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Avi Avital., the world's leading mandolin player, on his new album The Art of the Mandolin, in which he performs music specially written for the instrument by Vivaldi, Beethoven and Scarlatti through to contemporary composers David Bruce and Giovanni Sollima. Yesterday the Government announced which areas of England will be in Tiers 1, 2 or 3. For …
 
The actress Amy Adams is one of Hollywood’s brightest stars with multiple Oscar nominations and a roster of unforgettable roles to her name from the adorable pregnant teenager in Junebug, to the lovable Disney Princess in Enchanted, to full on 1970s disco in American Hustle. Now she’s taken on the distinctly un-glamorous role of a drug addicted mot…
 
Roy Williams joins Samira Ahmed to talk about Death of England: Delroy. Just before Lockdown 2, this play’s opening night became its closing night. The understudy Michael Balogun had just stepped into the role. Luckily the press and audience loved it, and the film of that performance will be available on the National Theatre’s youtube channel this …
 
We exclusively reveal and analyse the 2020 Costa Book Prize shortlists. Critics Alex Clark and Jade Cuttle discuss the books chosen in the five categories: Novel, First Novel, Poetry, Biography and Children's fiction. Category winners will appear on the programme in January and Front Row will announce the overall prize-winner on 26 January 2021.Guy…
 
On Front Row last week, Douglas Stuart was awarded the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction for Shuggie Bain, his debut novel about a boy in 1980s Glasgow who supports his mother as she struggles with addiction. Tonight Douglas Stuart talks in-depth with John Wilson about his extraordinary journey from Glasgow to becoming a fashion designer in New York an…
 
Tim Minchin - the Australian actor, comedian, performer, musician, and composer and lyricist of the Olivier Award-winning RSC stage show Matilda The Musical – discusses his first solo album Apart Together, the themes he chooses to reflect on, and his approach to composition.Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 are in the shops. The much-anticipated new …
 
Live from the Roundhouse, London, Front Row brings you the 2020 Booker Prize ceremony. Who will be the winner of the £50,000 prize for fiction in this extraordinary year?Taking part in the socially distanced proceedings will be Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, last year's winners Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo, chair of judges Margaret Busby, HRH The D…
 
Gillian Anderson on her technique for perfecting Margaret Thatcher’s distinctive voice in the fourth season of The Crown, and the recent debate the TV series has ignited over what is fact and fiction. South Georgia is a remote, windswept and icy Antarctic island, with no permanent population. But much of the industrial whaling industry was based he…
 
Patrick is a black comedy from Belgium set in a woodland nudist camp. After his father dies and leaves him to run the campsite, Patrick’s favourite hammer is stolen, and he finds himself on an existential quest as he attempts to recover his beloved tool. The film is by Tim Mielants who directed the third series of Peaky Blinders. Briony Hanson give…
 
Fela Kuti was the creator of Afrobeat – a blend of traditional Yoruba and Caribbean music with funk and jazz that exhilarated the global music scene in the 1970s and gave rise more recently to the Afrobeats scene from Burna Boy to Tiwa Savage. A new documentary by the Nigerian novelist and playwright Biyi Bandele aims to chart Fela Kuti’s rise to f…
 
The Simpsons is the longest running scripted primetime TV show ever. As season 31 kicks off in the UK we explore its potent popularity with comedian and fan David Baddiel and writer, producer, and story editor on thes how Tim Long who’s worked on more than 450 episodesPhotographer Simon Phipps discusses his book Brutal North, a celebration of moder…
 
We conclude our tour of the novels shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2020 tonight with a final book group where listeners put their questions to Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life. A campus novel and a coming-of-age story, it tells the experiences of a gay, Black doctoral student in a predominantly White, PhD programme at a supposedly enlightened A…
 
Tana French is the creator of the Dublin Murder Squad crime books, that inspired the 2019 BBC TV series. Her gritty urban mysteries have been translated into 37 languages and sold around 7m copies worldwide, gaining praise from the likes of Stephen King and Marian Keyes. Her latest novel, The Searcher, moves the action to rural Ireland for the firs…
 
The cellist and singer Abel Selaocoe grew up in a township in the south of Johannesburg and creates music that draws on classical, African and contemporary music. He talks to Samira about As You Are, the music he’s composed for Opera North’s sound-walks in Leeds and about the celebration of music from Africa which he’s leading in collaboration with…
 
Ulysses, Hercules, Jason and Achilles - classical mythology is all about men of action. The women tend to have things - often horrible - happen to them: they get kidnapped, raped, abandoned. The Roman poet Ovid wrote a series of fictional letters, The Heroides, giving voice to these put-upon women. 15 leading British dramatists, all women or non-bi…
 
