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21 Events You Won't Want to Miss at Hay Festival 2019

Tuesday 07 May 2019

One of the biggest festivals in the literature calendar is fast approaching with the Hay Festival taking place in just under 3 weeks on 23rd May until 2nd June. With over 600 events the 11-day festival has a huge variety of events so there will be something for everyone! However, we have compiled a list of the 21 events that you don’t want to miss out on, that tickets are still available for.

Stand-up: Devil May Care – Marcus Brigstocke
Friday 24 May 2019, 9.45pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Marcus Brigstocke will be providing the laughs with his satirical comedy act in which he talks about what really is good and what is bad in these divisive times.

Rembrandt’s Eyes – Simon Schama
Saturday 25 May 2019, 1pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Simon Schama will be speaking about Rembrandt van Rijn and the emotional impact of his work and the effect it had on the image of humanity.

Saturday 25 May 2019, 10pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
After a sell-out UK tour Sara brings her show to Hay Festival this year to share what she has been getting up to over the last year.

Reading: Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic – Simon Armitage
Sunday 26 May 2019, 4pm Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
Simon Armitage will be launching his new book of poems which includes subjects ranging from sculpture to the environment.

Fictions: The Silence of the girls – Pat Barker talks to Claire Armitstead
Sunday 26 May 2019, 1pm Venue: Oxfam Moot
Pat Barker will be discussing her new book ‘Silence of the girls’ with Claire Armistead. The book looks at one of the greatest Greek myths and the role Briseis had in the Trojan War.

Fictions: Love without end – A Story of Heloise and Abelard – Melvyn Bragg
Sunday 26 May 2019, 11.30am Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Melvyn will be talking about his new book ‘Love without end’. The book is about the classic love story between a scholar and philosopher from nearly a thousand years ago.

Howard Skempton’s Preludes and Fugues: World Premiere – Hay Music presents William Howard (piano)
Monday 27 May 2019, 7pm Venue: St Mary’s Church
William Howard will be at Hay Festival for the world premiere of a cycle of Preludes and Fugues by Howard Skempton. William will also be playing some iconic romantic repertoire.


The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth – Cerrie Burnell
Monday 27 May 2019, 4pm Venue: Starlight Stage
Children’s author Cerrie Burnell will be presenting her new novel ‘The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth’ which is about a girl with awesome underwater powers goes on a mission to rescue her mum. Cerrie will also be providing her top storytelling tops to inspire children to write their own stories.

Adaptation from Novel to Screen – Kiri Bloom Walden
Wednesday 29 May 2019, 1pm Venue: Scribblers Hut
Kiri will be hosting a workshop which explores the process of how novels, plays and short stories are turned into films. This will be explored from looking at examples in detail such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Jane Eyre.

It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves - Nish Kumar
Tuesday 28 May 2019, 8.30pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Nish Kumar is bringing his brand-new show to Hay this year. You can expect to hear jokes about politics and mankind’s ability to self-destruct.

Benjamin Zephaniah & The Revolutionary Minds – Live at Hay
Friday 31 May 2019, 9.45pm Venue: Oxfam Moot
Zephaniah and his band will be performing at Hay this year. Although his music isn’t as well known as his poetry the lyrics are of the same quality and reinforce the same messages as his writings.

Thinking on my feet - Kate Humble talks to Dylan Moore
Friday 31 May 2019, 5.30pm Venue: Hay Festival Foundation Stage
Kate Humble will be talking to Dylan Moore about walking. Kate will be exploring the reasons as to why we walk and what the benefits of it are. These insights will be sure to motivate you to walk more.

The future of Englishes – David Crystal
Friday 31 May 2019, 2.30pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
David Crystal will be speaking about the English language and looking at the future of the English language as a global language and what the impact of this will be.

Dancing the Charleston – Jacqueline Wilson
Saturday 1 June 2019, 2.30pm Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
Jacqueline Wilson will be talking about her new book ‘Dancing the Charleston’ whilst also discussing about some of her famous characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather.


Fictions: Machines like me – Ian McEwan talks to Marcus du Sautoy
Saturday 1 June 2019, 4pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Ian McEwan will be discussing his new novel ‘Machines like me’ which asks the question about what makes us human. Ian will be talking to Marcus du Sautoy who has also released a new book ‘The Creativity Code’.

Sex Education - Laurie Nunn in conversation with Francine Stock
Saturday 1 June 2019, 8.30pm Venue: Starlight Stage
Laurie Nunn, the creator of the hugely popular Netflix drama Sex Education will be chatting to Francine Stock about the show.

Terribly Funny – Jimmy Carr
Saturday 1 June 2019, 9pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
The hilarious Jimmy Carr will be performing his brand new show to the Hay crowd. The act will be including jokes about lots of terrible things that might have affected you so it might not be for everyone!

Muck and Magic – Michael Morpurgo and Marcus Brigstocke
Sunday 2 June 2019, 1pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
The legendary writer Michael Morpurgo will be reading his latest book ‘Muck and Magic’ alongside the multi-talented Marcus Brigstocke.

N.B. All these events had tickets available for them at the time of writing. If you wish to see the rest of the programme you can do so here:


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