Front RowAuthor: BBC Radio 4
19 Feb 2019

Front Row

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Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music

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    9 to 5 the musical, Bryony Kimmings, Representation of sex in the arts

    9 to 5 is Dolly Parton’s stage musical based on the 1980 film, in which she starred, about three female office workers getting revenge on their misogynist boss. The songs were written by Dolly Parton and she narrates the story via television screens across the stage. Sarah Crompton reviews. Performance artist, comedian, musician and activist Bryony Kimmings talks about her new autobiographical show I’m a Phoenix, Bitch and explains why she chooses to create pieces about taboo and difficult subject matter including STIs, sex clinics, and cancer. Is there more sex than ever on TV, in books and on stage now? Has #MeToo, access to pornography online and a desire to appeal to younger audiences changed how, and how much, sex is represented in culture? Katy Guest considers books, Louis Wise looks at screen and Bryony Kimmings reports on the performing arts. Presenter: Stig Abell Producer: Edwina Pitman

  • Posted on 18 Feb 2019

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    Gabriela Rodriguez, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Andrea Levy tribute

    Roma, the black and white Mexican film about a young domestic worker in Mexico City in the 1970s, won Best Film at the Baftas on Sunday and is up for the same at the Oscars. The film’s producer, Gabriela Rodriguez, talks about the background to director Alfonso Cuarón’s personal project which draws on his own childhood, and discusses their working relationship. The death has been announced of the acclaimed author Andrea Levy. Her fiction, including the Orange Prize-winning Small Island and the Man Booker-longlisted and recently televised The Long Song, chronicled the experience of generations from the Caribbean who lived through slavery and emigration. Her friend and fellow writer Louise Doughty pays tribute. The architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw’s buildings include the Eden Project, the International Terminal at Waterloo Station and the National Space Centre in Leicester. He is one of a group of architects including Terry Farrell, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster who became the leading architects of the late 20th century not just in Britain but around the world. He discusses his long career in the week that he's been awarded the 2019 Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Presenter: John Wilson Producer: Sarah Johnson Main image: Roma Photo credit: Netflix

  • Posted on 15 Feb 2019

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    Ardal O'Hanlon, Tessa Hadley, The Umbrella Academy

    Irish comedian Ardal O’Hanlon is best-known for roles in Father Ted, My Hero and currently Death in Paradise, but he started out as a stand-up comic in 80s Dublin. As he embarks on a nationwide solo tour, Samira talks to Ardal about the role of politics in his life and work and breaking free from being typecast. Novelist Tessa Hadley is praised for her psychological insight, her nuance, and her precision. In her new book Late in the Day she turns her sharp eye to the impact of the unexpected death of one man on his family and close friends. The Umbrella Academy, the new Netflix series about a family of superheroes, stars Ellen Page and Mary J Blige and is written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. Michael Leader from Film4 Online reviews. And to mark Valentine's Day we discuss favourite romantic works of art. Presenter: Samira Ahmed Producer: Timothy Prosser

  • Posted on 14 Feb 2019

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    Leïla Slimani, Joe Cornish, Diane Arbus, Berlin Film Festival

    French-Moroccan novelist Leila Slimani caused a sensation in France with her novel Lullaby about a nanny who murders the two children in her care, which won the Prix Goncourt and became a bestseller in the UK. As her first novel, Adèle, is published in the UK for the first time, she discusses the book's contentious storyline about a married woman with an addiction to having sex with strangers. Diane Arbus is viewed by many as one of the most influential female photographers of her generation. Curator Jeff Rosenheim discusses Diane Arbus: In the Beginning at the Hayward Gallery in London, which charts the formative first half of her career where she discovered the majority of her subjects in New York City, depicting children, strippers and carnival performers. Attack the Block director Joe Cornish discusses The Kid Who Would Be King, his Arthurian fantasy set in a modern-day secondary school. Tim Robey reports from the Berlin International Film Festival as it draws towards its close. Presenter Kirsty Lang Producer Jerome Weatherald Main image: Leila Slimani Photo credit: Catherine Hélie ©Editions Gallimard

  • Posted on 13 Feb 2019

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    Anna Jordan, Terence Blanchard, Reappraising Horror

    It was in Manchester in 2013 that Anna Jordan won the Bruntwood Prize, the UK’s biggest national competition for new plays. She’s now back in the city with her new adaptation of a stage classic – Mother Courage. Bertolt Brecht set his play in 17th century Europe during the Thirty Years’ War but Jordan has moved the story into the future. It’s 2080, and Europe no longer exists, the countries have been replaced by a grid system with individuals struggling to survive between the warring factions. Six-time Grammy-winning composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard has written the music for all of Spike Lee’s films since Jungle Fever in 1991, and this year he was nominated for a Bafta and an Oscar for his original score for Lee’s latest, BlacKkKlansman. The composer discusses his approach to his film music, and the challenge of writing the soundtrack for When the Levees Broke, Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary about the devastation of Blanchard’s home town of New Orleans. The success of Get Out at last year’s film awards gave many horror fans a sense that the genre was finally getting the attention it deserved when it came to the big prizes. But that hope has been dashed as once again, horror has failed to be included in any of the high profile categories in awards such as the Oscars and the BAFTAs. Actor and writer Jacob Trussell, horror film and music producer Mariam Draeger, and critic Gavia Baker Whitelaw discuss why horror should be getting more prizes at the big film awards.

  • Posted on 12 Feb 2019

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