The death of Geoffrey Palmer was announced today. Two of his leading co-stars, Dame Judi Dench and Wendy Craig, pay tribute.Ruth Wilson plays the sinister and ruthlessly ambitious Mrs Coulter in the BBC’s lavish adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. We catch up with her as series two begins to discuss the relationship with her estrange…
 
Could being visually impaired enhance an artist’s work? We’ll discuss that with Richard Butchins who’s made a BBC 4 documentary - The Disordered Eye - arguing just that. He looked at the work of artists who are known to have had low vision, such as Degas and Monet and those who were blind like Sargi Mann. And heard from contemporary artists like la…
 
We can't go to the movies for a fix of action now. We can, though, witness spectacle that even the biggest budget blockbusters can't match - by simply going outside into the weather. 'Use should be made of it,' wrote Virginia Woolf. 'One should not let this gigantic cinema play perpetually to an empty house.' The poet Alice Oswald discusses Giganti…
 
In an extended interview, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas talks about relishing her latest role as the scary housekeeper Mrs Danvers in the new Netflix adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Kristin first trained to teach drama, not to perform in it and when she tried to transfer to the acting course, she was told, without any consoling words, that h…
 
Steven Isserlis tells John Wilson about his new album of late works by Sir John Tavener. It is a very personal project: Tavener and Isserlis were friends, the composer wrote pieces for the cellist and Isserlis gave the first performances of some of Tavener's works. His music was greatly influenced by the liturgy and traditions of the Orthodox Churc…
 
When the singer Sam Smith came out as non-binary last year it was headline news around the world. After two global number one albums, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, multiple Grammys and 3 Brit awards, the 28-year-old singer is very much an international household name. And yet, as they release their third album, Love Goes, they are still beset by self-d…
 
Samira Ahmed talks to comedienne, actress and writer Dawn French. Dawn became famous with her comedy performimg partner of many decades; Jennifer Saunders. Together they won British Comedy Awards and BAFTAs but Dawn has also achieved acting success on her own - The Vicar Of Dibley, Murder Most Horrid, Delicious, Psychoville and many more. And she i…
 
For the second of Front Row's Booker Prize Book Groups, listeners put their questions to Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga whose novel This Mournable Body is shortlisted for the title. It’s the third part of a trilogy that began with the highly-acclaimed Nervous Conditions in 1988. The books tell the story of Tambudzai, a woman whose life has be…
 
Elisabeth Moss on her latest role as the horror and mystery writer Shirley Jackson in the new film Shirley. And she discusses the new series of The Handmaid’s Tale, which she’s now directing as well as starring in, and which has had to be filmed during the pandemic. Presenter: Elle Osili-WoodProducer: Timothy ProsserMain image: Elisabeth Moss as Sh…
 
Film-maker Sofia Coppola talks about reuniting with Bill Murray for her new film On The Rocks, a comedy about a martini-drinking playboy father who reconnects with his daughter (Rashida Jones) on an adventure through New York.Front Row is convening a series of Booker Prize book groups in which readers can put questions to the six shortlisted author…
 
In Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster, six performers from Battersea Arts Centre's Beatbox Academy interpret Mary Shelley’s classic novel from their own perspective; as young people growing up in 21st-century Britain. Using only their own mouths and voices to make every sound in the film, they explore how today’s society creates its own monsters. …
 
Geeta Pendse presents Front Row live from Nottingham in a shared broadcast with BBC Radio Nottingham. In spite of virus restrictions, Nottingham Playhouse goes live for the first time since March this week with a season they're calling Notthingham Unlocks. We'll talk to the playwright and local James Graham about his brand new play, a lockdown roma…
 
Part of a series celebrating the lives and careers of women artists, this short video looks at the French artist Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun (1755–1842), whose portrait of Theresia, Countess Kinsky, is one of the most striking paintings in our collection.Produced as part of the Museum's Encounters with the Collection video series.…
 
Acclaimed violinist Tasmin Little announced her retirement from the stage recently. The musician is selling her beloved violin to focus on teaching. She will perform her final UK recital at London's Royal Festival Hall tomorrow night. We talk to her about her career, why she took the decision to retire now and her plans for the future.Covid has had…
 
A collaboration with the Aké Festival: leading black writers and artists discuss Black Lives Matter and related issues of this year in connection to their work. With Tayari Jones, Derek Owusu, Victor Ehikhamenor and Sara-Jayne Makwala King. The Aké Festival is the world's largest literary festival of black voices on black issues. Usually held in La…
 
Nicole Kidman talks about starring in new thriller The Undoing. A therapist's life unravels after she learns that her husband might be responsible for a horrific murder. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create a…
 
