Monthly Archives: June 2014

Steven Moffat at Hay Festival 2014 by Jaffa

Being a Whovian, I was very much looking forward to seeing Steven Moffat, and by the sound of things, so was everyone else – as soon as he entered the tent, everyone erupted into the loudest cheer I have heard yet. He was very funny, and the best thing he said was, “My wife divorced me she thought I liked television more than her. I proved her point by writing a sitcom about it.”

He made everyone laugh and didn’t use too many big words, which I expected him to do as he writes so much using big and clever words. Asked what would be in the next series of Dr Who, he said, “I have lots of things in my head… but I’m not giving away any of them.” I think the best question was, “What do you find harder, finding a pre-written text and putting it into a modern script, or writing your own plot?” The answer was, “They’re both very hard.”

By Jaffa.
Jaffa, 13, is a Whovian who spends an awful lot of time writing stories and playing piano.

Anthony Horowitz at Hay Festival 2014 by Finn

I went to see Anthony Horowitz to talk about his new book, ‘Russian Roulette’, part of the popular Alex Rider books, which he wrote 15 years ago. The difference between the books is that the earlier Alex Rider ones are from the perspective of the good guy and ‘Russian Roulette’ is the other way around.

He was very funny and said that when he was smaller he asked his mum to buy him a human skull for his birthday. He wasn’t sure who was weirder: him for asking for it – or his mum for buying it! Then he chatted about films not being as good as books because with books you have the power of imagination.

I would highly recommend reading his books as they are gripping and you cannot put them down. So go to the nearest bookshop and buy one of his books!!!!

By Finn.
Finn, 11, likes reading, tennis, drawing and being outside.

Laura Bates at Hay Festival 2014 by Clara

I am a feminist. Whoops. The number of people who would be undeniably and/or unashamedly put off by that statement is a testament to how depressingly internalised sexism is in our society, and indeed throughout the world. Unless, of course, people are outwardly misogynistic, which happens (surprisingly or unsurprisingly) all too often.
Laura Bates’ book, ‘Everyday Sexism’, is full of accounts (many from girls, a handful from boys) of people’s experiences of sexism. And it’s not just apparent in the young or uneducated: one account is that of a Cambridge University student who was asked by a don on her first day if she had to ‘bend over’ to get in.
But the talk, like the book, was not only an explanation of how (and to some extent why) this harassment (and assault) takes place, but also tackled how to combat and counteract this, and even educate people out of the normalised, implicitly sexist culture that, in my opinion, stems from the patriarchy.
Bates may not be the first to have the idea of making relationship education (including the idea of clear lessons on what consent is) a compulsory government initiative, but she certainly seems to be the first to voice this on such a public platform. Could that have an effect? Maybe, if she gets enough people behind her.
Though her talk and book are real eye openers to all the nastiness that seems to have been ignored, it’s heartening to walk into a tent full of people who are there to listen and to learn. It’s nothing short of emotional when a young boy gets up to talk of his experiences with watching sexism at his own school and what he’s done to try to stop it. It’s something quite incredible to hear about the tens of thousands of girls that have shared their experiences. Maybe, just maybe, something can be done. And there’s nowhere to go but up.

By Clara.
Clara is 15 and enjoys Homer, but is an unabashed fan of Harry Potter.

RSC Workshop at Hay Festival 2014 by Patrick

On Wednesday I did a workshop in the Scribblers’ Hut about Shakespeare’s histories, run by the RSC. We performed extracts from Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI. We all played different characters; I played the roles of Henry IV, Henry Hotspur, Henry V and Margaret Beaufort! There was a group of about 15 of us, children and adults, and we all learnt something new about the history plays, including the dramatic speeches. We also re-enacted the battles and as we died in an extremely over-the-top way, bellowing one of Shakespeare’s lines. Overall, I thought it was a great experience as well as great fun, and anyone who is interested in Shakespeare, acting or just wants to try something new should go along.

By Patrick.