Hay Festival Highlights From Days 4, 5 & 6

morpurgo at hay festival amy kerridge

Here are 7 highlights from my last few days at the Hay Festval…

Michael Morpurgo

I missed most of this event, just returning to catch the last few questions. He spoke about how the book which most influenced him was Poetry in the Making, by Ted Hughes, which is also one of my all-time favourites. He also described how he first began making up stories in order to entertain his class, demonstrating the facial expressions of boredom on the face of a Year 6 pupil.   

Kate Humble's dog Teg at Hay FestivalKate Humble

She was interviewed about her book on dogs by Miles Jupp, who began by asking the question: “Who invented dogs?”. Her dog Teg seemed to relish the attention, and I’m sure that most of the audience were simply ignoring the interview and watching Teg instead! Once Teg settled down on the stage I did begin to listen again, and it was interesting to hear about a scheme where young offenders are trained to train rescue dogs.

The Early Edition

With a few comedians, chaired by Marcus Brigstocke. I saw this event twice, both times at 10am (first event of the day). It was amusing and entertaining but personally I think both the comedians and the audience would have benefitted by a later time slot. 10am is a tad too early for mixing politics with comedy.

sarah millican at hay festivalSarah Millican

She spoke about her new alternative women’s magazine Standard Issue. I was horrified to hear about her experience at the Bafta Awards (I tend to ignore the celebrity fashion gossip so hadn’t heard about it at the time), where she was ridiculed for wearing a certain dress which she’d bought specially for the occasion, from John Lewis.

Standard Issue is different – it is not a magazine obsessed with weight loss, fashion and make-up. Instead it focuses on other things which could be of interest to women, giving a voice to those who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to speak out.

Jeanette Winterson at Hay FestivalGordon Brown

He gave a highly positive speech about how important it is to stay in the EU, with plenty of literary references. He spoke of the dystopian novel ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and Tennyson’s poetry, emphasising the fact that we need to be positive about the future.

Jeanette Winterson

‘Shakespeare in Space’ was the title of her lecture, and it was very entertaining. She described Shakespeare’s own space, what it was like to live in London at that time, “loud, rude, intense” and “everyone carried a weapon”. She said that we needn’t worry about not understanding his language, because “nearly a third of Shakespeare wouldn’t have been understood by his audience at the time”.

KT Tunstall at Hay FestivalKT Tunstall

A thrilling performance from the singer, and a brilliant band, so good that I was surprised how quickly it was all over.

Photos (from top) taken by: Amy Kerridge, James Crook, Marsha Arnold, James Crook, James Crook

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