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 131

Stephen Attenborough

Space-Faring

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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For the 3,000 children in London’s Science Museum and the many thousands of others around the country, 15 December 2015 was a day filled with pride and excitement. Major Tim Peake’s successful International Space Station mission confirmed the UK as a Space-faring nation, and is inspiring a generation of young people. The Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic describes the challenges involved, the progress made and the potential benefits to life on earth as the company strives to create the world’s first commercial Space line. 

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Event 132

Tahmima Anam talks to George Alagiah

Talking Books: The Bones of Grace

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Born in Bangladesh, Anam grew up in Paris, New York City and Bangkok. Anam’s debut novel, A Golden Age, centres on the Bangladesh Liberation War and was inspired by her parents who were freedom fighters during the conflict. The novel won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Anam’s next book, The Good Muslim, explores the after-effects of war and examines the conflicts within modern-day religion and family. She will be discussing her newest work The Bones of Grace, a tragic love story which traverses continents and communities and delves into larger themes like the importance of family history and reconciliation.

Arts Council of Wales International Writers Series, 4

This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books

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Tahmima Anam talks to George Alagiah

Event 133

Inside Science

BBC Radio 4

Venue: BBC Tent
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Adam Rutherford and guests, including geneticist Professor Steve Jones and writer Gaia Vince, discuss what science can tell us about the state of our planet. Can research stop humans destroying the Earth?

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 2 June at 4.30pm and 9.30pm

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years

Free but ticketed
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Inside Science

Event 134

Danny Dorling and Carl Lee

Geography, an Introduction

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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Channelling our twin urges to explore and understand, geographers uncover the hidden connections of human existence, from infant mortality in inner cities to the decision-makers who fly overhead in executive jets. Geography is a science that tackles all the biggest issues that face us today, from globalisation to equality, from sustainability to population growth, from climate change to advancing technology. 

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Event 135

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and H.J. Golakai talk to Georgina Godwin

Fictions: Africa 39

Venue: Cube
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We’re delighted to celebrate two of the stars of our Africa 39 project. H J Golakai’s The Lazarus Effect sends a Cape Town journalist, Voinjama Johnson, on an investigation into missing children. In Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms, an affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative northern Nigeria. This story of love and longing – set against undercurrents of political violence – unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.

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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and H.J. Golakai talk to Georgina Godwin

Event 542

Anti-Apathy Bootcamp with Saci Lloyd

Venue: Compass
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In this workshop we'll take a witty look at how apathy works and how to combat it.

Expect big political ideas, funny youtubers and creative activism. Bring a fully charged mind and mobile phone because together we are going to take on the mighty forces of apathy!

16+
Free but ticketed
526, 528
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Event HD21

Francesca Simon and Steven Butler

Battle of the Baddies

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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Horrid Henry and Dennis the Menace go head-to-head in a battle to find out who is the more terrible of the two. Join the creators of two of the best-loved bad guys as they send their characters into the fight, then vote for the winner in this deadly contest.

6+
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Francesca Simon and Steven Butler

Event 136

Maxine Peake, Paapa Essiedu and Jerry Brotton

Playing Hamlet

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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How do you begin to tackle Shakespeare’s greatest role, and some of the best known speeches in the English language; and what do you learn from the experience? Two of the greatest modern Hamlets talk about the role. Maxine Peake played Hamlet in Sarah Frankcom’s landmark production for the Manchester Royal Exchange. Paapa Essiedu is playing Hamlet now at the RSC in a production that will be broadcast live to cinemas across the world on 8 June.  They talk to the author of This Orient Isle, Jerry Brotton, who is the Shakespeare adviser to the Hay Festival.
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Maxine Peake, Paapa Essiedu and Jerry Brotton

Event 137

Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie, Valeria Luiselli, Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Talking About Shakespeare: Lunatics and Lovers 3

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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Daniel Hahn is joined by novelists from Britain, Mexico and Colombia to celebrate the 400th anniversaries of Cervantes and Shakespeare and the stories that they have written around them.

