Get your brain into gear – it’s the York Festival Of Ideas 2013

12 Jun 2013 @ 2.56 pm
| Education, Entertainment

Movies, pictures, drama, books, er, flowers: much for the grey matter
Famous writers, TV historians, legendary poets and Wallace and Gromit are among the stars ready to give your mind a workout in York’s biggest ever ideas festival.

The University of York-led jamboree sees events take over its Heslington campus and York city centre between June 13 and 29, and have the broad theme of North And South. There’s something for everyone, with family fun, music, theatre, film shows and science experiments in the programme.

At the heart of the festival are the talks. Here are a few highlights, and you can browse every event in our What’s On guide.


Six big names

wallace-and-gromitNobel Laureate Seamus Heaney will read from his poetry. Broadcaster, novelist and favourite of impressionists everywhere, Melvyn Bragg, is to talk about his new novel, Grace and Mary.

Germaine Greer, one of the best known feminist voices since her much-debated book, The Female Eunuch was published in 1970, will be talking about her famous biography of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway. One of telly’s favourite historians, Michael Wood, sheds new light on King Athelstan, while Michael C Scott appears in the month his new programme, Who Were The Greeks? starts on BBC2.

And Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman Animations, home of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, grants York an audience on Saturday, June 22.


Six top writers

call-the-midwife-ideasHeidi Thomas is screenwriter of Cranford and Call The Midwife, and discusses both Fabulous Fictional Females and the legacy of Elizabeth Gaskell.

Author and art critic Brian Sewell is in conversation about life and art.

Three Guardian journalists, columnist Zoe Williams, theatre critic Michael Billington and northern correspondent Martin Wainwright appear at different events, while Mail On Sunday polemicist Peter Hitchens will join York University graduate and former BBC boss Greg Dyke for the York Sunday Politics Show.

If you love writing, look out too for the new writer sessions, the Faber Academy workshops and the talk by three Granta Great Young British Novelists.


Six legends

bob-dylan-ideasBob Dylan biographer Michael Gray will illustrate his talk about the singer with some rare footage.

The legend of Dick Turpin is re-examined by York historian James Sharpe. History man and Shakespearean villain Richard III is the subject of an event featuring historians, actors and a film expert.

Lloyd George and his answer to the Irish question is examined by Dublin professor Ronan Fanning.

The legendary Sitwell family is the subject for Dame Edith Sitwell’s great-nephew, William Sitwell, while aviation expert Peter Rix examines the life and work of bouncing bomb inventor Barnes Wallis.