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, please ensure you and your friends are signed up to our newsletter so we can keep you informed every time we release tickets.

Event 16

Jackie Morris and Mererid Hopwood

Live Painting, Spells and Poetry

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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The Kate Greenaway Medal-winning artist revisits her masterpiece The Lost Words and discusses the new collaboration on Geiriau Diflanedig – a Welsh-language version of Robert Macfarlane’s original text with the multi-award-winning poet Mererid Hopwood. She also introduces the 'lost classic' of nature writing, The House Without Windows by Barbara Newhall Follett, a fearless odyssey into a dreamtime of wildness and enchantment. The book is gloriously illuminated by Jackie Morris's moving art; this is a work of strange power for our bewildering times. Jackie will be painting a red fox onstage. Chaired by Peter Florence.

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Event 17

Impelo Dance

Creative/Contemporary Dance workshop

Venue: Hay Primary School
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Join Miriam from Impelo in a fun, creative dance workshop with a winter theme. Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to dance in bare feet. Impelo is a charitable organisation that seeks to share the transformational power of dance.

Age 4-8 (children must be accompanied by an adult, but no adult ticket is required)
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Impelo Dance

Event 18

Fiona Evans

Come and sing Messiah – choir rehearsal 1

Venue: St Mary’s Church
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Have you always wanted to sing Handel’s Messiah but thought it was too difficult? Then join in our scratch ‘Come and Sing Messiah’ project. A professional concert singer with over 20 years’ experience of working with community choirs, Fiona Evans has rearranged this iconic work to make it more accessible for amateur/timid voices. Following rehearsals today and tomorrow, there will be a public performance in the evening of Sunday 1 December. All welcome.

* £10 for Hay Community Choir members, plus cost of score if required. Normal ticket price is for two rehearsals and includes a copy of the score.

please see events 38 and 43

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Event 19

Woodland Trust Walk 3

Mouse Castle

Venue: Meet at the Woodland Trust Stand at the Festival
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Join our Woodland Trust tree expert, Derek Wright, on a four-mile circular walk from Hay to the motte and bailey castle on top of Mouse Castle Wood. The walk involves some strenuous uphill sections; stout shoes are required

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Woodland Trust Walk 3

Event 20

Lindsay McCrae

My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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When the BBC asked Lindsay McCrae to go to Antarctica to film emperor penguins for Dynasties: Emperor to be narrated by Attenborough, he was thrilled. After discussing it with his wife Becky they agreed that, although it would mean him being away for 11 months, he should do it. But then she became pregnant and it seemed like the worst idea in the world.

My Penguin Year recounts Lindsay’s adventure to the end of the Earth, filming the most resilient creatures in nature, while coping with being over 15,000km away from Becky and home – something that almost proved too much. Out of that experience he has written an unprecedented portrait of Antarctica's most extraordinary residents, the emperor penguins. They march up to 100 miles over solid ice to reach their breeding grounds. They choose to breed in the depths of the worst winter on the planet; and in an unusual role reversal, the males incubate the eggs, fasting for over 100 days to ensure they introduce their chicks safely into their new frozen world. And they are uniquely vulnerable to the unprecedented melting of the polar ice cap. Join McCrae as he relives the preparation and the months he was away and paints a portrait of this deeply moving tale of human endeavour in the harshest environment on the planet that formed the programme and led to his BAFTA win.
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Event 21

Impelo Dance

Creative/Contemporary Dance workshop 2

Venue: Hay Primary School
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Join Miriam from Impelo in a fun, creative dance workshop with a winter theme. Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to dance in bare feet. Impelo is a charitable organisation that seeks to share the transformational power of dance.

Age 8-11. Children may be accompanied by an adult, but no adult ticket required; unaccompanied children need to be signed in and out
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Impelo Dance

Event 22

Laura Cumming talks to John Mitchinson

On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home. It was another 50 years before she even learned of the kidnap.