Supported by The British Council and Acción Cultural Española

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Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie, Valeria Luiselli, Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Event 138

Adam Rutherford

Creation, Synthetic Biology and Hip-Hop

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The geneticist, author of Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life explains how the evolution of music is notably similar to biological evolution: sampling closely mimics synthetic biology, as wholesale pieces of other organisms are swapped to add functions and behaviours for our purposes. And now, as with the copyright issues that strangled creativity in hip-hop, patents in genetics act as crippling hindrances to scientific progress.

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Adam Rutherford

Event 139

Hollie McNish

Nobody Told Me

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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The phenomenal spoken word artist and Poetry Slam champion performs poems and stories from her new collection. Prepare yourself for the raw energy and passion of Hollie’s very personal poetic take on parenthood. She explores the learning curves of pregnancy and motherhood and how drum ’n’ bass can make great lullabies.

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Hollie McNish

Event 140

Bruce Robinson talks to William Sieghart

They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper

Venue: Tata Tent
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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. He finally solves the identity of the killer known as Jack the Ripper.

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Bruce Robinson talks to William Sieghart

Event 141

Storyville: Notes on Blindness

A BBC event at Hay

Venue: BBC Tent
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When writer and academic John Hull became totally blind in 1983, he began keeping a diary on audio-cassette. Over three years, he recorded more than 16 hours of material – a unique testimony that excavates the interior world of blindness. Notes on Blindness is a feature film based on these audio recordings, interwoven with interviews with John and his wife Marilyn, embedding documentary elements within cinematic interpretations and textured sound design. Channel Editor of BBC Four, Cassian Harrison talks to writer-directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney, and also John’s wife Marilyn, about taking the viewer on a journey deep into what John calls “a world beyond sight”.

This session is not for broadcast. The film broadcasts on Storyville, BBC Four in early 2017.

BBC Four




BBC Storyville


Free but ticketed
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Event 142

Horatio Clare talks to Jon Gower

Orison for a Curlew

Venue: Starlight Stage
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The slender-billed curlew is one of the world’s rarest birds. A beautiful, fragile creature, it bred in Siberia and wintered in the Mediterranean basin, passing through the wetlands and estuaries of Italy, Greece, the Balkans and central Asia twice a year. Then, no-one knows why, the population crashed. The slender-billed curlew now exists as rumour, hope, unconfirmed sightings and speculation. The only certainty of its story is that it now stands at the brink of extinction. The author of A Single Swallow tells a story of beauty, triumph, mystery and struggle, in a homage to a creature that may never be seen again.

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Horatio Clare talks to Jon Gower

Event 143

Claire Vaye Watkins and John Wray talk to Laura Powell

Fictions: Other Worlds…

Venue: Cube
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Gold Fame Citrus is the debut novel from the winner of the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize. In a dystopian, apocalyptic vision, desert sands have laid waste to south-west America and challenge the resilient to survive. The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the C20th. Haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar ‘Waldy’ Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. The world continues to turn, and Waldy is desperate to find his way back. Laura Powell is Features Commissioning Editor at the Daily Telegraph and her debut novel, The Unforgotten, was recently published.

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Event 543

Media Manipulation with Saci Lloyd

Venue: Compass
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In this workshop we’ll take a current press story e.g. the EU Referendum or the American Presidential Campaign, pare it back to the bare facts and then look at different techniques journalists use to spin the story. Then groups will be given their own 'bare facts' and using phones and laptops for research, design and writing - will be asked to spin positively or negatively.

16+
Free but ticketed
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Event 144

Isy Suttie

The Actual One – Stand Up

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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The brilliantly funny new show – featuring stories, songs and readings –about that moment in your late twenties when you suddenly realise that all your mates are growing up without you. The invisible deal that Isy had made – to prolong growing up for as long as possible – was all in her head. Suddenly everyone around her is into mortgages, farmers’ markets and nappies, rather than skinny-dipping in the sea and sambuca sessions on rope-swings. When her dearest friend advises Isy that the next guy she meets will be not just The One, but The Actual One, Isy decides to delay the onset of adulthood for just a bit longer until a bet with her mum results in a mad scramble to find a boyfriend within a month. 

