Hinterland Festival 2019 Programme & Tickets

Tickets for events can be purchased in advance online here or by phone via the Box Office on 089 436 9868. The Box Office is at The BOOK MARKet Café, Market Street, Kells, Co.Meath, and is open from 11am - 2pm Tuesday - Saturday.

Tickets are also available in advance from Antonia’s Bookstore in Trim.

You can also see a schedule view of the programme here.

Christy Lefteri

Event  21 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
The ongoing and unfailingly brutish civil conflict in Syria, a proxy war for the usual superpower suspects, provides the backdrop for The Beekeeper of Aleppo, a work of fiction that has been compared to The Kite Runner and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Its sweep also encompasses the continuing European refugee crisis as Nuri, a beekeeper from the beleaguered city of Aleppo and his wife Afra, an artist, experience a radical decline in their fortunes as a result of the internecine conflict and, like millions of their countrymen and women, are forced to flee. Christy Lefteri is herself the child of Cypriot refugees. Her first novel, A Watermelon, A Fish and a Bible, is set during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. She works as a lecturer in creative writing at Brunel University in London. Christy Lefteri will be in conversation with broadcaster Deirdre Hurley.
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Christy Lefteri

Jason Byrne and Oisín McGann

Event  Y1 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
Join comedian Jason Byrne for a deadly introduction to his first children’s book, The Accidental Adventures of Onion O’Brien: The Great Ape Escape. He’ll be joined by illustrator Oisín McGann. Discover Jason’s central characters the Five Os: Onion O’Brien (based on Jason as a boy!), Sive O’Connor, Dallan Okoye, Cliona O’Hare and Onion’s big brother Derek. Inspired by Jason’s own suburban boyhood, in their first adventure the Five Os wind up trying to hide an escaped baby ape from an evil circus ringmaster. Be prepared for fun and antics: as anyone who’s a fan of Jason’s appearances as a judge on TV3’s Ireland’s Got Talent will know – things could get wild!
9+ years
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Fintan O’Toole

Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain

Event  22 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
There’s a line in the theme song for the old black and white Robin Hood TV series which goes: “feared by the bad, loved by the good”. It might well be applied to the intrepid journalism of Fintan O’Toole in the Irish Times. His writing is coolly cerebral, rigorously analytical and abrasively engaged. The range and scope of his writing is also startling. He is critic, historian, controversialist and intellectual. He is as capable of writing a monograph on Richard Brinsley Sheridan or George Bernard Shaw as he is of eviscerating the corrupt cowboys of the Celtic Tiger. Latterly his attention has shifted to John Bull’s original island and British (English?) attempts to sever their connection with the European Union. In Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain no charlatan goes unpunished.
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Fintan O’Toole

Stacey Halls

Event  23 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
The Familiars by Stacey Halls is set to be the debut novel of 2019. Based on the infamous seventeenth-century Pendle witch trials in Lancashire, the novel was the subject of a fierce nine-way publisher auction. This page-turner tells the story of two women – a gentlewoman and her midwife – whose lives become inextricably and perilously linked at the time of the notorious witch trials of 1612, as a result of which eight women and two men were executed. The book has been compared to The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. Stacey Halls hails from Lancashire and is based in London where she also works as a journalist. She will be in conversation with broadcaster Deirdre Hurley.
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Stacey Halls

Richard O’Rawe

Event  24 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
Biographer and polemicist Richard O’Rawe reinvented himself as a crime novelist late last year with the publication of Northern Heist, his first novel. The storyline is based loosely on the 2004 Belfast Northern Bank robbery, which netted the thieves more than £26m. Richard O’Rawe became involved in Republican politics in the 1970s and, after his own arrest on bank robbery charges, found himself in Long Kesh as a provisional IRA ‘press officer’ during the 1981 hunger strikes. His account of how that crisis played out is at variance with that of the received wisdom from Republican leadership of the day. He has written about those experiences in Blanketmen: An Untold Story of the H-Block Hunger Strike and Afterlives: The Hunger Strike and the Secret Offer That Changed Irish History. He is also author of In the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story, for which Johnny Depp wrote the foreword. Richard will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
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Richard O’Rawe

The Printworks Restoration Project

Event  25 
Venue: Sawmills Studio
Print machine restorers Cyril Lee, John Judge and Freddie Snow recount their experiences within the print industry. Cyril, John and Freddie have a lifetime’s experience in the printing industry, including letterpress. They are master craftsmen recommended to us by the National Print Museum. All three have been involved with us from the start of this unique project to restore the Kells Victorian printing works. John and Cyril oversaw the removal of the presses from Maudlin Street, Kells, to their current location and have fully restored three of the presses. Freddie Snowe put the restored presses through their first print run. This restoration work has secured the future of these presses for the next hundred years. Cyril Lee, Printing Engineer, John Judge, Printing Finishing Engineer, and Freddie Snowe, Master Printer, will be in conversation with Mark Smith, Creative Director, Kells TypeTrail and Printworks.
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The Printworks Restoration Project

