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Front Row

BBC Radio 4

56
Followers
151
Plays
Front Row

Front Row

BBC Radio 4

56
Followers
151
Plays
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Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music

Latest Episodes

Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, Gaming, Cressida Cowell in the Culture Clinic

Miles Davis released his seminal album Bitches Brew 50 years ago this week. Saxophonist Soweto Kinch and Michael Carlson consider the impact of the double album, and discuss the recent documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. What video games should we play while we’re self-isolating? Video games expert, journalist and broadcaster Jordan Erica Webber gives us her top picks and tips for first-time gamers. And as even the World Health Organisation recommends 'playing active video games' during lockdown, we look at the mental and physical health benefits of gaming. This week The Front Row Culture Clinic is looking at how to keep children entertained and educated whilst under lockdown, with portrait painter Lorna May Wadsworth who is launching a painting competition for the under 12s - the winner will have their painting hung in a prestigious London gallery. Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell, who is reading a chapter of How To Train Your Dragon every day from her garden shed with ...

41 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, Gaming, Cressida Cowell in the Culture Clinic

Dua Lipa, Sara Collins, Edinburgh festivals cancelled, Molly O’Cathain

Dua Lipa shares the inspiration behind her new album Future Nostalgia, what it's been like releasing an album under quarantine. As the Edinburgh Festivals are cancelled this year, Joyce McMillan of The Scotsman discusses what this means for theatre, comedy and the arts, and for the city itself. Set and costume designer Molly O’Cathain, on lockdown at home with her parents in Dublin, has combined her love of art and skill as a production designer to recreate famous painting of couples using her parents as models. She tells John how she's been doing it. Sara Collins won the 2019 Costa First Novel Award for The Confessions of Frannie Langton. In the latest in our J’Accuse series, she takes on what she sees as the segregation of publishing and the expectations on writers of colour to “tackle” the subject of race. Presenter: John Wilson Producer: Hannah Robins

28 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Dua Lipa, Sara Collins, Edinburgh festivals cancelled, Molly O’Cathain

The Dramatist James Graham

This edition of Front Row is devoted to one of the most exciting playwrights to emerge this century. James Graham is only 37 but has already become a foremost chronicler of modern Britain on stage and screen. He is known for taking on the big issues of the day – Brexit, privacy online, parliamentary democracy, fake news - whilst enabling his audience to see things from the points of view of those involved. In This House the whip's office, more than the chamber of the House of Commons, is where power plays. His controversial television play Brexit: The Uncivil War, set in the offices of the Vote Leave campaign, brought our attention to the critical role played by Dominic Cummings, now the Prime Minister’s chief adviser. At Easter ITV will broadcast his adaptation of his play – Quiz – about the coughing controversy and the major accused of cheating on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It is about truth, fact and power - the power of television. Graham's work in the theatre is often i...

28 MIN2 d ago
Comments
The Dramatist James Graham

Soprano Chen Reiss, Theatre Online, National Poetry Competition

To mark Beethoven's 250th anniversary, soprano Chen Reiss has released an album of rarely performed Beethoven arias called Immortal Beloved. She joins us live from her home in Vienna, and also performs a favourite aria by Handel. With arts organisations scrambling to reproduce their output online, we discuss the dilemmas of streaming works intended to be experienced communally. Academic Kirsty Sedgman, who specialises in audience research, and theatre critic Alice Saville, Editor of Exeunt Magazine, consider the consequences for artists and their audiences. Susannah Hart has won the National Poetry Competition for her poem Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, which draws from her experiences as a school governor - the poem is her reaction to how we support and look after children at risk. Presenter: Kirsty Lang Producer: Timothy Prosser Engineer: John Boland Image: Chen Reiss Photo Credit: Paul Marc Mitchell

28 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Soprano Chen Reiss, Theatre Online, National Poetry Competition

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson plays live from Reykjavik

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has a new album, Debussy – Rameau, exploring the music of two very different but complementary composers. He plays live from Reykjavik, exclusively for Front Row. Actor Jo Hartley - best known for her roles in Shane Meadows' This is England series - discusses her new TV drama, In My Skin, which is coming to BBC Three. It's the story of a Welsh teenager - Bethan - who is dealing with mental illness, friendships and her sexuality. Her mother Trina - played by Hartley - has bipolar disorder and is sectioned in a psychiatric ward but Bethan is doing all she can to hide her mother's condition from her friends and the school authorities. The part is based on the personal experiences of Welsh writer Kayleigh Llewellyn. Musician Mik Scarlet gives his Disabled Person’s Guide to Surviving (and Thriving) in Lockdown. He passes on his top tips and argues that, although on screen disabled people are often portrayed as weak and needing help, there is a lot ...

