Hay Festival 2020 is cancelled

We deeply regret that Hay Festival 2020 is cancelled due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Event 27

Suzanne Barton

Robin's Winter Song

Venue: The Swan Drawing Room
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“The forest was bustling with activity.  As the red and orange leaves swirled in the wind, Robin started to worry.  Something was changing.” Come and listen to this heartfelt story of a little robin’s first winter and get involved in festive crafting.

4-7 years
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Suzanne Barton

Event 28

Hay Castle Tour

Venue: Hay Castle – Meet on Hay Castle South Lawns
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Once a great medieval stronghold, and for centuries a private house, our castle is alive with possibilities again. Find out more on a guided tour of the 12th-century keep, Jacobean mansion and Victorian service buildings.

 

CHILDREN UNDER 16 FREE, BUT MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT
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Event 29

Bruce Robinson

They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper

Venue: The Swan Ballroom
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The iconoclastic writer and director of the classic Withnail & I returns to London in a decade-long examination of the most provocative murder investigation in British history, and finally solves the identity of the killer known as ‘Jack the Ripper’.

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Bruce Robinson

Event 30

Francesca Rhydderch and Tyler Keevil talk to Penny Thomas

Fictions: New Welsh Short Stories

Venue: The Swan Drawing Room
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The best of contemporary Welsh short-story writing, New Welsh Short Stories offers a wide-ranging view of a country from new and established writers. Stories range from the personal to the universal; from the streets of urban south Wales to the wilder reaches of small town and countryside; from film sets to the limits of time and space.

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Francesca Rhydderch and Tyler Keevil talk to Penny Thomas

Event 31

Saci Lloyd

Fictions: It's The End of the World As We Know It

Venue: Hay Castle
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Welcome to a universe controlled by a megalomaniac Lolcat., where data pirates, zombies and infobots on surfboards roam free, and a war wages over cheese. A laugh-out-loud new sci-fi series from the Costa-shortlisted author. Perfect for devotees of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.

12+years
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Saci Lloyd

Event 32

Open Sky presents - Show 1:

The Mighty Prince and Other Fabulous Fables

Venue: Hay Parish Hall
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Two performers, five stories and a host of bugs, birds, animals and magical creatures… 2000-year-old stories are brought to life using a happy mix of rhyme, movement, live music, song and puppetry.  An enchanting family show that’s funny, too. Monkey tries to wind up Buffalo; Pigeon saves Ant from disaster; Tortoise's big mouth leads to a smelly fate; Little Hare scares Deer, Ox, Tiger and Elephant until Lion steps in. And the Prince is indeed mighty but is he mightier than the Giant?

Families and children aged 3+ years
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Event 33

Misha Glenny talks to Matthew Stadlen

Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio

Venue: The Swan Ballroom
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The true story of an ordinary man who became the king of the largest slum in Rio, the head of a drug cartel and perhaps Brazil’s most wanted criminal; a man who tried to bring welfare and justice to a playground of gang culture and destitution, while everyone around him drew guns and partied. Misha Glenny is a distinguished investigative journalist and historian.

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Event 34

Horatio Clare

Fictions: Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot

Venue: The Swan Drawing Room
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Aubrey is a rambunctious boy who tries to run before he can walk and has crashed two cars before he's old enough to drive one. But when his father, Jim, falls under an horrendous spell Aubrey is determined to break it. With the help of the animals of Rushing Wood, Aubrey will never surrender - even if he must fight the unkillable Spirit of Despair itself: the TERRIBLE YOOT! A new children’s tale from the award-winning writer. Chaired by Peter Florence.

7+ years
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Horatio Clare

Event 43

Writing Workshop - What If?

Venue: Hay Castle
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A workshop for writers and writer-curious. Romy Wood dares you to ask What If? What if you told the truth? What if you lied? What if you twisted and turned and no one could tell which was which? Romy will show you how to cast your net and catch stories magnificent and microscopic.
18+ Years
Free but ticketed
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Writing Workshop - What If?

