, Flynn Mchardy and Arthur Bickers aka Moving Feet.

Full participant biographies and statements are available below.

Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said:

“Hay Festival Global is a charity built on creative collaborations. The Platform is designed to support young artists in building connections, on stage and off, showcasing their work to our Festival audience while facilitating creative collaborations with established artists. We are delighted to present these 10 pieces at Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024 and cannot wait to see what this next generation of artists has in store for us!”

Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024 is supported by lead sponsors Baillie Gifford, Welsh Government, Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, lead media partner the BBC and digital media partner TikTok.

Launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues, the programme sees writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas. 

Events offer something for all, beginning with the free Schools Programme, 23–24 May, and including a vibrant strand for families throughout. 

In addition to The Platform, other new projects woven through the Festival include the daily News Review offering analysis of the latest events, the first-ever Hay Festival Sports Day, and Hay Festival Green, prompting innovative solutions to the climate crisis.

Late nights at the Festival are given over to great music, comedy and entertainment, while a host of free pop-up activities and performances around the site keeps audience entertained between sessions. 

Events will take place across eight stages in the redesigned free-to-enter Festival site at Dairy Meadows – which also offers a range of spaces for audiences to explore and enjoy, including the Bookshop, Wild Garden, Make & Take Tent, a host of exhibitors and market stalls, cafés and restaurants, and the new Family Garden where young readers can kick-start their creative journeys ­– as well as in and around Hay-on-Wye, including performances all week at St Mary’s Church. 

The Platform artist biographies and statements:

Bradley Taylor

Bradley Taylor is a poet born and based in Birmingham. He sets up his typewriter around the city in places such as parks, bookshops and festivals to perform ‘Poetry on Demand’; using his typewriter to gift strangers with a unique, bespoke poem of their own choosing. He also hosts the monthly spoken word night Overcoat Poetry, and has appeared on BBC West Midlands showcasing his work. In 2023 he was commissioned to write a poem for the closing ceremony of the Birmingham Festival, using prompts from the public. He writes for – and about, in all their glory – people. 

Bradley said: “I’m beyond excited to be bringing my typewriter to this year’s Hay Festival to type up some bespoke poetry for those attending the Festival and visiting this historic town. Hay-on-Wye and the Festival itself is my home away from home, and I can only imagine what prompts and ideas that the artists, free-thinkers, storytellers and lovers of all things literature will have in store for me there – so that I may gift them with a unique one-off poem, just for them. It will also be a pleasure to share some of these poems alongside the other wonderful artists showcasing their work thanks to The Platform.” 

Elliot Waloschek

Elliot Waloschek is a poet, performer and artist from London, based in Rotterdam. A mosaic of the mundane and the metamorphic, his work weaves a wet mythology of queerness and transmasculinity. He was the winner of the 2020 Roundhouse Slam. An alumnus of Roundhouse Poetry Collective and Apples & Snakes Writing Room, his poetry has been featured on BBC Radio and published by The Poetry Society, Broken Sleep Books, bath magg and Ink Sweat & Tears. He has performed at festivals around the UK and also curates poetry events. He performed his debut solo poetry show, Waterlog, at Roundhouse Last Word Festival 2023.

Emma Rogerson 

Emma Rogerson is a writer and researcher with complicated and sentimental feelings about pretty much everything. She’s a full-time lover of collaboration and creative community. In 2022, she graduated with an MSt in Writing for Performance from University of Cambridge where she researched experimental playwriting methods; that year, she was also a Resident Artist with the European Theatre Convention. Her writing has been commissioned/performed across the UK: in theatres, museums, schools, galleries and online. She makes work that is joyful, strange, messy, tender and full of love. Sunshine and glitter and queerness and magic.

Emma said: “I'm really excited to be performing as part of The Platform at Hay Festival 2024. Hay Festival is a brilliant event that presents unique opportunities for writers/performers, in addition to offering a genuine breadth and diversity of programming for audiences. It's especially heartening to be part of the first year of The Platform. Hay Festival's commitment to supporting and elevating young creatives (in what is generally accepted to be a difficult climate for early-career artists) is really valuable.”

