Hay Festival 2020 Earlybirds

We are delighted to announce our earlybird tickets for events in 2020.

We are particularly excited to be hosting Shakespeare's Globe on Tour. Please be aware that tickets for these events are extremely limited, so do book early to avoid disappointment.

We will be adding many more events over the coming months and the full programme will be announced in late March, please ensure you and your friends are signed up to our newsletter so we can keep you informed every time we release tickets.

Event 13

Girley Bog Eco-Walk at Trailhead

Venue: Meet at Headfort Arms Hotel for Coach
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A walk around Girley Bog, with representatives from Coillte, the Native Woodland Trust and the Irish Peatland Conservation Council, discussing their conservation and restoration work at this Natural Heritage Area. Maurice Eakin of the NPWS will give a recital of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Bogland’ poem.

The coach picks up at 9.40am sharp at the Headfort Arms Hotel. The walk starts from Trailhead at 10am sharp.

Tickets also available at the Headfort Arms Hotel (Tourism Desk, Thurs–Sat) or at The Kells Experience, Market Street.
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Girley Bog Eco-Walk at Trailhead

Event 14

Matt Spangler

Venue: Iona Hall – Meath County Council Stage
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A masterclass on theatrical adaptation from Matt Spangler, award-winning American playwright and writer of the stage adaptation of the best-selling novel The Kite Runner.

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Matt Spangler

Event 15

Catherine Cleary and Kevin Sheridan

The Story of Cheese

Venue: Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Virginia Road Station, Pottlereagh
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Catherine Cleary is an award-winning journalist and food critic. She joins Kevin Sheridan to discuss their forthcoming book covering the history of, the making of, types of, and future of – cheese! The event will include a tasting of some of Ireland’s favorite cheeses.

Own transport required
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Catherine Cleary and Kevin Sheridan

Event 17

Lynda La Plante

Venue: Kells Theatre – Eirgrid Stage
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The sensational Prime Suspect, written for Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison, sealed Lynda La Plante’s reputation as one of the greatest ever British crime writers. Her other screenwriting credits include Widows, Trial and Retribution, The Commander and Above Suspicion. Lynda discusses her writings and career, and previews her new book Tennison (due out on 24 September), the prequel to Prime Suspect, which sees Jane's induction into police life and her development into the character we see portrayed on screen. Chaired by Myles Dungan.

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Lynda La Plante

Event 16

Jay Griffiths

Kith

Venue: Church of Ireland – Carmel Naughton Stage
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An examination of childhood and the freedoms of space, time and the natural world, from West Papua and the Arctic to suburban western Europe.

Jay Griffiths will be the International Hay Festival Fellow for the next 12 months, visiting all our festivals around the world. Her visionary and poetic work explores her interest in nature, anthropology and art. Her books include Kith: The Riddle of the ChildscapeWild: An Elemental JourneyPip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, and her fictionalised hymn to Frida Kahlo, A Love Letter from a Stray Moon.

Jay talks to Tiarnán de Hál.

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Jay Griffiths

Event 18

Lane Ashfeldt

Venue: Iona Hall – Meath County Council Stage
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Lane Ashfeldt discusses the pros and cons, and practicalities of raiding history books and family stories to create fiction. The short stories in Lane’s book SaltWater cover the century from 1918 to 2018. SaltWater was longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize and the Edge Hill Prize. Lane talks to Sam Tranum, writer and editor, and member of the Liberties Press editorial team.

Photo by Sissu

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Lane Ashfeldt

Event 19

Rosanna Davison

Eat Yourself Beautiful

Venue: Kells Theatre – Eirgrid Stage
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Rosanna Davison talks about how she came to study nutrition. She gives us the skinny on her own diet and lifestyle, and shares her top tips from her new book Eat Yourself Beautiful on cutting out sugar and including more fruit and vegetables in your diet.

Photo by Miki Barlok

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Rosanna Davison

Event 20

Eamon Rafter

Building Peace Worldwide

Venue: Iona Hall – Meath County Council Stage
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With a background in building relationships within conflicted communities, Eamon Rafter discusses his account of the forty-year history of the Glencree Reconciliation Centre in Co. Wicklow.

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Eamon Rafter

Event 21

Irish Fashion: At Home and Abroad

Venue: Kells Theatre – Eirgrid Stage
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Eddie Shanahan, Chair of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, will talk with Sharon Wauchob, Paris-based Irish fashion designer, about the fashion industry here at home and in the international arena.

