Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music.
David Lan on The Walk, The 2021 Booker Prize longlist, David Livingstone birthplace re-opening
As a 3.5 metre tall puppet called Little Amal begins an 8,000km journey from Turkey to Manchester to highlight the difficulties faced by refugee children, Samira talks to theatre director and producer David Lan live from Gaziantep on the Turkish-Syrian border about ambitious artistic project The Walk.
The longlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced and we discuss the 13 chosen novels with Sameer Rahim from Prospect Magazine and Claire Armitstead from The Guardian. Are these the right titles? And who might be the eventual winner of the £50,000 prize?
Tomorrow the David Livingstone Birthplace re-opens following a £9.1m regeneration plan. The museum has not been simply refurbished, the story it tells of the famous explorer, the first European to see the Victoria Falls, has been revised. Zimbabwean novelist Petina Gappah, who spent years researching and writing about Livingstone, tells Samira Ahmed how she has given voice to those who worked with him and whom he met on his expeditions.
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Julian May
Morris Hayes on posthumous Prince album, reopenings in Northern Ireland, actor Amir El-Masry on new film Limbo
Five years after Prince's death, the musician's music director of over 20 years, Morris Hayes, discusses Prince's posthumous new album Welcome 2 America. Recorded in 2010 and archived in the singer's legendary vault of unreleased material, it is released this week.
Freya McClements, Northern Correspondent with The Irish Times, joins John to discuss the decision from the Northern Ireland Executive to reopen the nation's theatres and concert halls.
Ben Sharrock's new film Limbo follows a group of men as they await the results of their asylum claims on a remote Scottish island. The film earned two BAFTA nominations and eight nominations at the British Independent Film Awards, including one for lead actor Amir El-Masry. Amir talks to John about playing Syrian musician Omar in the film, as well as being inspired to act by Omar Sharif, and his work to improve representation of Arab and Muslim people on screens.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Oliver Jones
April De Angelis, Tokyo Olympics, Jordan Tannahill, Neil Mendoza
Playwright April De Angelis joins Tom to talk about her new musical Gin Craze! Described as 'a booze soaked love ballad from the women of Gin Lane.'
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 Opening Ceremony took place earlier today, a year later than planned, in the wake of a number of controversies, not least the sacking of the Artistic Director the day before the event. For our Friday Review, Japan specialists Sakiko Nishihara and Christopher Harding give their views on the background to the ceremony and the event itself.
Novelist Jordan Tannahill tells ue about his new novel exploring the fine lines between faith, conspiracy and mania in contemporary America, The Listeners. While lying in bed next to her husband one night, Claire Devon hears a low hum that he cannot. And, it seems, no one else can either. This innocuous noise begins causing Claire headaches, nosebleeds and insomnia, gradually upsetting the balance of her life.
And a new report, Boundless Creativity, is intended as a roadmap for cultural and creative recovery, renewal and growth after the pandemic. What lessons have been learnt about how the arts can reach audiences both online and off? What do the arts need to bounce back? We talk to Lord Neil Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal about this collaboration between the DCMS and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe
Producer: Jerme Weatherald
Main image: Gin Craze! at the Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton
Image credit: Ellie Kurttz
McKellen's Hamlet reviewed, Mercury Prize nominees, Alex Von Tunzelmann on statues
Susannah Clapp, theatre critic of The Observer reviews the new age-blind production of Hamlet starring Ian McKellen, which officially opened up at the Theatre Royal Windsor last night, 50 years since the 82-year-old actor first played the part.
The Mercury Prize nominees were announced today. Laura Snapes gives us her thoughts on the list, what it tells us about music over the past year, and makes her prediction for who will win.
The historian and screenwriter Alex von Tunzelmann has turned her attention to the deeply contested subject of statues. She joins Samira to discuss her new book, Fallen Idols, which shows that the erection and toppling of statues has been a perennial hot topic across the world.
Jon Batiste, Museum of the Year shortlist, The Humboldt
American musician Jon Batiste has many strings to his bow – he’s an activist, recording artist, band leader for a daily TV late night chat show, a singer, pianist and an Oscar-winning film composer. Batiste discusses his new album, We Are, as well as his Broadway musical about Jean-Michel Basquiat, and An American Symphony being performed at Carnegie Hall next year.
Art critic Louisa Buck assesses this year's Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021 shortlist which was announced today. Despite being closed for most of the year, five galleries and museums across the UK have been rewarded as contenders for the prestigious £100,000 award, the world's largest museum prize.
Yesterday in Berlin saw the opening of The Humboldt Forum, the largest cultural development in Europe and the most ambitious in Germany this century. It has cost 700m Euros, covers 44,000 square metres, and even before the foundation stone was laid in 2013, it’s been mired in controversy. We speak with Rüdiger Schaper, Head of Culture for Tagesspiegel newspaper about its significance for Germany.
Presenter Tom Sutcliffe
Producer Oliver Jones
Main image: Jon Batiste
Image credit: Louis Brown/UMG
Ivorian director Philippe Lacôte on his film Night of the Kings, Best Pick podcast, Tirtzah Bassel Canon in Drag
Ivorian director Philippe Lacôte talks about his film Night of the Kings, set in a notorious Abidjan prison run by the inmates, in which he explores the West African tradition of the griot or storyteller.
Every year the Best Film Oscar is hotly contested and often the source of much debate and consternation. We speak to two podcasters from “Best Pick” which is aimed squarely at movie lovers and has reviewed and assessed every Best Film winner from the very first in 1929 to the most recent -Parasite. What have they learned on the course of their mammoth undertaking?
The artist Tirtzah Bassel wants to reimagine art history. She talks to Kirsty about her painting project – Canon in Drag - which recasts and repurposes famous artworks by swapping male figures with female figures, and makes childbirth a subject worthy of the artist’s eye.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Harry Parker
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.
BBC Front Row
Great hosts and guests. The conversation is always intelligent without being pedantic or pretensions.
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.