28 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson plays live from Reykjavik

Gloria Gaynor, Offline Arts, film Vivarium and novel Hamnet reviewed, Culture Clinic

Disco legend Gloria Gaynor made headlines earlier this month when her TikTok video encouraging people to wash their hands to her hit I Will Survive went viral. She joins us from her home in South Carolina, to discuss winning a Grammy for her latest album Testimony, and how she's keeping busy in self-isolation. As galleries and art centres close their doors many organisations are turning to digital platforms to reach audiences, but what about the 5 million people in the UK that don’t have access to the internet? Front Row speaks to Stella Duffy, co-director of Fun Palaces and Sally Shaw, Director of Firstsite Gallery in Colchester about the initiatives they’re setting up to reach those that are not online. Maggie O’Farrell’s latest novel is named after Shakespeare’s only son Hamnet, who died of the Plague. It has been almost universally acclaimed as her finest work. And a new film – Vivarium – is a study in claustrophobia and enforced closeness for a young couple who have to l...

41 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Gloria Gaynor, Offline Arts, film Vivarium and novel Hamnet reviewed, Culture Clinic

Owen Sheers, Nikita Lalwani, Writing in isolation

The bestselling children’s book series The Snow Spider has been adapted for TV by award-winning writer, poet and playwright Owen Sheers. It is a fantasy drama that follows nine-year-old Gwyn as he discovers his magical powers and his family connection to the Welsh myths of the Mabinogion. Owen tells us how he adapted a much-loved classic. Booker longlisted author Nikita Lalwani discusses her new novel You People, which tells the story of a London pizzeria that employs and supports refugees and illegal immigrants. But what happens when moral decisions are left at the hands of a man beyond the law? Nikita reveals the inspiration behind the story and her research into the refugee crisis and Britain’s hostile environment. With book festivals cancelled, Amazon book stocks about to run out and self-employed authors facing difficult financial circumstances, book publicist Georgina Moore joins us to discuss how the literary world is adapting to the challenges of Coronavirus. Looking for a...

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Owen Sheers, Nikita Lalwani, Writing in isolation

Eliza Carthy, Art galleries and coronavirus, Terrence McNally obituary

Singer and fiddle player Eliza Carthy, daughter of folk doyens Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy, is known as a folk musician but, while being steeped in traditional music, she has wide musical horizons. Her new album Through that Sound (My Secret was Made Known) is a collection of her own songs. It’s a collaboration with musician and producer Ben Seal, who provides arrangements for string quartet, bass clarinet and keys. Eliza and her band were all rehearsed and ready to tour this month, but that is of course cancelled. She joins Front Row live from the Waterson Carthy household in Robin Hood's Bay, to talk about being a single mother, part-time carer and professional musician, to play and sing, and offer some tips to people for whom self-isolation offers the opportunity to write songs. As all galleries in the UK are ordered to close by the government as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus we consider the financial impact, how much can realistically move online an...

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Eliza Carthy, Art galleries and coronavirus, Terrence McNally obituary

Simon Armitage, Stephen Hough, Chris Riddell on Asterix creator Albert Uderzo

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks about his new poetry collection Magnetic Field: the Marsden Poems, which is inspired by the West Yorkshire village he grew up in. As classical musicians struggle to cope with the loss of their income due to the cancellation of all concerts, Samira is joined by music critic Anna Picard, Deborah Annetts of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and pianist Stephen Hough, who plays live from his home. Former Children's Laureate Chris Riddell pays tribute to the French comic book artist Albert Uderzo, co-creator of Asterix, who has died aged 92. Presenter: Timothy Prosser Producer: Samira Ahmed Main Image: Simon Armitage Image credit: Robert Shiret/BBC

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Simon Armitage, Stephen Hough, Chris Riddell on Asterix creator Albert Uderzo

Rathbones Folio winner, Disney+, Malory Towers on TV, Live performance from National Theatre of Scotland

Front Row has announced Valeria Luiselli the winner of the 2020 Rathbones Folio book prize for her novel Lost Children Archive and John Wilson speaks live to Valeria from her home in New York. This Tuesday sees the UK launch of Disney+, the new television streaming service from the second largest media company in the world. As well as all their classic releases, the service will include access to the full Star Wars franchise, the Marvel and Pixar back catalogues and National Geographic programming. Adam Satariano, technology correspondent for The New York Times, and TV critic Julia Raeside discuss the impact Disney+ is likely to have on the UK's TV landscape. Malory Towers is a new 13-part TV drama series set in post-war Britain based on the bestselling children’s novels by Enid Blyton. Set in a girl's boarding school and packed full of midnight feasts, lacrosse games and mysteries to be solved, the books have been a beloved staple for generations of schoolchildren. Julia Raeside r...