Seámus Ó Conaill

Event  Y2 
Venue: Iona Hall – Button Books Stage
Seámus is author of Spuds and the Spider and new book Spuds and the Crock of Gold. Join him for a lively and interactive reading session where children will get the opportunity to release their inner Leprechaun and act out scenes from the book. As well as that there’ll be some competitions and spot prizes, colouring, and a question time to finish up.
4+ years
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Seámus Ó Conaill

Lisa Collins

The Man Who Moved The Nation

Event  26 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
Lisa J. Collins was born in Dublin, grew up in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and now lives in Co. Wicklow with her husband. She is a local business owner, and also works to support and create networks of local businesses and women in business. From 2011 to 2014 Lisa, her father Gerry and her wider family took part in an award-winning national television and media campaign to encourage smokers to quit. The QUIT campaign and Gerry Collins are credited with helping reduce smoking prevalence in Ireland by over 100,000 smokers since 2013. In 2017 Lisa’s book The Man Who Moved The Nation, which is dedicated to her late father, was published by Mercier Press. Lisa will be in conversation with broadcaster Gerry Foley.
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Lisa Collins

Paul Mason

A Radical Defence of the Human Being

Event  27 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
As a TV journalist, author and public intellectual Paul Mason’s voice has offered both rigorous analysis and hope for a more equitable future. His 2015 work PostCapitalism was hailed by Naomi Klein as “an original, engaging, and bracinglyarticulated vision of real alternatives”. His latest work, the forward-thinking Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being recognises the multiple threats of the rise of authoritarian politics; the destruction of verifiable truth; the onset of Artificial Intelligence; and the sense of fatalism which has left millions susceptible to the mythologies of the new right. Paul will be familiar to TV viewers for his work as Economics Editor on BBC2’s Newsnight and Channel Four News since 2001. He will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
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Paul Mason

Lynn Ruane

A Seanad Radical

Event  28 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
Join Lynn Ruane for an in-conversation event about her powerful, award-winning memoir People Like Me. Lynn is a social activist and politician who has served as a member of Seanad Éireann since April 2016. Independent of party affiliation, she is a prominent advocate of numerous progressive causes, including the reform and modernisation of Ireland’s drug treatment and counselling infrastructure, universal access to education, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and has two daughters. Lynn will be in conversation with broadcaster Deirdre Hurley.
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Lynn Ruane

Matthew Spangler

Adapting The Beekeeper of Aleppo for the Stage

Event  29 
Venue: Sawmills Studio
Matt is by now an annual fixture at Hinterland. So much so that in March he became our ‘writer in residence’. Matt, who teaches performance studies at San José State University in California, is best known for the worldwide triumph of his adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner (London West End). Another recent success has been his criticallyacclaimed adaptation of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Off-Broadway). Matt will be returning to familiar pastures when we ask him to join Christy Lefteri and outline his plan for adapting her debut novel The Beekeeper of Aleppo.
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Matthew Spangler

Oisín McGann

Event  Y3 
Venue: Iona Hall – Button Books Stage
Oisín McGann is a writer and illustrator who has produced dozens of books, including Headbomz: Wreckin’ Yer Head, the Mad Grandad series and The Forbidden Files, as well as a whole bunch of critically-acclaimed novels. If he has physically recovered from the mayhem of his earlier event with Jason Byrne, this one should not be missed.
4+ years
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Oisín McGann

John Boyne

Event  30 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
Long established as one of the country’s premier writing talents, John Boyne manages to sit comfortably on both sides of the literary fence. As well as being the author of 17 novels (including the runaway success The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, a New York Times No.1 Bestseller) he is a prolific literary critic (Irish Times) and a frequent literary awards judge (Hennessy and IMPAC prizes). His novels – six of which have been written for younger readers – have been translated into more than fifty languages. His most recent work for adults, A Ladder to the Sky, described as “deliciously dark” by The Guardian, was published last summer and his sixth novel for younger readers, My Brother’s Name is Jessica, is just out. John will be in conversation with the distinguished essayist and broadcaster Gerry Foley.
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John Boyne

