Wish I was there: What not to miss at Hay Festival


Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Hay Festival kicks off today and runs from 25th May – 4th June 2017. Sadly, I can’t make it but I thought I’d put together a list of the events I think you should check out / ones I wish I was attending!

At the time of posting all of the below events still had tickets for sale.

Hay Festival


Simon Murray and Friends: The National Trust manual of housekeeping – show and tell
5.30pm, 26th May 2017

What is this for? And how do I clean it? The National Trust’s Director of Curatorship and his team of expert conservator colleagues display and demonstrate some of the most wonderful and eccentric household items from their collections. They’ll offer advice on anything you’d like to bring along.

Rose Tremain talks to Peter Florence
5.30pm, 31st May 2017

The novelist revisits her 2008 masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize and selected as one of the Festival’s 30 Essential Reads of the past 30 years. ‘Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. Behind him loom the figures of his dead wife, his beloved young daughter and his outrageous friend Rudi. Ahead of Lev lies the deep strangeness of the British: their hostile streets, their clannish pubs, their obsession with celebrity. London holds out the alluring possibility of friendship, sex, money and a new career and, if Lev is lucky, a new sense of belonging….’

Alison Weir – Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession
1pm, 1st June 2017

The second novel in the popular historian’s Six Tudor Queens series mines the story of Anne Boleyn, the young woman who changed the course of history. Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love. But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game. Chaired by Phil Rickman.

30 years of Rebus: Ian Rankin talks to SJ Parris
4pm, 3rd June 2017

The big tent morphs into the Oxford Bar for the afternoon, as we pull up a stool and celebrate the enduring brilliance of Rankin’s great Edinburgh detective creation.

John Boyne: The Heart’s Invisible Furies
1pm, 4th June 2017

Boyne’s new novel spans 80 years of Irish history. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, Cyril Avery will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home and a country. Boyne is the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Absolutist. He talks to Peter Florence.

Are you going to the Hay Festival? If so, I’d love to hear what events you’re going to and what your highlights were.


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