Event 35

Hugh Purcell

A Very Private Celebrity - The Nine Lives of John Freeman

Venue: The Swan Drawing Room
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Between 1959 and 1962 Freeman interviewed some of the most remarkable personalities of the 20th century, including Carl Jung, Bertrand Russell and Martin Luther King, on his television series Face to Face. Purcell has tracked Freeman’s story, exploring the advertising executive, war hero, MP, television interviewer and editor of the New Statesman, a man who believed in changing his life and his wife every ten years.

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Hugh Purcell

Event 36

Phil Rickman

Fictions: Friends of the Dusk

Venue: The Swan Ballroom
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Following the recent three-part ITV series starring Anna Maxwell Martin in Midwinter of the Spirit, find out about the latest Merrily Watkins mystery. When autumn storms blast Hereford, centuries-old human bones are found among the roots of a tree blown down on the city's Castle Green. But why have they been stolen? Chaired by Andy Fryers.

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Phil Rickman

Event 37

Catrin Stewart and Fflur Dafydd talk to Jon Gower

The Library Suicides

Venue: Hay Castle
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The film adaptation of Fflur Dafydd’s bestselling novel Y Llyfrgell, (The Library), starring Catrin Stewart (Doctor Who, Stella), is an offbeat thriller set in the National Library of Wales. The film, directed by Euros Lyn (Broadchurch, Happy Valley, Daredevil), explores the secrets and lies at the heart of storytelling. The author and actress discuss the film and show clips with journalist and writer Jon Gower.

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Catrin Stewart and Fflur Dafydd talk to Jon Gower

Event 38

Open Sky presents - Show 2:

The Mighty Prince and Other Fabulous Fables

Venue: Hay Parish Hall
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A second chance to see two performers, five stories and a host of bugs, birds, animals and magical creatures; 2000-year-old stories are brought to life with rhyme, movement, live music, song and puppetry. And it's funny, too. Monkey tries to wind up Buffalo; Pigeon saves Ant from disaster; Tortoise's big mouth leads to a smelly fate; Little Hare scares Deer, Ox, Tiger and Elephant until Lion steps in. And the Prince is indeed mighty but is he mightier than the Giant?

Families and children aged 3+ years
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Event 39

David Crystal

Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation

Venue: The Swan Ballroom
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The triumphant, concluding volume in David Crystal’s trilogy on the English language combines the first history of English punctuation with a complete guide on how to use it. The punctuation of English, marked with occasional rationality, is founded on arbitrariness and littered with oddities. Professor Crystal leads us through this minefield with characteristic wit and clarity.

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Event 40

Jay Griffiths in conversation with Rebecca John

Responding to the World

Venue: Hay Castle
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What is the writer’s role in the world? Are they there to respond to events, drive change, reflect society? Join our Hay Festival International Fellow and PEN International writer and the new PENCymru’s winner of PEN International’s New Voices competition, Rebecca John. Chaired by Jon Gower.

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Event 41

Good Cheer Singalong

Venue: Richard Booth’s Bookshop
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Warm up the vocal cords and join in this Christmas singalong. Music, good company and Christmas cheer – what more could you ask for?

£2, Includes a glass of wine. There will be a charity collection following the event.
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Event 42

Live Music at the Castle - Double Bill

Venue: Hay Castle
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Fflur Dafydd

The singer-songwriter who has produced four albums and was awarded the title of Female Artist of the Year in the BBC Radio Cymru awards in 2010, performs regularly in Wales and in major festivals in America and Europe.

Sam Brockington

Singer-songwriter Sam draws his influences from the worlds of blues and soul. His unique old-school voice mixed with fresh instrumental accompaniment, intelligent lyrics and catchy melodies, captivates audiences.  

8pm doors open, £10 in advance/£12 on the door
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