Festival talks - book here
Mount Stewart Conversations Festival 2017 will welcome a host of influential and well known speakers. The specialist talks will explore a wealth of topics of global, political and social interest, including the 2018 anniversary of Women and Suffrage, Brexit and the Irish Economy, Political Women of Ireland, Journeys through time, Myths and Legends and much more.
Download the full festival programme
Saturday 14 October 2017
Saturday 14 Oct, 11.00am
Women’s Suffrage 100 Years on – what the vote hasn’t solved
- supported by Herbet Smith Freehills
Rachel Johnson, Mary Kenny, Rosie Boycott
A high-powered cast of campaigners, academics and journalists discuss how far women have come in the 100 years since women’s suffrage was won, how far there is still to go to achieve real equality and how to get there.
Saturday 14 Oct, 12 noon
The Belfast Suffragettes of Soccer
Tara Lynne O’Neill
A century ago, Belfast women stepped onto a pitch in society-shocking shorts and football boots, a ball at their feet and a point to prove.
Saturday 14 Oct, 12.15pm
‘Ma’am, Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret’
Craig Brown, writer and parodist
The quirky, irreverent, Private Eye parodist, author and critic, offers a highly unexpected look at one of the most independent members of the Royal family of the last 100 years
Saturday 14 Oct, 1.30pm
‘My skies rise higher’ – The rise of Women’s Leadership in Northern Ireland
Sarah Havlin chairs this debate with guest speakers Bronagh Hinds (Founder of the Women’s Coalition), Lesley Hogg (Chief Executive of the NI Assembley) and Tina McKenzie (Business leader).
Saturday 14 Oct, 2.00pm - SOLD OUT
The Master Persuader - How to use Mind Control Like Donald Trump
In this lecture, Alex Kazam will take you through Trump’s secret techniques.
Saturday 14 Oct, 2.45pm
The Political Women of Ireland – from Maude Gonne, the Countess Markievicz, through to Edith, Lady Londonderry to the present day
- supported by Herbert Smith Freehills
Dr Diane Urquhart, author of The Ladies of Londonderry and Prof Senia Paseta Irish Historian/Director of Women in Humanities (Oxford), Discussion to be chaired by Mary Kenny
Ireland’s history of politically powerful, free-thinking women is rich with examples. Two leading academics, including the acknowledged world authority on Irish female activism discuss Edith, Lady Londonderry’s links to the radical activists of the early 20th Century.
Saturday 14 Oct, 4.00pm - SOLD OUT
Festival Conversations: Ian Hislop in conversation with Craig Brown
The UK’s best known and best loved satirist, the Private Eye editor talks to the UK’s best parodist about the richest period for satire in living memory – namely: NOW.
Saturday 14 Oct, 4.00pm
Kissing. Flirting. Love. These behaviours form the foundation of human existence as we know it. But what separates the Romeos from the Tinder turn offs? Are humans programmed for monogamy?
Saturday 14 Oct, 5.30pm
‘Boys Jobs, Girls jobs’ – Is the Home Front the Front Line?
Giles and Mary Wood (Gogglebox) and Rachel Johnson & Ivo Dawnay
Two pairs of married columnists on why home is where the trench warfare happens in the battle of the sexes and the hell of working from home.
SUNDAY October 15
Sunday 15 Oct, 11.00am
Brexit, Ireland and the Hard Border
Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times commentator, John Campbell BBC NI and Professor Richard English, discuss the potential impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.
Brexit has pushed Ireland to the top of the negotiating list in Brussels with the need for a “hard” border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. So, can a compromise be found to resolve the questions emanating from the UK’s historic decision to leave the single market and customs union?
Sunday 15 Oct, 12 noon
A Beginners Guide to Urban Bee Keeping
Co-Founder of Infinity Farm, Tonya McMullan presents a faulty lecture on the subject of Urban Beekeeping.
Sunday 15 Oct, 12.15pm
Brexit and the Irish economy: both sides of the border
Ellevena Graham, President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, John Campbell BBC NI, John McGrillen CEP Tourism NI and Angela McGowan, Regional Director NI, CBI
It’s the economy stupid – and nowhere more so than in Ireland where the political earthquakes from Europe continue their aftershocks. Two leading experts plot a route out of the chaos.
Sunday 15 Oct, 1.30pm
Orchestras of Peace
Ahmad Sarmast (Founder of Afghanistan Women’s Orchestra) and Shalini Wickramasuriya (The Music Project, Sri Lanka)
How culture can foster peace through women and music.
Sunday 15 Oct, 2.00pm - SOLD OUT
You drive past abandoned buildings on a regular basis, sometimes oblivious of their existence. Those you do notice, you wonder what's inside, who lived there before, why's it abandoned...? But you drive on.
Sunday 15 Oct, 2.45pm
Return to the Future - Is Nationalism natural?
Professor. Richard English
Almost three decades after an academic declared the ‘end of history’, is history going into reverse? Professor Richard English discusses whether we are heading to a New World Order or returning to just another version of the 1930s?
Sunday 15 Oct, 4.00pm
The History of the Mixed Drink
A casual meander through the foggy history of mixed drinks down the centuries, from the earliest forms of Punch and Wassail to the arcane and esoteric techniques.
Sunday 15 Oct, 4pm
Kate Adie in Conversation
Join us for a fascinating insight into the life and career of world renowned journalist Kate Adie.
***please note, line-up is subject to change
Tickets can be purchased for individual talks and there are also a limited number of Sunday Day Tickets available (Saturday has sold out) which will allow the ticket holder access to all talks and includes admission price to the property.
Please note - individual talk ticket prices are for entry into the talks only and Normal Admission Prices will apply to gain entry to the property on the day (Members Free):