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Irish Fashion: At Home and Abroad

Event 22

Anne Chambers

TK Whitaker

Venue: Church of Ireland – Carmel Naughton Stage
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Biographer Anne Chambers talks for the first time in a public forum about her definitive account of the life and career of one of the greatest Irishmen of the 20th century: TK Whitaker, probably the country’s best known and most influential public servant. She talks to Myles Dungan.

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Anne Chambers

Event 23

Happiness, The Delight-Tree

An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry

Venue: Iona Hall – Meath County Council Stage
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Menna Elfyn (Wales), Alan Spence (Scotland), Peter Fallon and Breda Wall Ryan (Ireland) share their contribution to this unique collection of poetry honouring the United Nations International Day of Happiness.

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Happiness, The Delight-Tree

Event 24

Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival presents: How To Change The World

Special Screening

Venue: Kells Theatre – Eirgrid Stage
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Directed by Jerry Rothwell. Duration 112 minutes.

In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone and their protest captures the world’s imagination, giving birth to Greenpeace and defining the modern green movement. Media savvy from the beginning, these pioneers captured their seat-of-the-pants activist adventures on 16mm film. From this vivid archive and sly narration by Robert Hunter, an early guiding force of the organization, Jerry Rothwell has created a thrilling, sometimes terrifying film. When youthful energy comes up against the complexities of a growing organization, and idealism meets compromise, the group find their battle to save the planet forces them also to fight each other. This insightful film is also a vibrant, moving reflection on the struggle to balance the political and the personal.

Winner of World Cinema Documentary Jury Award for Editing, Sundance Film Festival, 2015. Followed by Q&A with director Jerry Rothwell.

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Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival presents: How To Change The World

Event 25

Fintan O’Toole

Three Irish Heresies: What We Can Salvage From the Wreckage of Irish Catholicism

Venue: Church of Ireland – Carmel Naughton Stage
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The leading author and Irish Times journalist Fintan O’Toole (Ship of Fools) argues that the future of Irish Catholicism, if it has one, lies in an ongoing thread of heresy.

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Fintan O’Toole

Event 26

John O'Halloran

Biomass to Megawatts

Venue: Iona Hall – Meath County Council Stage
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John O’Halloran, Biomass Manager of Bord na Móna, takes a look at the existing and potential opportunities involved in planting willow for the renewable energy sector in Ireland. 

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John O'Halloran

Event 27

Diarmaid Ferriter

A Nation and Not a Rabble

Venue: Church of Ireland – Carmel Naughton Stage
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One of Ireland’s best-known historians, Diarmaid Ferriter is an Irish Times columnist and author of Judging Dev and The Transformation of Ireland: 1900–2000. He talks about his latest work on the Irish revolutionary period A Nation and Not a Rabble: The Irish Revolutions, 1913–23.

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Diarmaid Ferriter

Event 29

RTÉ Radio 1 Arena LIVE

Venue: Presbyterian Church
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Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena on RTÉ Radio 1, broadcasts live from Hay Festival Kells. He chats with headline guests for RTÉ’s daily arts and popular cultural show.

Broadcast live from the festival.

Free but ticketed
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RTÉ Radio 1 Arena LIVE

Event 31

Michael Harding

Venue: Church of Ireland – Carmel Naughton Stage
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The charismatic actor, columnist and dramatist Michael Harding (Staring at Lakes, Hanging with the Elephant), fresh from his memorable portrayal of The Bull McCabe in John B Keane's The Field, reads from his many critically-acclaimed works of memoir and fiction.

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Michael Harding

Event 32

Fred Cooke

Stand-up

Venue: Headfort Arms Hotel – Charles Noell Stage
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Kells’ own funnyman, the Cooke of Kells, is returning to Hay Festival Kells. ‘I can’t wait to get back! Like the leaving cert, I have to do it twice.’

Tickets €14 from hotel / €15.50 online. Available direct from the Headfort Arms Hotel, tel: +353 (0)46 924 0063.
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Fred Cooke

Event 33

Poetry at the Railway Bar

Venue: The Railway Bar
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A light-hearted, al fresco evening (weather permitting) of poetry and entertainment featuring some of the festival authors.

Free but ticketed (limited to 2 tickets per person)
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Poetry at the Railway Bar

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