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Mendes and Peake among Hay line-up

BBC News BBC News 11/04/2016
Sam Mendes, Maxine Peake, Salman Rushdie © Getty Images Sam Mendes, Maxine Peake, Salman Rushdie

Oscar winner Sam Mendes, Maxine Peake and Sir Salman Rushdie are among the line-up for this year's Hay Festival.

Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies will also talk about his reworking of A Midsummer Night's Dream starring Peake.

As well as marking 400 years of Shakespeare, Sir Salman will lead a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes.

The festival takes place in Hay-on-Wye in Wales from 26 May to 5 June.

Organisers have commissioned six English language and six Hispanic writers to create stories to celebrate both Shakespeare and Cervantes and to offer new perspectives on them.

Along with Sir Salman, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Valeria Luiselli and Ben Okri will participate, while Simon Schama, James Shapiro, Germaine Greer and Gillian Clarke are among those discussing the impact of Shakespeare.

There will also be a bicentenary celebration of the birth of Charlotte Bronte, led by Tracy Chevalier, Lionel Shriver, Kirsty Gunn and Joanna Briscoe.

New works

Other writers bringing new works to the festival include Edna O'Brien, Fay Weldon, James Runcie, Joanne Harris, Rose Tremain, Peter Carey, Mark Haddon and Jonathan Coe.

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh will appear in conversation with 2015 Booker prize winner Marlon James, and The Bone Clocks author David Mitchell will be in conversation with Icelandic poet and novelist Sjon.

As well as Mendes discussing his film-making, screenwriter Andrew Davies will talk about his recent acclaimed adaptation of War and Peace.

Actors Brian Blessed, Michael Palin and Tippi Hedren will also be on hand to discuss their careers.

The comedy section of the festival features the likes of Sarah Millican, Marcus Brigstocke, Dara O Briain and Sara Pascoe, while Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg, Laura Marling, K T Tunstall, Turin Brakes and Baaba Maal are on the music line-up.

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