Grace Waga Glevey

Grace is a theatre and TV maker from Humberside specialising in new writing, comedy, and outreach. She recently founded Hani Projects, a community arts production company committed to developing new work locally. Its first project, Delulu, a sketch show critiquing the portrayal of girls and girliness in 00s pop culture, was awarded a residency with Sheffield Theatres. Her debut play, Jack and Gill, is currently under commission for Hull’s Fresh Ink Festival for new writing with Middle Child Theatre. She trained on the Old Vic’s Theatre Making programme, and in Sheffield Theatre’s New Dramaturgs Group.

Grace said: “I’m excited to connect with festival-goers and other creatives through The Platform. My piece, For the Birds, explores themes of nature and class, and individual and collective action so, for many reasons, I’m excited to bring it to Hay Festival. To me, the spirit of the Festival is an openness to new ideas, and sharing, so I’m grateful for this invitation and looking forward to the conversations it will lead to.”

Martha Bird

Martha Bird is an interdisciplinary artist originally from the north of England. After a Masters in Gender Studies in Italy and Spain, she attended a film school in Berlin, exploring independent cinema, the written word and political curation. Living across Europe shaped her artistic focus and eventually led her to creating a film in southern Italy based on themes of regional divide, queer utopias and European identity. These concepts are at the core of her current practice, which takes the shape of conversations, curated projects, and experiential art.

Martha said: “I’m incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to ask questions about ideas of modern European identity and belief through the presentation of my work What do you Believe in?. I’m really excited to be able to engage with audiences in such a culturally and artistically exciting space and look forward to all the conversations, creativity and connections that will be sparked at this year's Festival!”

Paul Koloman Kaiba

Paul Koloman Kaiba is a theatre and film director, dramaturg, writer and scenographer who trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Aberystwyth University. His past work includes the National Theatre Wales production A Proper Ordinary Miracle, and the transdisciplinary performance project GALWAD, and is currently part of NTW’s Emerging Dramaturgs group. 

He is a former Artist-in-Residence at Theatr Clwyd, and received the Riverfront Theatre’s Creative Commission for his devised piece LOWLAND. His work revolves around fostering exchange with individuals from diverse lived realities to facilitate access and participation in both creative and democratic spheres, creating a politicized theatre that opens discourse on a spectrum from global to hyperlocal issues. 

Harry Clayton-Lucey, Arthur Bickers and Flynn Mchardy – Moving Feet 

Harry Clayton-Lucey is a writer, actor, director and producer. He is part of the experimental art and theatre collective Moving Feet and organises experimental music performances in Manchester with Skribble.He was president of the Manchester Revue Sketch Society 2022-23, director of award-winning UOM Mifta show and a published poet in Field zine and Blether Magazine, 2024.

Arthur Bickers and Flynn Mchardy are musicians in several ongoing performance projects, including ye olde trad folk band Brown Wimpenny, the children’s music quintet Hedgehog, improvised guitar trio Topeka and rock band The No Show.

Sabine Wilson-Patrick 

Sabine Wilson-Patrick is originally from Barbados and is a creative writing student at Cardiff University. Her work can be found in nawrQuench and Mulberry Literary magazines.

Samuel Mansell/DeSide

DeSide is a spoken word artist and rapper with over a decade of experience performing live in venues across the UK. His focus on global affairs, social injustice and mental ill-health have e him a buzz in the Underground Hip Hop scene and coverage in the New York TimesGuardian and BBC News. His encrypted social commentary serves as a poetic guide through the streets of Oxford, which he calls home.

Samuel said: “I feel that growing up as a young man in a city of such economic disparity, it's hard not to develop a chip on your shoulder. It's only when you get older and you realise the blessings you have that you start to unlearn some of these toxic behaviours and habits. I strive to create art that is as accessible and engaging as it is gritty and honest. If more young people heard these home truths at a young age I think it might help them develop tools to combat mental ill-health and addiction issues and I'm an advocate that creativity and consumption of art is the key to this.”

Tayla Kenyon

Tayla Kenyon is an actor and playwright. She is the co-producer of company Teepee Productions and has co-written and performed Fluff for which she won Best Performance at Birmingham Fringe Fest 2023. Tayla was also the winner of Best Individual Performance at Edinburgh Fringe 2019 for the role of Mary Shelley.