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Rathbones Folio winner, Disney+, Malory Towers on TV, Live performance from National Theatre of Scotland

Latest Episodes

Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, Gaming, Cressida Cowell in the Culture Clinic

Miles Davis released his seminal album Bitches Brew 50 years ago this week. Saxophonist Soweto Kinch and Michael Carlson consider the impact of the double album, and discuss the recent documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. What video games should we play while we’re self-isolating? Video games expert, journalist and broadcaster Jordan Erica Webber gives us her top picks and tips for first-time gamers. And as even the World Health Organisation recommends 'playing active video games' during lockdown, we look at the mental and physical health benefits of gaming. This week The Front Row Culture Clinic is looking at how to keep children entertained and educated whilst under lockdown, with portrait painter Lorna May Wadsworth who is launching a painting competition for the under 12s - the winner will have their painting hung in a prestigious London gallery. Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell, who is reading a chapter of How To Train Your Dragon every day from her garden shed with ...

41 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, Gaming, Cressida Cowell in the Culture Clinic

Dua Lipa, Sara Collins, Edinburgh festivals cancelled, Molly O’Cathain

Dua Lipa shares the inspiration behind her new album Future Nostalgia, what it's been like releasing an album under quarantine. As the Edinburgh Festivals are cancelled this year, Joyce McMillan of The Scotsman discusses what this means for theatre, comedy and the arts, and for the city itself. Set and costume designer Molly O’Cathain, on lockdown at home with her parents in Dublin, has combined her love of art and skill as a production designer to recreate famous painting of couples using her parents as models. She tells John how she's been doing it. Sara Collins won the 2019 Costa First Novel Award for The Confessions of Frannie Langton. In the latest in our J’Accuse series, she takes on what she sees as the segregation of publishing and the expectations on writers of colour to “tackle” the subject of race. Presenter: John Wilson Producer: Hannah Robins

28 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Dua Lipa, Sara Collins, Edinburgh festivals cancelled, Molly O’Cathain

The Dramatist James Graham

This edition of Front Row is devoted to one of the most exciting playwrights to emerge this century. James Graham is only 37 but has already become a foremost chronicler of modern Britain on stage and screen. He is known for taking on the big issues of the day – Brexit, privacy online, parliamentary democracy, fake news - whilst enabling his audience to see things from the points of view of those involved. In This House the whip's office, more than the chamber of the House of Commons, is where power plays. His controversial television play Brexit: The Uncivil War, set in the offices of the Vote Leave campaign, brought our attention to the critical role played by Dominic Cummings, now the Prime Minister’s chief adviser. At Easter ITV will broadcast his adaptation of his play – Quiz – about the coughing controversy and the major accused of cheating on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It is about truth, fact and power - the power of television. Graham's work in the theatre is often i...

28 MIN2 d ago
Comments
The Dramatist James Graham

Soprano Chen Reiss, Theatre Online, National Poetry Competition

To mark Beethoven's 250th anniversary, soprano Chen Reiss has released an album of rarely performed Beethoven arias called Immortal Beloved. She joins us live from her home in Vienna, and also performs a favourite aria by Handel. With arts organisations scrambling to reproduce their output online, we discuss the dilemmas of streaming works intended to be experienced communally. Academic Kirsty Sedgman, who specialises in audience research, and theatre critic Alice Saville, Editor of Exeunt Magazine, consider the consequences for artists and their audiences. Susannah Hart has won the National Poetry Competition for her poem Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, which draws from her experiences as a school governor - the poem is her reaction to how we support and look after children at risk. Presenter: Kirsty Lang Producer: Timothy Prosser Engineer: John Boland Image: Chen Reiss Photo Credit: Paul Marc Mitchell

28 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Soprano Chen Reiss, Theatre Online, National Poetry Competition

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson plays live from Reykjavik

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has a new album, Debussy – Rameau, exploring the music of two very different but complementary composers. He plays live from Reykjavik, exclusively for Front Row. Actor Jo Hartley - best known for her roles in Shane Meadows' This is England series - discusses her new TV drama, In My Skin, which is coming to BBC Three. It's the story of a Welsh teenager - Bethan - who is dealing with mental illness, friendships and her sexuality. Her mother Trina - played by Hartley - has bipolar disorder and is sectioned in a psychiatric ward but Bethan is doing all she can to hide her mother's condition from her friends and the school authorities. The part is based on the personal experiences of Welsh writer Kayleigh Llewellyn. Musician Mik Scarlet gives his Disabled Person’s Guide to Surviving (and Thriving) in Lockdown. He passes on his top tips and argues that, although on screen disabled people are often portrayed as weak and needing help, there is a lot ...

