300 episodes

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

Front Row BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 104 Ratings

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

    TV drama Nolly and film The Whale reviewed, director M Night Shyamalan

    TV drama Nolly and film The Whale reviewed, director M Night Shyamalan

    Noele Gordon was the star of Crossroads, the soap that ran on ITV from 1964 to 1988, attracting audiences of 15 million in its heyday. She was sacked from the show in 1981, returning briefly a few years later. What happened? And what was the role of TV soap at that time, with women at the heart of its casts and audience? Russell T Davies' new drama, Nolly, starring Helena Bonham Carter, tells the story. Our critics David Benedict and Anna Smith review that and new film The Whale. Brendan Fraser is Oscar-nominated for his performance as a man whose size means he can no longer leave his apartment and who tries to re-build his damaged relationship with his daughter.

    And director M. Night Shyamalan on his new film Knock At The Cabin – a home invasion thriller where a family must make a terrible choice in order to avert the apocalypse.

    Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe
    Producer: Sarah Johnson

    • 42 min
    Sonia Boyce, The Quiet Girl, Theatre Freelance Pay, Oldham Coliseum

    Sonia Boyce, The Quiet Girl, Theatre Freelance Pay, Oldham Coliseum

    Sonia Boyce’s exhibition, Feeling Her Way, won the top prize at the Venice Biennale international art fair. As the sound, video and wallpaper installation arrives at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, Sonia tells Samira why she wanted to form her own girl band and help them to achieve imperfection through improvisation.

    Director Colm Bairéad on his film The Quiet Girl – a small scale Irish-language drama, but the highest grossing Irish-language film in history, and the first to be nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars, and BAFTA nominated for Best Film Not In The English Language and Best Adapted Screenplay.

    Equity general secretary Paul Fleming and freelance theatre director Kate Wasserberg discuss the ongoing problem of low pay and poor conditions in the UK theatre sector.

    Artistic director and chief executive of Oldham Coliseum, Chris Lawson, discusses the decision to cancel its programme of shows after losing its Arts Council England funding.

    Presenter: Samira Ahmed
    Producer: Eliane Glaser

    Main Image - Sonia Boyce courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery. Photographer: Parisa Taghizadeh

    • 42 min
    Beethoven's Für Elise, playwright Garry Lyons, film director Rajkumar Santoshi

    Beethoven's Für Elise, playwright Garry Lyons, film director Rajkumar Santoshi

    Beethoven’s love life has long fascinated music scholars primarily because so little is known about it despite some tantalising clues. In his new book, Why Beethoven, music critic Norman Lebrecht, identifies the dedicatee of Beethoven’s well-loved melody Für Elise, while Jessica Duchen has written a novel, Immortal, which provides one answer to the question, who was Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”? Both join Front Row to discuss why their explorations bring us closer to the composer.

    Garry Lyons on his new play Blow Down at Leeds Playhouse, written to mark the demolition of the iconic cooling towers at Ferrybridge Power Station. It’s based on stories collected from people in Knottingley and Ferrybridge in Yorkshire. Blow Down will go on tour with performances in theatres and community centres across Yorkshire and the North East.

    A new film about Mahatma Gandhi and his assassin Nathuram Godse has caused some controversy in India. Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh (War of Ideologies) imagines a world in which Gandhi survived and went on to debate with Godse, a premise that some have found offensive. Director Rajkumar Santoshi discusses the reaction to his film and BBC journalist Vandana Vijay explains why there’s increased sensitivity around some movies in India at the moment.

    Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe
    Producer: Emma Wallace

    • 42 min
    Film director Sarah Polley, novelist Ann-Helen Laestadius and deep fakes on TV

    Film director Sarah Polley, novelist Ann-Helen Laestadius and deep fakes on TV

    Director Sarah Polley discusses her latest film, Women Talking, nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Based on the true story of the women in a remote Mennonite colony who discovered men had been attacking the women in their community, the film focuses on their debate about what to do next.

    Deep Fake Neighbour Wars, the new ITVX comedy which uses digital technology to place international celebrities in suburban Britain, arrives at a time when the technology is under increasing scrutiny. Zoe Kleinman, the BBC’s Technology Editor, and television critic Scott Bryan review and discuss the issues raised by the new series.

    Swedish and Sami novelist Ann-Helen Laestadius talks about her bestselling novel, Stolen – a portrait of the plight of the reindeer-herding Indigenous Sámi people.

    Presenter: Samira Ahmed
    Producer: Olivia Skinner

    • 42 min
    The Fabelmans and Noises Off reviewed, Joe Cornish on new TV drama Lockwood and Co.

    The Fabelmans and Noises Off reviewed, Joe Cornish on new TV drama Lockwood and Co.

    Tom Sutcliffe is joined by critics Karen Krizanovich and Michael Billington to review The Fabelmans and the 40th anniversary production of Noises Off.

    Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Fabelmans, is a portrait of the artist as a young man, chronicling the development of Sam Fabelman, a boy drawn irresistibly to film-making. He finds meaning, and achieves some power, through his art. Critics Karen Krizanovich and Michael Billington assess Spielberg’s fictional autobiography.

    They also review the fortieth anniversary production of Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s farce about a troubled touring company putting on a farce, as it opens in the West End with a cast including Felicity Kendal, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Joseph Millson.

    Director Joe Cornish, best known for his sci-fi comedy Attack the Block, talks about heading up a new TV drama series Lockwood and Co. Based on the young adult novels by Jonathan Stroud, it follows a group of teenage ghost hunters.

    Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe
    Producer: Kirsty McQuire

    • 42 min
    Mel C on dancing with Jules Cunningham, film-maker Laura Poitras, musician Rasha Nahas

    Mel C on dancing with Jules Cunningham, film-maker Laura Poitras, musician Rasha Nahas

    Melanie C, aka Sporty Spice, is best known for being in one of the most successful girl groups of all time. But this week she’s swapping the pop world for the dance world and performing a new contemporary piece by the choreographer Jules Cunningham at Sadler’s Wells. Melanie C and Jules Cunningham discuss their collaboration, How Did We Get Here?

    Rasha Nahas is a Palestinian singer-songwriter who was born in Haifa and now lives in Berlin. She tells Samira about her new album, Amrat, which is her first album in Arabic, and which explores nostalgia, sense of place, and the importance of authentic instrumental music.

    Film-maker Laura Poitras talks about her new documentary, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, which has been nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. Following the photographer Nan Goldin’s campaign against Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, for their part in the opioid crisis, the film paints an intimate portrait of Goldin’s life, work and activism.

    Presenter: Samira Ahmed
    Producer: Eliane Glaser


    Photo of Mel C, Harry Alexander and Jules Cunningham credit: Camilla Greenwell

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

SuckeredByItunes ,

Great Arts Podcast

They cover a wide variety from theater to TV to art museums to books, sometimes the interviews are with creators/actors authors and sometimes with critics but there’s always something interesting.

USkaren ,

BBC Front Row

Great hosts and guests. The conversation is always intelligent without being pedantic or pretensions.

#never Viking ,

Leftist elitist from BBC

Ultra left wing political views interfere with reviews. Elitists just cannot help but offend a large swath of people. I will download different podcasts thank you.

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