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 447

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Munira Mirza talk to Bronwen Maddox

The Prospect Platform: The Case for Brexit

Venue: Tata Tent
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Two of the smartest OUT-ers make the case for leaving the EU. Rees-Mogg is Conservative MP for North-East Somerset and Mirza is London’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture. They are questioned by the editor of Prospect magazine.

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Event 448

Anders Ericsson

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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The professor whose research inspired the 10,000-hour rule has spent 30 years studying the Special Ones: geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate gift of talent is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all: the ability to develop our brains and bodies through our own efforts.

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Event 449

David Mitchell talks to Sarah Churchwell

Talking About Fiction

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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A conversation about language and imagination, and the extraordinary Future Library project, with the celebrated author of Cloud Atlas, Number 9 Dream, Black Swan Green, The Bone Clocks, Ghostwritten, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Slade House.

Arts Council of Wales International Writers Series, 10
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David Mitchell talks to Sarah Churchwell

Event 450

Deborah Lutz

The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The compelling story of the Brontës is told through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on and inscribed at the parsonage in Haworth. From Charlotte’s writing desk and the manuscripts it contained to the brass collar worn by Emily’s dog Keeper, each object opens a window on to the sisters’ world, their fiction, and the Victorian era. Chaired by Viv Groskop.

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Event 451

Carla Guelfenbein and Jonathan Levi talk to Rosie Goldsmith

Fiction International: Talking about Story

Venue: Summer House
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Guelfenbein is one of Chile’s leading screenwriters and novelists. She discusses her novel The Rest is Silence, in which a family faces its crises when a 12-year-old boy accidentally records a grown-ups’ conversation. Levi, the American author of A Guide for the Perplexed, presents his Rabelaisian novel Septimania, a voracious, teeming adventure in cultures and time.

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Event 540

Tom Cotterell

A Passion for Geology

Venue: Hay Castle
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Lady Henrietta Antonia Clive (1758-1830), Countess of Powis and wife of Lord Clive of India’s eldest son, was one of a select band of women who, living in the immediate post-Age of Enlightenment period, indulged in the study of the natural sciences. Her mineral collection and associated catalogues help to demonstrate how her interests developed and with whom she corresponded. Cotterell is Senior Curator Mineralogy, National Museum Cardiff.

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Event HD84

Christopher Lloyd

The Complete Plays of William Shakespeare

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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How many plays did Shakespeare write? Which feature ghosts? Which are non-fiction and which are made up? The WhatOnEarth Wallbook author explores the world of human emotion using a giant timeline, a coat of many pockets and a series of everyday objects as props.  Audience participation required, suitable for ages 6-106.

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Event HD85

Kristina Stephenson

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks: The Pirate’s Curse

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Shiver me timbers! Once upon a time, a mysterious message in a bottle said someone needed help; help from a certain bold, brave knight. So the brilliant Sir Charlie Stinky Socks, his cat Envelope and his good grey mare find a ship to rescue the messenger. Join the author for a musical, storytelling journey complete with pirates, a sea monster, and a delicious surprise.

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Event 453

Jonathan Haslam

Near and Distant Neighbours

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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Based on a mass of newly declassified Russian secret intelligence documentation, Haslam reveals the true story of Soviet intelligence from its very beginnings in 1917 right through to the end of the Cold War. Covering both branches of Soviet espionage, civilian and military, he charts the full range of the Soviet intelligence effort and the story of its development: in cryptography, disinformation, special forces, and counter-intelligence. He shows how their greatest weapon and ironically their greatest weakness was the human factor: their ability to recruit secret agents. Haslam is the George F Kennan Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.

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Jonathan Haslam

Event 454

Andrea Wulf

The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there’s a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. He explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world’s highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar’s revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo owned all of his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, “the greatest man since the Deluge”. Wulf’s biography won the Costa Prize. Chaired by Professor Philip Davies.

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Andrea Wulf

Event 455

Zoë Svendsen and Paul Mason

Cambridge Series 20: Talking About Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the Emergence of Capitalism

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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Theatre director Zoë Svendsen and journalist and economist Paul Mason explore the theatricality of capitalism by examining what an economic analysis of Shakespeare’s plays might tell us about character and how the human is represented. Part of a new research and development project at the Young Vic, London.

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Zoë Svendsen and Paul Mason

Event 456

David Aaronovitch talks to Rosie Boycott

Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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In July 1961, just before David Aaronovitch’s seventh birthday, Yuri Gagarin came to London. The Russian cosmonaut was everything the Aaronovitch family wished for - a popular and handsome embodiment of modern communism. But who were they, these ever hopeful, defiant and (had they but known it) historically doomed people? Like a non-magical version of the wizards of J K Rowling’s world, they lived secretly with and parallel to the non-communist majority, sometimes persecuted, sometimes ignored, but carrying on their own ways and traditions. Aaronovitch revisited his own memories of belief and action. He found himself studying the old secret service files, uncovering the unspoken shame and fears that provided the unconscious background to his own existence as a party animal.