28 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson plays live from Reykjavik

Gloria Gaynor, Offline Arts, film Vivarium and novel Hamnet reviewed, Culture Clinic

Disco legend Gloria Gaynor made headlines earlier this month when her TikTok video encouraging people to wash their hands to her hit I Will Survive went viral. She joins us from her home in South Carolina, to discuss winning a Grammy for her latest album Testimony, and how she's keeping busy in self-isolation. As galleries and art centres close their doors many organisations are turning to digital platforms to reach audiences, but what about the 5 million people in the UK that don’t have access to the internet? Front Row speaks to Stella Duffy, co-director of Fun Palaces and Sally Shaw, Director of Firstsite Gallery in Colchester about the initiatives they’re setting up to reach those that are not online. Maggie O’Farrell’s latest novel is named after Shakespeare’s only son Hamnet, who died of the Plague. It has been almost universally acclaimed as her finest work. And a new film – Vivarium – is a study in claustrophobia and enforced closeness for a young couple who have to l...

41 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Gloria Gaynor, Offline Arts, film Vivarium and novel Hamnet reviewed, Culture Clinic

Owen Sheers, Nikita Lalwani, Writing in isolation

The bestselling children’s book series The Snow Spider has been adapted for TV by award-winning writer, poet and playwright Owen Sheers. It is a fantasy drama that follows nine-year-old Gwyn as he discovers his magical powers and his family connection to the Welsh myths of the Mabinogion. Owen tells us how he adapted a much-loved classic. Booker longlisted author Nikita Lalwani discusses her new novel You People, which tells the story of a London pizzeria that employs and supports refugees and illegal immigrants. But what happens when moral decisions are left at the hands of a man beyond the law? Nikita reveals the inspiration behind the story and her research into the refugee crisis and Britain’s hostile environment. With book festivals cancelled, Amazon book stocks about to run out and self-employed authors facing difficult financial circumstances, book publicist Georgina Moore joins us to discuss how the literary world is adapting to the challenges of Coronavirus. Looking for a...

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Owen Sheers, Nikita Lalwani, Writing in isolation

Eliza Carthy, Art galleries and coronavirus, Terrence McNally obituary

Singer and fiddle player Eliza Carthy, daughter of folk doyens Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy, is known as a folk musician but, while being steeped in traditional music, she has wide musical horizons. Her new album Through that Sound (My Secret was Made Known) is a collection of her own songs. It’s a collaboration with musician and producer Ben Seal, who provides arrangements for string quartet, bass clarinet and keys. Eliza and her band were all rehearsed and ready to tour this month, but that is of course cancelled. She joins Front Row live from the Waterson Carthy household in Robin Hood's Bay, to talk about being a single mother, part-time carer and professional musician, to play and sing, and offer some tips to people for whom self-isolation offers the opportunity to write songs. As all galleries in the UK are ordered to close by the government as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus we consider the financial impact, how much can realistically move online an...

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Eliza Carthy, Art galleries and coronavirus, Terrence McNally obituary

Simon Armitage, Stephen Hough, Chris Riddell on Asterix creator Albert Uderzo

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks about his new poetry collection Magnetic Field: the Marsden Poems, which is inspired by the West Yorkshire village he grew up in. As classical musicians struggle to cope with the loss of their income due to the cancellation of all concerts, Samira is joined by music critic Anna Picard, Deborah Annetts of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and pianist Stephen Hough, who plays live from his home. Former Children's Laureate Chris Riddell pays tribute to the French comic book artist Albert Uderzo, co-creator of Asterix, who has died aged 92. Presenter: Timothy Prosser Producer: Samira Ahmed Main Image: Simon Armitage Image credit: Robert Shiret/BBC

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Simon Armitage, Stephen Hough, Chris Riddell on Asterix creator Albert Uderzo

Rathbones Folio winner, Disney+, Malory Towers on TV, Live performance from National Theatre of Scotland

Front Row has announced Valeria Luiselli the winner of the 2020 Rathbones Folio book prize for her novel Lost Children Archive and John Wilson speaks live to Valeria from her home in New York. This Tuesday sees the UK launch of Disney+, the new television streaming service from the second largest media company in the world. As well as all their classic releases, the service will include access to the full Star Wars franchise, the Marvel and Pixar back catalogues and National Geographic programming. Adam Satariano, technology correspondent for The New York Times, and TV critic Julia Raeside discuss the impact Disney+ is likely to have on the UK's TV landscape. Malory Towers is a new 13-part TV drama series set in post-war Britain based on the bestselling children’s novels by Enid Blyton. Set in a girl's boarding school and packed full of midnight feasts, lacrosse games and mysteries to be solved, the books have been a beloved staple for generations of schoolchildren. Julia Raeside r...

28 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Rathbones Folio winner, Disney+, Malory Towers on TV, Live performance from National Theatre of Scotland
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