You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »

Theme: The Story of...

Meet Ed Balls, Reverend Richard Coles and Peter Lord and hear the story of their lives or explore the stories behind some of our favourite things.

What's on

Sun
18
Jun

Dad You Suck

Our Festival finale falls on Father’s Day, so what better way to celebrate than in the company of journalist Tim Dowling as he lays bare his experience of fatherhood. The author of 'Dad You Suck', he talks honestly and with his own brand of humour about the difficult task of being a dad.

Sat
17
Jun

Books as Instruments of Change

Our panel explores the role of the books throughout history and today. Find out why the story of the book is as intriguing as the many of the stories that books tell.

Thu
15
Jun

Make Mine a Beer: Celebrate national beer day

With the upsurge of small craft breweries opening in and around York, there are plenty of new and exciting local beers on offer. Join Half Moon Brewery for an inspiring evening of beer and food matching, led by sensory consultant Jo Menneer and brewery owner Jackie Rogers.

Thu
15
Jun

The Things Left Behind

Join York Archaeological Trust curators for a guided tour behind the scenes at the YAT store to hear the story of the things ‘left behind’. What happens to the artefacts that don't make the cut for public display? Hear how they continue to be put to work to enhance our understanding of the past.

Thu
15
Jun

The Things Left Behind

Join York Archaeological Trust curators for a guided tour behind the scenes at the YAT store to hear the story of the things ‘left behind’. What happens to the artefacts that don't make the cut for public display? Hear how they continue to be put to work to enhance our understanding of the past.

Wed
14
Jun

Peter York’s Storage Unit

Author and broadcaster Peter York examines a growing social trend in terms of his own experience; having half his life stored in room-sized wooden crates in a West London depository. Should we celebrate the Joy of Things, like Victorians at the Great Exhibition of 1851, or should we feel the burden of ‘Stuffocation’ (the title of just one of a new genre of self-help books)?

Wed
14
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for adults

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV.

Wed
14
Jun

The Stories Behind Our Favourite Things

Our speakers explore the story of things from three different but complimentary perspectives: philosophy, archaeology and poetry. Come along and hear the results of a public survey looking at the significance of precious objects in our lives. Learn about the role objects play in our quest for understanding and meaning, and why some things might have a soul.

Wed
14
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for teens

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV.

Tue
13
Jun

Reverend Richard Coles: The story of my life

Meet the Reverend Richard Coles, the UK’s only vicar to have had a number one single in the pop charts. As well as the Vicar of Finedon, Northamptonshire, the former member of The Communards is a much-loved broadcaster presenting Saturday Live on Radio 4 and giving us a regular reason to Pause for Thought on Radio 2.

Mon
12
Jun

Past Mortems: Life and death behind mortuary doors

A day in the life of Carla Valentine - curator, pathology technician and 'death professional' - is not your average day. She spent ten years training and working as an Anatomical Pathology Technologist: where the mortuary slab was her desk and that day's corpses her task list.

Sat
10
Jun

Small Finds and Stories That Matter

From the everyday and mundane sherds of pottery infilling a prehistoric ditch, to gleaming swords and chariot burials, objects offer their stories to those who are willing to listen. Join archaeologist Mel Giles and poet John Wedgwood Clarke as they share their experiences of working with words and things in a range of projects, from excavations and installations, to collaborations with other poets, writers and filmmakers.

Sat
10
Jun

Don’t Be a Dick, Pete

Join author and Guardian columnist Stuart Heritage as he discusses his unconventional and laugh-out-loud biography of his brother, 'Don’t Be A Dick, Pete'. The book is a hilarious examination of home and family; sons, fathers, fatherhood, sibling relationships and how hard it is to move on in a system that’s loaded with several decades of preconceived ideas about you.

Sat
10
Jun

Caribbean Food and Storytelling: A Journey

We’re used to saying: ‘We are what we eat’ but what about ‘We are how we cook and talk about food’? Sarah Lawson Welsh, expert on Caribbean food and writing, explores how the use of a simple iron pot or ‘duchy’, originally introduced by the Dutch for use on slave ships and used by African slave populations in the Caribbean, gave rise to a richly varied culinary and oral storytelling tradition.

Sat
10
Jun

The Strictly Experience

Ever wondered how 'Strictly Come Dancing' gets made? Or what it’s like to take part? Join the show’s Executive Producer Louise Rainbow, its Communications Manager Chris McCluskey and former contestant Ed Balls to find out.

Sat
10
Jun

Speaking Out: Lessons in life and politics

Meet Ed Balls and learn about a life in and out of politics - from the despatch box to the 'Strictly Come Dancing' stage.

Wed
7
Jun

When the V&A and Science Museum Were One

Join Bill Sherman from the V&A and Tim Boon from the Science Museum, London to dive into the amazing origins of South Kensington’s great museums, which mixed science, art, and much else besides in ways that are inspiring today’s curators.

Wed
7
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for adults

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV.

Wed
7
Jun

A Director’s Story

Theatre and television director and writer Phillip Breen’s work has played all over the world from Tokyo to Los Angeles, and Dubai to the streets of Assisi. An eclectic range, it encompasses opera, theatre, comedy, musicals, jazz cabaret, community theatre projects, new work and classics. He has directed plays at the Citizens Theatre, the Swan and the West End of London among many other venues.

Wed
7
Jun

Creating Stories on Screen: Acting workshops for teens

Ever fancied being a star of the screen? This is your chance to step in front of the camera and learn how to act for film and TV.

Wed
7
Jun

Peter Lord: The story of my life

Meet Peter Lord, Co-founder and Creative Director of Academy Award® winning studio Aardman, and director and producer of animation classics such as 'Morph', 'Creature Comforts', 'Chicken Run', the 'Wallace and Gromit' series and 'Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists'.

Festival themes