Hay Festival Digital Schedule Boasts Stellar List of Wizarding World Alumni

With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down large-scale events, many conventions have unfortunately been canceled or postponed. However, the historic Hay Festival has not been deterred, since it has moved online instead.

To date, Hay Festival Digital is one of the largest online literary conventions to be organized during the pandemic, with over 80 different panels involving over 100 different award-winning actors, writers, and thinkers. Multiple Wizarding World alumni will be panelists across four different events.

First, Event 5 features an impressive lineup who will read William Wordsworth’s poetry and Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals. Joining best-selling author Margaret Atwood and illustrious actor Benedict Cumberbatch are Wizarding World alumni Stephen Fry, who narrated the Harry Potter audiobooks for listeners in the United Kingdom; Toby Jones, who voiced Dobby in the Harry Potter films; and Helen McCrory, who portrayed Narcissa Malfoy. It will be held on Friday, May 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:25 p.m. BST.

Later that evening, Fry will be hosting Event 8 live from 9:00 p.m. to 9:35 p.m. BST to unveil exclusive scenes from the third book of his Greek mythology trilogy, Mythos, which retells stories of ancient Greek heroes and myths. The third book is titled Troy, although it was previously known as Men. There will be a Q&A segment afterward.

On Sunday, Fry will be interviewing law professor Philippe Sands, who is the author of The Ratline. Through close analysis of family letters and diary entries, this fascinating book delves into the life of senior Nazi official SS Brigadeführer Otto Freiherr von Wachter and investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his post-World War II life as a fugitive. If you are intrigued, be sure to keep May 24, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. BST, free.

Concluding the festival on May 30 is Event 75, featuring actress Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange). Not only will a diverse assortment of Shakespeare’s scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies be read, but the panel will also explore the English Renaissance era and Shakespeare’s prolific works. For fans of the Bard, this panel, taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. BST, is a must-watch.

All Hay Festival Digital events are completely free of charge and open to everyone to participate. To register for any of the events, simply head down to the Hay Festival website. Your virtual seat will be confirmed via email. Then, just like an in-person festival, turn up on the day(s) itself, interact with other audience members, and ask questions of the speakers! If you are in a different time zone, rest assured that you will not miss out, since the events will be available for replay for up to 24 hours after they have ended.

Will you be attending any of the Hay Festival Digital events?