Roddy Doyle talks about his latest novel, Love. In the course of one summer’s evening in Dublin, two old drinking buddies revisit the pubs and the love affairs of their youth, and talk openly about their marriages and other relationships, downing several pints of stout along the way.Gairloch Museum in the Highlands of Scotland is one of the winners…
 
Anaïs Mitchell took the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and turned it into Hadestown, which became an immensely successful musical at the National Theatre and on Broadway. Now she has written Working on a Song, a book that gets down to the nitty-gritty of writing for musical theatre, tracing the development of the songs of Hadestown from the spark of …
 
The global bestselling author Jodi Picoult discusses her 26th novel The Book Of Two Ways. It’s the story of a hospice worker who - when her plane crashes in the opening pages -is surprised at the life that flashes before her eyes. Rather than her scientist husband and teenage daughter, she sees the life that might have been had she made different c…
 
Hugh Laurie talks about Roadkill, a major new political drama for BBC One written by David Hare. Roadkill is a four-part fictional thriller about a self-made, forceful and charismatic politician trying to outrun his past.Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum is one of the winners in Art Fund’s Museum Of The Year 2020. We discover how they’ll be spending …
 
This year’s Art Fund Museum of the Year Prize will be split 5 ways rather than a winner being chosen from a shortlist. Jenny Waldman, director of Art Fund, announces the museums who will each receive £40,000. We’ll also be looking at each individual museum over the course of this week on Front RowOn the day that the government awarded Culture Recov…
 
Alex Wheatle discusses his new novel Cane Warriors, based on the true story of a group of slaves in Jamaica who, in 1760, rose up against their white British slavemasters in a fight for the freedom of all enslaved people in the nearby plantations.As Forest Green Rovers become the UK's first football club to appoint an Artistic Director, Robert Del …
 
Skin - the singer, songwriter, DJ and lead vocalist of the multi-million-selling British rock band Skunk Anansie - looks back over her life in her new memoir It Takes Blood and Guts.Born to Jamaican parents, Skin - real name Deborah Dyer - grew up in Brixton in the 1970s which influenced her musical direction. The shaven-headed singer reflects on h…
 
We discuss the future of music making in the UK. We speak to Mel C, formerly Sporty Spice, about her eighth studio album, Melanie C, which reflects her new influences – as a dance music DJ, an LGBTQ+ icon and mother to a music-mad daughter. She joins John Wilson to talk about musical reinvention, putting aside her demons and how to read the dancefl…
 
Educator Nicolas Fyhrie discusses French art from the late-18th and 19th centuries through Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun's Portrait of Theresia, Countess Kinsky (1793), Édouard Manet's The Ragpicker (c. 1865–1870) and Claude Monet's The Artist’s Garden at Vétheuil (1881). Produced as part of the Museum's Videos for Schools series.…
 
We announce the winner of the 2020 BBC National Short Story Award and the Young Writers' Award on its 15th anniversary.Judges Irenosen Okojie and Jonathan Freedland discuss the merits of the entries from the shortlisted authors. In contention for the £15,000 prize are Caleb Azumah Nelson, Jan Carson, Sarah Hall, Jack Houston and Eley Williams. Writ…
 
The London Film Festival opens this week with Mangrove, by the Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen. It’s the first in an ambitious five-part film series looking at individual stories about the West Indian Community in London from 1968 to 1985. Anna Smith joins us to review Mangrove, the story of a notorious 1970 prosecution that exposed police har…
 
Radha Blank won the Directing Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for her debut film, The 40-Year-Old Version. She also wrote and stars in the movie which is inspired by her own experiences as a Black New York based playwright and rapper approaching her 40th birthday and frustrated at the lack of creative opportunities. It’s been praised as as…
 
Graham Norton is one of the most successful entertainment presenters in British broadcasting. He has a popular Radio 2 show, is the face of the BBC's Eurovision song contest coverage and, above all, his Friday night BBC1 chat show draws the biggest names to his sofa. His shows have won him nine BAFTAs and he begins a new series on BBC1 tomorrow. Hi…
 
Miss Virginia is a new film based on the story of Virginia Walden Ford’s fight to create positive educational opportunities for African-American students in Washington D.C. and stars Uzo Aduba. Elle Osili-Wood reviews.Australian singer Helen Reddy has died at the age of 77. Her biggest hit, I am Woman, became an anthem for the feminist movement. Wr…
 
The 17th Century Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi is the subject of a major new exhibition at London's National Gallery. Critic Waldemar Januszczak considers the importance of the artist who struggled against the male Establishment, but who gained fame, patronage and adoration in her lifetime.No Masks is a new co-production between Sky Arts and…
 
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