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Jude Law in Henry V; Atiq Rahimi; Politicians and music; 28 Up South Africa
Mark Lawson and guests review Jude Law's performance as Henry V on the West End.
Mark Lawson presents a review of Jude Law in Henry V, an interview with French-Afghan writer Atiq Rahimi, and a report on the benefits and pitfalls of mixing politics with music.
With Mark Lawson.
Last night Jude Law took to the London stage as Henry V in Michael Grandage's final play in his current West End season. Law, who previously played Hamlet under Grandage's direction, performs a paired-down text in a simple stage setting. Rachel Cooke was at the first night last night and gives her response.
As the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls prepares to play a 'short but difficult' Schumann piano piece at a charity event this weekend, music critic Norman Lebrecht considers other politicians who have stepped up to the mic for a musical performance. David Steel, Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Silvio Berlusconi are just a few who've performed in public, but is it always a good idea?
Atiq Rahimi talks about his film, The Patience Stone, adapted from his award-winning novel of the same name. A powerful tale of one woman's resolve to break free from silence and oppression, he reveals the influence behind the story, and discusses the difficulties of turning his novels into films.
The "...Up" series of documentaries, revisiting the same diverse group of children every 7 years began in Britain in 1964, with the original children reaching 56 in the most recent series. The format has also been adopted all over the world and tonight ITV broadcasts the most recent South African version, with the participants now aged 28. Gabriel Tate reviews the programme.
Producer: Ellie Bury.
Elaine Stritch, Nadine Gordimer, Michael Scudamore and Lorin Maazel
Matthew Bannister on an actress, a writer, a jockey and a conductor.
Matthew Bannister on actress Elaine Stritch, writer Nadine Gordimer, jockey and trainer Michael Scudamore and conductor Lorin Maazel.
Matthew Bannister on
The formidable actress Elaine Stritch. Famous for her remarkable voice, witty put downs and hard drinking youth, she was known as "The First Lady of Broadway".
The South African novelist Nadine Gordimer, whose work embodied the complex story of the nation's struggle with race.
The jockey and trainer Michael Scudamore, who competed in 16 consecutive Grand Nationals, winning in 1959 on a horse called Oxo.
And the conductor Lorin Maazel, who was a child prodigy and went on to direct some of the world's greatest orchestras.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Lee Hall; Arts Funding
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; arts funding cuts; Lee Hall's Cultural Exchange.
The verdict on the stage musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, plus Lee Hall's Cultural Exchange, and which areas of the arts should receive less public funding?
With Mark Lawson.
Natalie Haynes reviews the new West End stage musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, and starring Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka.
The Chancellor George Osborne today announced a 7% cut in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's budget, and a 5% cut to budgets for arts organisations, as part of the government's spending review. Broadcaster Janet Street-Porter, music commentator Norman Lebrecht and Richard Mantle of Opera North suggest areas of the arts which they believe should receive less funding.
The playwright and screenwriter Lee Hall selects his Cultural Exchange. He explains why Briggflatts, an autobiographical poem by Basil Bunting, has revealed new layers of meaning over the 30 years that he has been re-reading it.
The concert promoter AEG has been warned by the Advertising Standards Authority after they described a Kanye West gig as a "one off" London show, only to announce more dates. Lawyer Duncan Lamont discusses the legal issues around advertising "one offs" and "farewell tours."
Producer: Olivia Skinner.
Alistair McGowan as Jimmy Savile, Amitav Ghosh, Richard Dadd
Alistair McGowan as Jimmy Savile, Amitav Ghosh, Richard Dadd and Bayreuth feud.
Presented by Kirsty Lang. Alistair McGowan discusses playing Jimmy Savile, Amitav Ghosh on his novel Flood of Fire, Richard Dadd's exhibition reviewed and trouble at Bayreuth.
Alistair McGowan plays the role of Jimmy Savile in a controversial new play by Jonathan Maitland which opened last night. McGowan and Maitland discuss their mixed feelings about the project and how and why they chose to portray the serial paedophile.
The novelist Amitav Ghosh talks about the final part of his Ibis Trilogy, Flood of Fire, which follows the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke, set during the turbulent times of the Opium Wars.
A new exhibition by the Victorian artist Richard Dadd shows paintings from his early career, when he was seen as one of the most talented and promising artists of his generation, to paintings completed after he suffered a breakdown and was admitted to Bethlem psychiatric Hospital. Historian Kathryn Hughes reviews.
As Wagner's German opera house Bayreuth prepares for the 150th anniversary performance of Tristan and Isolde, music critic and writer Norman Lebrecht considers the almighty row that is taking place between Wagner's two great-grand-daughters who run the festival.
Presenter Kirsty Lang
Producer Jerome Weatherald.
James Bolam on Rodney Bewes, Gilbert & George, Marnie the opera
Actor James Bolam talks about his Likely Lads co-star, Rodney Bewes, who died yesterday.