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Event 578

Fiona Reynolds

Subject Areas – Geography and Land Economy

Venue: Compass
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Please drop in to our new Compass venue, quiz leading academics about their subject and engage in some critical thinking. As part of Hay Festival 2016 and with help from the Welsh Government we have invited a range of university lecturers and speakers to drop in, talk about their subject areas and about university life.

Fiona Reynolds is Master of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.

15+
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Event HD87

Winnie-the-Pooh

Venue: Starlight Stage
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Join Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore at a magical event that will take you deep into the heart of Hundred Acre Wood.

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Event HD88

Emerald Fennell

Monsters

Venue: Cube
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Emerald Fennell, author and Call the Midwife star talks about her new book: A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand...

12+
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Event 457

Siddhartha Mukherjee talks to Claire Armitstead

The Gene: An Intimate History

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganises our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds – from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes. Woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The cancer physician’s book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer won the Pulitzer Prize. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.

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Siddhartha Mukherjee talks to Claire Armitstead

Event 458

Fiona Reynolds

Cambridge Series 21: The Fight for Beauty

Venue: Good Energy Stage
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In a world where too often, it seems, only the economy matters, Fiona Reynolds argues that beauty should shape our lives. Dame Fiona is Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was formerly Director-General of The National Trust.

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Fiona Reynolds

Event 459

Alain de Botton talks to Viv Groskop

The Course of Love

Venue: Tata Tent
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What does it mean to live happily ever after? At dinner parties and over coffee, Rabih and Kirsten’s friends always ask them the same question: how did you meet? The answer comes easily – it’s a happy story, one they both love to tell. But there is a second part to this story, the answer to a question their friends never ask: what happened next? From the first thrill of lust, to the joys and fears of real commitment, and to the deep problems that surface slowly over two shared lifetimes, this is the story of a marriage. It is about modern relationships and how to survive them. Playful, wise and profoundly moving, the essayist and philosopher introduces his first novel in 20 years.

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Alain de Botton talks to Viv Groskop

Event 460

Eleonora Galasso and Simon Schama

As the Romans Do: Authentic and reinvented recipes from the Eternal City

Venue: Oxfam Moot
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The captivating Instagram gastro star and Roman native conjures up La Dolce Vita with her recipes for earthy breakfasts, alfresco lunches and sumptuous suppers. She is joined by historian and food fanatic Simon Schama. This is table talk in flagrante!

 

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Eleonora Galasso and Simon Schama

Event 461

Zoë Wilcox and Julian Harrison

Talking About Shakespeare: Showing Shakespeare in the Library

Venue: Starlight Stage
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The curators of the two landmark exhibitions of the 400th anniversary celebrations share their treasures at Hay – from First Folios and the now famous handwritten plea for refugees, to Vivien Leigh’s Titania costume and some of the richest theatrical memorabilia of the last 400 years.

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Zoë Wilcox and Julian Harrison

Event HD89

Debbie Moon and Leona Vaughan

Wolfblood

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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Meet the creators, producers and stars of hot CBBC drama Wolfblood, an award-winning combination of thrilling action and intrigue entwined with stories of secrets and friendships surrounding the mysterious race of Wolfbloods who live among us.

12+
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Event HD90

Gavin Puckett

Hendrix the Rocking Horse

Venue: Cube
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Join the author of the hilarious story about Hendrix, a horse with an ear for music who has a life-changing moment when he hears the band The Tumbling Pebbles and gets hold of one of their guitars. Hendrix makes a musical transformation and turns himself into a rock ’n’ roll rocking horse.

6+
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Event 462

Paul Mason

PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future

Venue: Telegraph Stage
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Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone economic cycles that veer from boom to bust. The campaigning economist and broadcaster argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and profound that this time capitalism itself will mutate into something wholly new. Chaired by Jane Davidson.

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Paul Mason

Event 463

Fay Weldon talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Before the War

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
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A new, historical novel from the great tale-teller. Consider Vivien in November 1922. She is 24 and a spinster. She wears fashionably droopy clothes, but she is plain and - almost worse in those times - intelligent. At nearly six foot tall, she is known unkindly by her family as ‘the giantess’. Fortunately, Vivien is rich, so she can travel to London and bribe a charismatic gentleman publisher to marry her… This is a city fizzing with change, full of flat-chested flappers, shell-shocked soldiers and aristocrats clinging onto the past.

 

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Fay Weldon talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Event 464

Andrew Dickson

Talking About Shakespeare: Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe

Venue: Cube
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Travelling across four continents, six countries and 400 years, Dickson takes us on a personal journey rich in insight and surprise. We enter the air-conditioned vault deep beneath Capitol Hill, where the world’s largest collection of First Folios is stored; discover the shadowy history of Joseph Goebbels’s obsession with Shakespeare; and uncover the true story behind the scuffed edition in which Nelson Mandela and fellow Robben Island prisoners inscribed their names. Both cultural history and literary travelogue, Worlds Elsewhere is an attempt to understand how Shakespeare has become the international phenomenon he is – and why.

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