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Front Row

Podcast Front Row
Podcast Front Row

Front Row


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  • Richard Eyre on his film Allelujah, and climate change TV drama Extrapolations reviewed
    Richard Eyre on directing the screen version of Alan Bennett’s play Allelujah, starring Jennifer Saunders, set on the geriatric ward of a fictional Yorkshire hospital, the Bethlehem, and on raising questions about how society cares for its older population. We review the star-studded Apple TV+ climate change series Extrapolations, and a new exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers - Black Artists from the American South. Our reviewers are writer and comic artist Woodrow Phoenix - and YA author, script editor and founder of the international Climate Fiction Writers League, Lauren James. Presenter: Samira Ahmed Producer: Sarah Johnson
  • Scottish-Iranian film Winners, playwright Calum L MacLeòid, neurodiversity and creativity
    Filmmaker Hassan Nazar talks to Kate Molleson about his new film Winners, a love letter to the art of cinema. Set in Iran, it follows two children who find an Oscars statuette. Playwright Calum L MacLeòid on his new Western, Stornaway, Quebec, which is set in 1880s Canada and performed in Gaelic, Québécois, and English. And to mark Neurodiversity Celebration Week, Front Row discusses neurodiversity and creativity with impressionist Rory Bremner, stand-up comedian Ria Lina, and psychologist Professor Nancy Doyle. Presenter: Kate Molleson Producer: Paul Waters
  • Diversity at the Oscars and Baftas; plays and the cost of living; children's books; Phyllida Barlow
    The conclusion of the Oscars marks the end of the film awards season, so Front Row took the opportunity to look at the progress made on representation in film and at awards. Tom is joined by the film critic Amon Warmann, Katherine Pieper of LA's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which looks at equalities at the Oscars, and Marcus Ryder of the Lenny Henry Centre For Media Diversity. Plus, with a host of new productions exploring the cost of living crisis, we look at how playwrights are tackling this. Writer Emily White talks about her new play, Joseph K and the Cost of Living, being staged as part of a three-part project at the Swansea Grand Theatre, and the writer and critic Sarah Crompton discusses theatre's response to social and political issues on stage. Bex Lindsay, presenter on Fun Kids Radio and children’s books expert, joins us for a round-up of some of the most interesting and engaging new releases for young independent readers. Books discussed: Like A Curse by Elle McNicoll Montgomery Bonbon: Murder at the Museum by Alasdair Beckett-King Skandar and the Unicorn Thief/The Phantom Rider by AF Steadman Jamie by L D Lapinski Onyeka and the Rise of the Rebels by Tola Okogwu I Spy, A Bletchley Park Mystery by Rhian Tracey Saving Neverland, by Abi Elphinstone Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe Producer: Emma Wallace Main Image: Michelle Yeoh
  • Author Percival Everett, director Pravesh Kumar on Little English
    Author Percival Everett on his novel Dr No; Director Pravesh Kumar on his film Little English; the new Yeats Smartphones poetry trail in Bedford Award-winning US novelist Percival Everett on his surreal new book, Dr No – in which unlikely heroes and uber-wealthy super villains chase after a box containing absolutely nothing. Pravesh Kumar has been running a theatre company for over two decades and last year received an MBE in the New Year Honours List for services to theatre. As he makes his debut as a filmmaker with romantic comedy Little English - centred on a British South Asian family living in Slough - he discusses the importance of nuanced portrayals and overturning stereotypes. It’s a century this year since W. B. Yeats won the Nobel Prize in literature for his poetry, ‘which…gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.’ This is marked by a new guided, smartphone app trail around places where he lived and that influenced him early in life. It is narrated and with poems read by Oscar nominated actor Ciarán Hinds. But it is not, as you might assume, in Ireland. Front Row reports from the launch. Presenter: Samira Ahmed Producer: Julian May (Picture of Percival Everett. Photographer credit: Nacho Goberna)
  • Film My Sailor, My Love; Atwood’s Old Babes In The Wood; Baillie Gifford prize; Nicole Flattery
    New Irish film, My Sailor, My Love, by Finnish director, Klaus Härö, and a new collection of short stories, Old Babes in the Wood, by Margaret Atwood. To review, Tom is joined by author Ashley Hickson-Lovence and academic Sarah Churchwell. Plus the Baillie Gifford prize – the six books shortlisted for the ‘winner of winners’ award. And Irish author Nicole Flattery on her debut novel Nothing Special. Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe Producer: Paul Waters

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