Tom Dunne

The Making of Abbey Road

Event  32 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
Tom Dunne has been front man with the Irish rock band Something Happens (‘the band that forgot to break up’) for the last three decades. He has also been a radio presenter for the better part of 20 years, currently with Newstalk, but probably still best known for his seminal Pet Sounds programme on Today FM. After his wonderful presentation in 2017 on the great(est?) Beatles album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Tom will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the recording of The Beatles’ Abbey Road.
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Tom Dunne

Jennifer Farley

Map-making Workshop

Event  Y4 
Venue: Iona Hall – Button Books Stage
In this fun workshop for young explorers with illustrator and author Jennifer Farley, kids will map their own place, starting with their home and expanding out into their local area. Map your house, map your garden, map your route to school. Add your favourite landmark. How about the pets that live in the neighbourhood? Kids will discover what fascinates them about a place; is it a memory, or maybe an experience? By creating a map of their surroundings, kids identify the essence of what is meaningful to a place for them and also learn how to visualise their world creatively. Kids will learn how to draw a simple compass rose to add to their maps.
5+ years
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Jennifer Farley

Jim Fitzpatrick

From Che to Lizzy and Beyond

Event  33 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
If you are curious as to why An Post would have issued a €1 stamp of the image of that great hero of the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara, it was not just because he was descended from an Irishman called Patrick Lynch. The image was created in 1967 by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, and has become one of the most iconic images of those halcyon days. But there is a lot more to Jim Fitzpatrick than a single inspiring image. For decades he has been one of the most successful graphic artists in Ireland, celebrated for his vivid recreation of Celtic myths in volumes like The Book of Conquests and his work on a variety of rock album covers, the most notable of these being Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak (1976). Jim will discuss his career with one of his devotees, our own Mark Smith, originator of the TypeTrail and the motive force behind the Printworks project.
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Jim Fitzpatrick

Striking Back – A Rehearsed Reading

Première

Event  34 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage

Last year Matt Spangler’s annual Hinterland adaptation session really took wing. Paired with Mary Manning in a workshop that dissected her autobiographical account of the 1984 Dunnes Stores strike (Striking Back), the session was such a positive experience that Matt has been working on a theatrical adaptation with director Kellie Hughes. Excerpts from this new play, currently in development, will be performed for the first time in a rehearsed reading. The cast will include John Doran, Caitriona Ennis, Nichola MacEvilly, and Ali McMahon alongside Hinterland Literary Festival's resident actor Bronagh Donaghey.

This reading is made possible by a bursary awarded by the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire and by the generous support of UCD Ad Astra Academy.

Pavilion Theatre logo
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Striking Back – A Rehearsed Reading

Sinead Gleeson

The Story of a Life in a Body

Event  35 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
The work of Sinead Gleeson has been a feature of numerous Hay and Hinterland festivals over the years, both as an artist and as an inspired interviewer. None who were fortunate enough to be present will ever forget her 2015 interview with Brian Eno (subsequently broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1). This year we welcome Sinead back as author of the outstanding collection of essays of 2018, Constellations. In this collection she tackles, among other topics, art, illness, ghosts, grief and our ways of seeing. The writing is highly personal but with universal resonance and has been described by award-winning novelist Eimear McBride as “raw, thoughtprovoking and galvanising”. Sinead is also Ireland’s foremost anthologist, who has reintroduced readers to the work of many neglected women writers in The Long Gazeback and The Glass Shore. Sinead will be talking to one of her most ardent literary admirers, bestselling novelist Liz Nugent (Lying In Wait, 2017 and Skin Deep, 2018).
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Sinead Gleeson

Kelly Gartland

Marvellous Medicines

Event  Y5 
Venue: Iona Hall – Button Books Stage
Roald Dahl is still as popular as ever and his books regarded as modern-day classics. How could Hinterland not celebrate his phizz-whizzing stories? Inspired by the works of Roald Dahl, Kelly Gartland will be inventing some magical medicines with the kiddles. With games – and a lot of mess! – there will be some splendiferous fun had by all.
4+ years
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Kelly Gartland

The Brexit Debate

Event  36 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
At the time of going to press no one has a blind notion where this one is heading. So, this event is a bit like the annual ‘Surprise Movie’ at the Dublin Film Festival. The discussion could be about an EU without the UK, and how the UK will fare as a ‘third country’. Or it could be about how (or if) the UK is going to extricate itself from the European Union. One political reputation has been hugely enhanced by what has largely been a shambles, and the owner of that reputation, Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee joins us for the debate. Also taking part will be journalist, author and commentator Paul Mason, veteran of many a BBC Newsnight panel discussion on Brexit, and RTE Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan. The debate will be moderated by Myles Dungan.
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