Hay Festival 2021 reveals gala performers

Lucy Nathan
News - Festivals Tuesday, 4th May 2021

Featuring Kate Winslet, Vanessa Redgrave, the Duchess of Cornwall and Natalie Haynes


Hay Festival has announced the cast lists for this year's two gala events, Hay Festival Opening Gala - A Night of Hope (26 May) and From Women to the World Gala (5 June). The events are part of the festival's free digital programme for its 34th spring edition.

A Night of Hope is hosted by Natalie Haynes, and will feature readings of 'inspiring works of literature, theatre and poetry' from the Duchess of Cornwall; actors Richard Eyre, Theresa Lola, Romola Garai, Jessica Raine, Charly Arrowsmith and Louise Brearley; comedians Sindhu Vee and Rob Brydon; writers Elif Shafak, Juno Dawson, Clemency Burton-Hill, Simon Schama, Rufus Mufasa, Hafsa Zayyan and Margaret Busby; poets Hollie McNish and Karl Nova; rapper Guvna B; and scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

From Women to the World sees the cast share writing by influential women, drawing on The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing edited by Hannah Dawson and Elizabeth Filippouli's From Women to the World: Letters for a new Century. Performers include Kate Winslet, Vanessa Redgrave, Juliet Stephenson, Suzette Llewellyn, Bishop Rose and Suzanne Packer, music star Skin, campaigner Hellen Lunkuse, and novelist Elif Shafak.

Heather Salisbury, Hay Festival artist manager, said: "This spring we beam our programme to you from Richard Booth's Bookshop in the heart of Hay-on-Wye, welcoming writers, readers, thinkers and dreamers together from around the world to join our digital party. Let's meet this moment of challenge with hope."