Jonathan Pryce, Survival literature, Fictional politicians
The Two Popes is a based on true events, the resignation of Pope Benedict and the election of his successor, Francis. It's also a double act by two great Welsh actors, Jonathan Pryce, Francis, and Anthony Hopkins, Benedict. Jonathan Pryce discusses his role, the story of their unlikely friendship and what the film is really exploring - the nature of forgiveness.
300 years after the publication of Robinson Crusoe, which some claim is the first novel ever written, novelists Katherine Rundell and Katie Hale consider the continuing allure of its narrative of survival against the odds and how its complex post-colonial racist narrative reads in 21st century Britain.
Presenter Stig Abell
Producer Jerome Weatherald
Francesca Hayward on Cats and Romeo and Juliet, Joker composer Hildur Guðnadóttir
Ballet star Francesca Hayward on the Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words, filmed on location, and her lead role as Victoria The White Cat in the new film musical Cats.
The Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir discusses her scores for the film Joker, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe this week, and the hit TV series Chernobyl, for which she won an Emmy.
This Saturday will be exactly 40 years since The Clash released their classic LP London Calling, featuring songs such as Brand New Cadillac, Jimmy Jazz and The Guns of Brixton. Music writer Andy Kershaw celebrates the monumental double album.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Timothy Prosser
Mike Bartlett, staging of art exhibitions, Any One Thing
The work of the playwright and screenwriter Mike Bartlett has become a staple of the theatre and television landscape with his plays, such as Bull, winning prizes, his television dramas, such as Dr Foster, tantalising viewers, and productions such as King Charles III having a life on both stage and small screen. Now he’s written a new ITV drama serial - Sticks & Stones - about workplace bullying. He joins Kirsty to discuss the dark side of office banter.
Looking at art is very popular. Last year 5.9 million people visited Tate Modern, that’s more than those who went to the British Museum. But a visit to a gallery, especially to one of the blockbuster exhibitions such as Tate Britain’s William Blake show or the Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre in Paris is not always a comfortable experience. Sometimes they are so crowded that you can’t actually see the art. We discusses this dilemma and explore how exhibitions are staged and visitors managed. Sirin Kale, who has written about being elbowed in the ribs at the William Blake exhibition sets out the difficulties and Jennifer Scott, co-curator of the ‘mindful’ Rembrandt’s Light show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, which includes a room with just a single painting, explains changing approaches to make going to exhibitions more enjoyable.
Any One Thing is an immersive theatre company with a difference. Plot and prop details of their shows are tailored to individual audience members through use of software and technology more usually used for marketing and advert personalisation. Paul Farnell and Justin Fyles, the tech entrepreneurs behind the company explain their unique blend of fringe theatre and personal data.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Hilary Dunn
Teenage Dick, Traces review, Olga Neuwirth, Nobel Prize for Literature controversy
Controversy surrounds this year's Nobel Prize for Literature; unusually there are two winners, Polish Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian Peter Handke. Handke has been vocally supportive of the Serbs during the 1990s Yugoslav war including accusing the Bosnian Muslims of staging attacks. Jonas Eklöf, Editor in Chief of Swedish literary magazine Vi Läser, reports on the presentation ceremony in Stockholm today.
Traces is a forensic crime thriller set in Dundee based on an idea by Val McDermid and written by Amelia Bullmore. Molly Windsor (who starred in Three Girls) heads the cast as a technician in a forensic laboratory who is still coming to terms with a traumatic event in her past. Critic Stephanie Merritt reviews the six-part UKTV drama series.
Mike Lew’s darkly comic take on Shakespeare’s Richard III - “Teenage Dick” - has its UK debut at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Samira talks to Michael Longhurst about his vision for the theatre after becoming Artistic Director earlier this year and to actor Daniel Monks about playing this canonical disabled character.
After a century and a half the Vienna State Opera has this week staged its first work by a female composer. Olga Neuwirth's opera, Orlando, is based on Virginia Woolf’s novel about an Elizabethan poet who lives for centuries, never ages and switches gender. The director, the librettist and the costume designer are also all women and the star is a queer cabaret artist. Olga Neuwirth talks to Samira Ahmed about her opera, and its wider cultural significance.
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Hannah Robins
Gender Imbalance in Art Collections, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Three Sisters Rewired
Last month Baltimore Museum of Art announced that in 2020 it would only collect works of art by women, because in the last decade just 2% of global art auction spending was on work by women? At 26 major American museums just 11% of all acquisitions and 14% of exhibitions were by female artists. Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern. and arts journalist Julia Halperin join John Wilson to discuss why there is such a gender imbalance in art collections and what can be done to rectify this.
In 2017, Britain’s oldest continuously working factory in the country, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, was sold to American developers who wanted to turn it into a boutique hotel. Just last week the government intervened to prevent Tower Hamlets from granting permission to the proposed development. Gillian Darley, who writes about architecture and landscape, and Stephen Clarke, a trustee of the UK Heritage Building Preservation Trust, consider the importance of commercial viability rather than sentiment when it comes to protecting old buildings and industries.
Graeae Theatre, which puts deaf and disabled actors at the centre of their productions, struck by the metaphorical deafness of Chekhov's characters in Three Sisters, who don't listen to each other, has long wanted to to tackle the play. Writer Polly Thomas and actor Genevieve Barr discuss their new adaptation for Radio 4. It's a radical re-imagining of the Russian original exploring how, even today, isolation and stagnation are the daily lot of many. The Russian country estate becomes an isolated farm in 21st century Yorkshire; Moscow becomes London. Olivia, Maisie and Iris struggle to survive with intermittent internet, and a sense of dislocation from the rest of the world. Episode one airs on Radio 4 on Saturday.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Julian May