Front RowAuthor: BBC Radio 4
13 Nov 2018

Front Row

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

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    The Coen Brothers, stage fright, The Interrogation of Tony Martin

    Getting butterflies is something many performers admit to, and although some thrive off it, others are often more badly affected. Professor of Performance Science, Aaron Williamon and West End psychologist Dr Anna Colton discuss the power of stage fright and how to overcome it. This week Channel 4 airs a true crime drama about Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who in 1999 shot dead a burglar at his Norfolk farmhouse. His actions and subsequent murder trial sparked a national debate about householders' rights to protect their property. The drama, however, does not focus on the furore surrounding the case, instead the script is taken verbatim from police interviews with Tony Martin. Crime writer Dreda Say Mitchell gives her verdict. Joel and Ethan Coen discuss their latest feature The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a six-part anthology film made up of tales about the American frontier, starring a plethora of big names including Liam Neeson, Tom Waits and James Franco. Each of the stories, which were written over a 25 year period, pay homage to a different subgenre of movie about the American West, in the Coen Brothers’ characteristic style. Presenter: Stig Abell Producer: Kate Bullivant

  • Posted on 12 Nov 2018

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    Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Schott, 11-11: Memories Retold video game

    Helena Bonham Carter discusses how she drew on her own experience of depression for her new film 55 Steps which is based on the life of Eleanor Riese. Riese was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 25 and successfully sued a hospital in San Francisco for the right to refuse anti-psychotic medication. At the time of her court case in 1989 Riese was 44, and had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for several years. This interview is part of Front Row’s occasional series exploring the way in which mental health issues are represented across the arts. What ho! Ben Schott talks about taking on PG Wodehouse’s beloved characters Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves in his new novel, Jeeves and The King of Clubs. Schott argues that the pair becoming spies in pre-war London and taking part in car chases is all in the spirit of their creator. 11-11: Memories Retold is the first full-length video game to come from Wallace and Gromit creators, Aardman Animations. Set in the final days of WWI it follows a young Canadian photographer and German soldier who, uniquely for a wargame, never fire a shot. Gaming expert Jordan Erica Webber reviews. Presenter: Stig Abell Producer: Hilary Dunn

  • Posted on 09 Nov 2018

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    Marin Alsop, Russell Howard, Political cartoonists

    To mark Armistice Day, Marin Alsop will be conducting Brahms's A German Requiem this weekend, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and in a break from tradition, she will be introducing the work from the podium. Marin discusses the reasons behind this move, and also reveals the various ways in which this requiem also broke from tradition. Russell Howard makes comedy out of political issues such as the tampon tax, junior doctors and the housing crisis, and is hugely successful with younger audiences who watch him on TV, social media and in his sell-out stand-up world tours. The comedian discusses his show, The Russell Howard Hour, how much he wants to politically engage his audience, and finding the funny in what can be bleak political times. A whinge – that’s the collective noun for a group of cartoonists, and this evening a whinge of some of the best-known, including Steve Bell of the Guardian, Matt of the Daily Telegraph and Banx of the FT, will gather to judge the Young Cartoonist of the Year Competition. But with newspaper circulation in decline and, conversely, the appetite of the internet for images, what is the outlook for those young winners? Tim Benson, editor of Britain’s Best Political Cartoons, 2018, and the cartoonist Andy Davey discuss the future of the political cartoon in the digital age. Presenter Nikki Bedi Producer Rebecca Armstrong

  • Posted on 08 Nov 2018

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    Danny Boyle's Armistice Day tribute, White Teeth the musical, singer-songwriter and poet Emily Maguire

    On Folkestone beach, film-maker Danny Boyle discusses Pages of the Sea, his Armistice Day tribute to the servicemen and women who left these shores in the First World War, many never to return. Members of the public will be invited to visit a number of beaches around the country to pay their respects, and will be given a specially-commissioned poem The Wound in Time, by Carol Ann Duffy. Zadie Smith’s White Teeth gets a musical makeover, we review the new theatrical production put on in the same district of north London where the novel is set. Continuing Front Row's Arts and Mental Health series, John Wilson meets singer-songwriter, composer and poet Emily Maguire who discusses how music making and writing have helped her deal with bipolar disorder. She is about to embark on a nationwide tour playing music and reading from her new collection of poetry, Meditation Mind, which was inspired by her latest battle with bipolar, and is a testimony to how her Buddhist practice of meditation has helped her recovery. Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu's famous painting, Tutu, has gone on public display in Lagos, prompting a search for the subject, an Ife princess called Adetutu Ademiluyi. The novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks about the power and significance of the painting known as 'the African Mona Lisa'. Presenter John Wilson Producer Julian May

  • Posted on 07 Nov 2018

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    Paul Dano, Venice floods and the impact on its cultural heritage, the department store in art

    Paul Dano: we speak to the BAFTA- and Golden Globe-nominated actor about going behind the camera for his star-studded directorial debut, Wildlife. Starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal, his film focuses on a family in a small American town whose 14-year-old son must bear the emotional burden of his parents' marital troubles. Venice: after the worst flooding in a decade - with waters reaching over five feet - what is being done to protect this world class cultural heritage site, its art and culture? We speak to Toto Bergamo-Rossi, Director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, and to Mechtild Rossler, Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. And the department store in the arts: as hundreds of stores and shopping centres face crisis and closure, film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and cultural commentator Matthew Sweet discuss their depiction in film, television and the arts. Presenter Samira Ahmed Producer Emma Wallace

  • Posted on 06 Nov 2018

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