The girl became an artist and had a daughter, arts writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast – the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker – but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives – including her own – were affected by what happened that day on the beach.
On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir. Two narratives run through it: the mother’s childhood tale, and Cumming’s own pursuit of the truth. Humble objects light up the story: a pie dish, a carved box, an old Vicks jar. Letters, tickets, recipe books, even the particular slant of a copperplate hand give vital clues. And pictures of all kinds, from paintings to photographs, open up like doors to the truth. Above all, Cumming discovers how to look more closely at the family album – with its curious gaps and missing persons – finding crucial answers, captured in plain sight at the click of a shutter.

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Laura Cumming talks to John Mitchinson

Event 23

Impelo Dance

Family Dancing

Venue: Hay Primary School
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Get your whole family moving in this winter-themed dance workshop. Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that you can dance in. Impelo is a charitable organisation that seeks to share the transformational power of dance. 

Family, everyone attending requires a ticket
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Impelo Dance

Event 24

Tom Holland

Dominion – The Making of the Western Mind

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today who have abandoned the faith of their forebears, and dismiss all religion as pointless superstition, remain recognisably its heirs. Seen close-up, the division between a sceptic and a believer may seem unbridgeable. Widen the focus, though, and Christianity's enduring impact upon the West can be seen in the emergence of much that has traditionally been cast as its nemesis: in science, in secularism, and yes, even in atheism. Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC to the on-going migration crisis in Europe today, and from Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles, the historian explores just what it was that made Christianity so revolutionary and disruptive; how completely it came to saturate the mind-set of Latin Christendom; and why, in a West that has become increasingly doubtful of religion's claims, so many of its instincts remain irredeemably Christian. 

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Event 25

Woodland Trust Walk 4

Tree ID

Venue: Meet at the Woodland Trust Stand at the Festival
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Join Woodland Trust expert, Derek Wright, on a gentle walk around Hay town, identifying the trees growing among the houses and streets.

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Woodland Trust Walk 4

Event 46

Dorothy Byrne, Guto Harri, Afua Hirsch, Vicky Pryce

Whose Government is it Anyway?

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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What should the new government do? What might a new agenda look like? What if we were to start without party manifestos and vested interest? What might “better” look like? Rosie Boycott is joined by Channel 4’s head of news and author of Trust Me, I’m Not a Politician: A Simple Guide to Saving Democracy, Dorothy Byrne; by the political commentator, formerly Boris Johnson’s mayoral spin doctor, Guto Harri; by the Guardian journalist and author of Brit(ish) Afua Hirsch, and by Vicky Pryce, the economist and author of Women vs Capitalism: We Can’t Have it All in a Free-Market Economy.
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Event 27

John Sentamu talks to Rhidian Brook

Wake up to Advent!

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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'This is the hour of crisis: 

it is high time for you to wake out of sleep, 
for deliverance is nearer to us now 
than it was when first we believed.'

St Paul's encouraging words to the Christians in Rome are the springboard for the Archbishop of York's Advent book for 2019. Chaired by the novelist (The Aftermath, The Killing of Butterfly Joe) and Thought for the Day speaker Rhidian Brook.

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Event 47

Hallie Rubenhold talks to Peter Florence

The Five - The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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WINNER OF THE 2019 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women. Now, in her devastating narrative of five lives, historian Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories. 
 
 
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Hallie Rubenhold talks to Peter Florence

Event 29

Jason Byrne

Stand Up: Wrecked but Ready

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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The sublimely gifted comedian returns with his brand-new show, Wrecked but Ready. After 23 consecutive years Jason is wrecked but he is as ever ready (which is a battery, but he’s more Duracell than Eveready). In particular the past year has been extremely testing for the wrecked Jason, but despite all this is he’s waiting to spill it out on stage. No one show is the same, expect all the usual spontaneous fun, come along and witness ‘the outright King of live comedy’ - The Times.

Suitable for age 14+
Please note the show includes a 20-minute interval
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Jason Byrne

Event 30

Richard Williams

Metropolis 2 – second screening

Venue: St Mary’s Church
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Father Richard Williams, the extraordinary gifted organist, composer and vicar of St Mary’s Church in Hay, performs a stunning live accompaniment to Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film Metropolis, playing the outstanding Bevington organ. This early science fiction film presents a highly stylised futuristic city where a cultured Utopian society exists above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated workers. The love interest is provided by a privileged youth who befriends a rebellious teacher, putting him at odds with his authoritarian father.

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Richard Williams

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