10 Hay Festival Highlights from Days 2 & 3

Philip Ardagh - Is your beard real?

I’ve been stewarding and camping and generally thoroughly enjoying the Hay Festival so far. We’ve had sunshine, rain, wind, and everything in between.

Having never been before, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly didn’t think I’d get so much exercise, walking back and forth, and standing up whilst stewarding!

Here are my top ten highlights of days 2 and 3…   

Gillian Clarke & Imtiaz Dharker

Gillian Clarke & Imtiaz Dharker

1 – The hilarious, side-splitting Comedy Store Players’ improvisation of a ‘new’ Shakespeare Play ‘The Two Cobblers of Talgarth’, a surreal comic interview about teaching wolves to throw the javelin, opera, film noir, musical theatre and other fabulous improvisations (Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson, Andy Smart, Neil Mullarkey, Josie Lawrence and Marcus Brigstocke)

2 – The boy who asked Philip Ardagh (who was taking on the persona of the Grand High Witch in ‘Roald Dahl’s Villainous Villains’) if his beard was ‘real’.

3 – Dinner in the stewards’ tent (delicious and filling, just what you need when camping).

4 – David Crystal giving a talk about how to give a talk – amusing and entertaining.

Early morning sun tent

Sunshine on the campsite

5 – Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker reading poetry inspired by Shakespeare’s sonnets, and some of their other poems including great lines such as…

6 – “In the wake of you let day not break” (from Imtiaz Dharker’s poem ‘The Trick’ about her husband after he had died).

7 – “gleaming with imponderable meanings” (from a poem by Gillian Clarke).

8 – The quality of the Hay Festival toilets – excellent, clean, plenty of them!

9 – Getting to know some of the other stewards – all friendly and welcoming.

10 – Perfect weather for camping on Tuesday, with a leisurely breakfast listening to the birdsong.


Top photo taken by Marsha Arnold, others taken by myself

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