Past event

Hay Festival, 2017

27-28 May 2017

Armed with a postbag full-to-bursting with riveting correspondence, Letters Live returned to the gorgeous Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales for the fourth time in 2017 following sold out events in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The two shows took place on May 27th and 28th in the Tata Tent, which has in previous years been host to letter readers including Benedict Cumberbatch, Louise Brealey, Jude Law, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Maxine Peake and Mark Strong.


Saturday, 27th May 2017


James Rhodes

Highly Honoured Cousin

Johann Sebastian Bach to Johann Elias



Juliet Stevenson

Meeting Picasso

Edith Sitwell to Cecil Beaton

With great respect, Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson to Barbara Bush



Louise Brealey

Dear Princess Leia

Carrie Fischer to Princess Leia



Richard E. Grant

Yours for Law and Order

Henry Root to Patrick Moore

This would make him mine

John Steinbeck to Marilyn Monroe



Sanjeev Bhaskar

Mr. Trump causes severe distress

Allen Frances to The New York Times



Shea Thomas

What do I have to be guilty for?

A Muslim to London



Stephen Fry

The Raven is no more

Charles Dickens to Daniel Maclise

I daren’t blow off

Kenneth Williams to George Borwick



Tom Hollander

We all wish for peace

George Whitman to Anne Frank



Tom Hollander and Juliet Stevenson

I admire your balls

Hunter S. Thompson to Carrie Neftzger



Tom Hollander, Stephen Fry and Richard E. Grant



Tony Robinson

Your miserable friend, Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll to Annie Rogers

I would like to retain ‘fart in your general direction’

Mark Foraster to Michael White

How Beautiful!

Salvador Dali to Federico García Lorca





Willow Robinson

Hope in Our Eyes

James Rhodes

Bach Prelude No. 1 in C Major


Sunday, 28th May 2017


Andy Hamilton

Dear Lupin

Roger Mortimer to Charlie Mortimer

What do you want from life?

David Lavelle to The Telegraph



Andy Hamilton and Sanjeev Bhaskar

Dear Orwell

George Orwell to TS Elliot



Danny Lambert and Tom Hollander

You are the best author in human history

Alan Moore to Joshua



Juliet Stevenson

God’s Law

An Adoring Fan to Dr. Laura Schlessinger

The Hundred and One Dalmatians

Dodi Smith to Walt Disney



Lisa Dwan

The gales of grief

Samuel Beckett to Barbara Bray



Louise Brealey

Seeking wisdom

Cheryl Strayed to A Reader

I know, Mother, I know

Anne Sexton to Linda Sexton

The most beautiful work of all

Patti Smith to Robert Mapplethorpe



Sanjeev Bhaskar

Don’t feel bad that I’m gone

Jim Henson to His Children, Friends and Family



Sanjeev Bhaskar and Juliet Stevenson

My life is a perpetual nightmare

Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine



Shappi Korsandi

I am sure you will agree

Edith Sitwell to Mrs. Almer



Tom Hollander

You will not have my hatred

Antoine Leiris to His Wife’s Killers

Darling, I love you

Dylan Thomas to Pamela Johnson



Tony Robinson

I do occasionally eat

Lucian Freud to Lynne Barber





Denai Moore

Does it get easier?