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Isy Suttie

Event 145

Irvine Welsh in conversation with Marlon James

The Blade Artist

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Welsh introduces his elegant, electrifying novel, which marks the return of one of modern fiction’s most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting. Welsh talks about gangland violence, drug culture and the vitality of language with the Man Booker prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Arts Council of Wales International Writers Series, 5
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Irvine Welsh in conversation with Marlon James

Event 146

Marcus Brigstocke, Juliet Davenport, Ed Gillespie and Special Guests

I’m An Environmentalist, Get Me Out of Here

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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Join host Ed Gillespie and two teams of the great and the good from the world of sustainability for this riotous and irreverent game show. Expect a heady mix of topicality, tomfoolery, ritual humiliation and randomness. No (live) insects will be hurt during the proceedings. We can’t guarantee the same for our heroic participants’ feelings, pride and reputations.

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Marcus Brigstocke, Juliet Davenport, Ed Gillespie and Special Guests

Event 147

John Mullan, Nell Leyshon, Marcus du Sautoy and Ben Okri

Talking About Shakespeare

Venue: Starlight Stage
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A conversation about Shakespeare’s greatest plays and roles, his fondness for prime numbers and his stagecraft. The UCL English Prof is joined by the first woman to write a play for the main stage of Shakespeare’s Globe, the Oxford Maths professor and the Booker-winning novelist and poet.

 

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Event 148

Eirian Lewis

Guitar Recital 2

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The elegantly talented RCM guitarist plays John Duarte, English Suite; Agustín Barrios Mangore, Julia Florida; William Walton, Bagatelles 2 and 3; Silvius Leopold Weiss, Passacaglia; Domenico Scarlatti, 2 keyboard sonatas; Villa Lobos, etudes 1 and 8; JS Bach, Prelude (from Prelude Fugue and Allegro); Napoleon Coste, Introduction and Allegretto; Girolamo Frescobaldi, Aria con Variazioni.

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Event 149

Fflur Dafydd, Euros Lyn, Catrin Stewart

The Library Suicides

Venue: Cube
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Dafydd previews clips from her debut feature Y Llyfrgell/The Library Suicides ahead of its UK release this autumn. She is joined by the multi-BAFTA-award-winning director Euros Lyn (Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Last Tango in Halifax) and rising international star of stage and screen Catrin Stewart (Doctor Who, Stella, Mametz). Chaired by Jon Gower.

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Fflur Dafydd, Euros Lyn, Catrin Stewart

Event 150

Suzanne Vega

In concert – Live at Hay

Venue: Tata Tent
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A special festival appearance by the American singer and songwriter whose songs Luka and Tom’s Diner established her as one of the great poets and folk musicians of her generation. Her most recent project is the musical play Lover, Beloved: An Evening With Carson McCullers.

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Event 151

Raymond Tallis, Anita Donley and Julie Grigg

We Need to Talk about the NHS

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Why are the ‘junior doctors’ calling an all-out strike? What do the PFI hospital contracts mean? How much of the NHS is privatised already? How could it all be better? And what can we do about that? The physician, philosopher and writer Raymond Tallis is the author of NHS SOS; Donley is Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians; Grigg is a GP in the Hay Medical Centre practice.

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Event 152

Sara Pascoe

Animal – Stand Up

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The show is a mixture of completely true stories about Tony Blair, Oedipus Rex and the wildlife of Lewisham, plus a load of stories that don’t sound true at all about Jason Donovan, Henry the Hoover and when God took over the tannoy in Sainsbury’s. All animals evolved, but only humans evolved to the point of knowing they evolved. This troubling and confusing position is explored in a creative and honest way in a show about empathy and its limitations. Sara has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, Have I Got News for You, QI, Room 101, Buzzcocks, 8 out of 10 Cats and a load of other programmes that can’t be listed due to word count restrictions.

See also 156
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Sara Pascoe

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