I went to Philip Ardagh’s event at the Hay Festival yesterday. He was talking mainly, but far from exclusively, about his latest Grubtown Tales book for Faber and Faber, When Bunnies Turn Bad.
Honestly, I’d have gone even if he hadn’t been a Nosy Crow author (we’re publishing the first in his new series, The Grunts, next year, with illustrations by Axel Scheffler). His events are masterclasses in high-energy, interactive, stand-up comedy and for a child-and-parent audience, that weave together the story of how Philip became an author with lots of great scatalogical and tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandising material that had the child sitting one along from me actually falling off her chair she was laughing so much.
However professional and brilliantly prepared Philip is, he can’t predict everything, and a high-point of the event was him putting his foot (clad, as everyone in the audience knows, in size 16 shoes) through the set of one of Hay’s two swankiest event spaces:
Philip worked the incident into the event so brilliantly that even the technicians in charge of the venue were laughing in the aisles. Here he is with a triangle of broken stage after the event:
I, for one, can’t wait for the Philip–Axel The Grunts double-act.