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A conversation and special screening of the classic silent short The First Mistake. In his novel He, Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood with an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity, and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists. Connolly portrays a man whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe. He is Stan Laurel. But he did not really exist. Stan Laurel was a fiction.
Sheers’ contribution to the Festival’s 30th anniversary project is a powerful poem addressed to his two daughters. It conjures a reformation of masculinity that is enlightened and inspiring. Sheers’ recent work includes the poem Pink Mist, the National Theatre Wales play Mametz and the Aberfan television film poem The Green Hollow.
In the nineteenth century, operating theatres were known as ‘gateways of death’, since half of those who underwent surgery didn't survive. At a time when surgery couldn't have been more dangerous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: Joseph Lister, a melancholy young Quaker surgeon. By making the then-audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection – and could be treated with antiseptics – he solved the riddle of post-operative death and changed the history of medicine for ever.
The perfect inspiration for the festive season, The Modern Cook’s Year will show you how to make the most of seasonal produce in 250 vegetarian recipes, using simple, hugely inventive flavours and ingredients. Start of the Year: Spelt with pickled pears and pink leaves and chocolate and blood orange freezer cake; First Warm Days of Spring: Elderflower dressed broad beans and leaves with burrata and chickpea farinata with slow cooked courgettes; Herald of Spring: Spring chickpea soup with salted lemons and rhubarb and rose geranium frozen yoghurt; Summer: Smoked aubergine flatbreads and beetroot tops tart; Autumn: Orzo with tomatoes and feta and honey, lemon and coriander seed cake; Winter: Velvet squash broth with miso and soba and chocolate rye porridge with quick honey pears. “Modern, clever, beautiful” – Jamie Oliver.
A well of memories draws us into the Welsh landscape of the poet’s childhood: her parents, the threat of war, the richness of nature as experienced by a child. In the second of the collection’s six parts we find ourselves in the Zoology Museum, whose specimens stare back from their cases: the Snowdon rainbow beetle, the marsh fritillary, the golden lion tamarin. In later sections the poet invites us to Hafod Y Llan, the Snowdonian nature reserve rich in Alpine flowers and abandoned mineshafts, ‘where darkness laps at the brink of a void deep as cathedrals’. Clarke captures a complete cycle of seasons on the land, its bounty and hardship, from the spring lamb ‘birthed like a fish/steaming in moonlight’ to the ewe bearing her baby ‘in the funeral boat of her body’. The poems tap into a powerful, feminist empathy that sees beyond differentiations of species to an understanding deeper than knowledge, something subterranean, running through the land. Chaired by Imtiaz Dharker.
The creators of this year’s most staggeringly beautiful book read and present their collaboration. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – dandelion, otter, bramble, acorn – all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds. Macfarlane and Morris offer a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
The Lost Words is our Hay Festival Book of the Year 2017
An utterly inspiring exploration of corporate management and leadership. The Veuve Cliquot Businesswoman of the Year runs video and tech company Unruly, where she ensures that the company delivers the most awesome social video campaigns on the planet; 91% of Ad Age 100 brands trust Unruly to connect with audiences at speed and scale. It has a presence across 20 different locations and employs 300 people. Wood is also an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches a course in Mash-Ups, Memes and LOLitics: Online Video Culture and the Screen Media Revolution. She talks to Guto Harri, Communications Director of Liberty Global.
“I talk about my life and work, including Little Britain, Come Fly With Me, Bridesmaids, Les Miserables, Alice In Wonderland and, of course, Shooting Stars. This is a bit different to most memoirs you may have read, because it comes in the form of an A-Z. For instance, B is for Baldy! - which is what people used to shout at me in the playground (not much fun), G is for Gay (because I’m an actual real life gay) and T is for the TARDIS (because I’m a companion in Doctor Who now).” Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.
A celebration of the great poet and poetry patron, with readings and tributes from friends, admirers and fellow poets.
The novelist presents an evening of ancient and modern stories to meet the chill of a winter’s night. Winterson’s most recent novel was The Gap of Time, a reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Her new festive book is Christmas Days, 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days from which she will be reading.
Actors Catrin Stewart and Jacob Ifan, with screenwriter Roger Williams, talk to broadcaster Guto Harri about the acclaimed S4C Port-Talbot-based crime drama - now available on S4C.cymru and with subtitles on the BBCiplayer.
Smerins Anti-Social Club have been firing up festival crowds and gig-goers across the land for the past 15 years with their inimitable blend of brass-heavy funk, swing, rock, drum 'n’ bass, and ska. Although they’ve made ripples on the radio with releases such as their infamous dub rendition of the Doctor Who theme, it’s their enviable reputation as a live act that makes them such a great night for celebration.