Arts news. Actor James Bolam talks about his Likely Lads co-star, Rodney Bewes, who died yesterday. Plus artists Gilbert & George on 50 years of living and working together.
Yesterday saw the announcement of the death Rodney Bewes, the actor most fondly remembered playing the aspirational Bob in the BBC sitcom The Likely Lads. His co-star from the series James Bolam talks about working with Bewes in one of sitcom's most famous double-acts and the supposed feud between the two.
As Gilbert & George celebrate 50 years of living and working together, Kirsty visits them at their Spitalfields home and studio to discuss their career, a new exhibition called The Beard Pictures and a new book, What is Gilbert & George?
Marnie, the book by Winston Graham that inspired Hitchcock's thriller of the same name, has now inspired composer and opera wunderkind Nico Muhly to create his third opera, also called Marnie. Music critic Alexandra Coghlan attended its world premiere at English National Opera and reviews.
Plus we ask music critic Norman Lebrecht to discuss whether opera has become a derivative art form, and we pay tribute to Russian opera bass-baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who has died at the age of 55.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Julian May.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Unity Spencer, Lewis Golden OBE, John Butler, Joy Lofthouse
Matthew Bannister on a singer, a businessman, a painter, a piano tuner and a pilot.
Obituary series. Matthew Bannister on singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky, businessman Lewis Golden, painter Unity Spencer, piano tuner John Butler and pilot Joy Lofthouse.
(Photo: Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky)
Matthew Bannister on
The Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, known for playing leading operatic roles - and for his silver hair and matinee idol looks.
Unity Spencer who overcame a dysfunctional upbringing as the daughter of the painter Stanley Spencer to be recognised as an accomplished artist in her own right.
Lewis Golden, the war veteran who set up the successful Everest Double Glazing business.
John Butler - piano tuner to stars like Oscar Peterson, Sammy Davis Junior and Frank Sinatra.
And Joy Lofthouse, one of the last surviving female pilots who delivered Spitfires to their airbases during the war.
James Norton, Independent Magazines, New Jungle Book Musical
James Norton on McMafia, Independent magazines, Joe Stilgoe on the new Jungle Book musical
James Norton on his role in TV thriller McMafia and two editors discuss the thriving independent magazine scene. Joe Stilgoe, composer of the new Jungle Book musical, performs.
The actor and one-time theology student James Norton discusses his role as Alex Godman in new TV thriller McMafia. His character begins the series as a public advocate of clean capitalism with his own hedge fund investing only in ethical business, but Alex can't escape his Russian family connections and slowly gets drawn into the dangerous world of international organised crime and corruption.
Penny Martin, editor of The Gentlewoman, and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, deputy editor of gal-dem magazine, discuss the agendas of their respective publications and the independent magazine landscape, which is vibrant and culturally significant.
You love opera and would love to nurture such love in a loved one: music critics Norman Lebrecht and Alexandra Coghlan are at hand to help, offering their choices of a recording of an opera to entice the reluctant and a cracker available on a DVD.
The Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton is staging The Jungle Book. It's impossible, but try to put 'I'm the King of the Swingers' out of your mind. This is a new musical with songs and a score by Joe Stilgoe (yes, son of...), which looks beyond Walt Disney to Rudyard Kipling and his stories about Mowgli, the boy brought up by wolves, and finds in them themes for our times: the complexities of cultural identity in a diverse world, what the Law of the Jungle means and where the Jungle might be. And Joe performs the song he has written for Baloo the Bear, live in the Front Row studio.
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Julian May.
Sir Neville Marriner, Father Gabriele Amorth, Beryl Crockford, Professor Louis Herman, Rod Temperton
Matthew Bannister on a conductor, an exorcist, a rower, a psychologist and a songwriter.
Matthew Bannister on conductor Sir Neville Marriner, exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth, rower Beryl Crockford, psychologist Professor Louis Herman and songwriter Rod Temperton.
Matthew Bannister on
Sir Neville Marriner the conductor who founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and led them to become the world's most recorded orchestra.
Father Gabriele Amorth, the Catholic Church's leading exorcist who said he'd tackled over a hundred cases of demonic possession.
Beryl Crockford, one of the first two British women to become rowing world champions.
Professor Louis Herman the American psychologist who caused a sensation by communicating with dolphins.
Rod Temperton, a member of the band Heatwave who wrote a string of hits for Michael Jackson including the title track of his album Thriller.
Producer: Neil George.
Tony Jordan and Ron Howard, plus Kurt Masur remembered
Arts news, interviews and reviews with guests Tony Jordan and Ron Howard.
Arts news, interviews and reviews with guests Tony Jordan and Ron Howard. Plus Kurt Masur remembered and an alternative image of Christmas. Presented by John Wilson.
The new BBC drama series, Dickensian, sees Charles Dickens's most famous stories and characters co-existing on the same Victorian streets. John Wilson talks to Tony Jordan, the creator of the series.
The German conductor Kurt Masur led both the London and the New York Philharmonic Orchestras and encouraged a peaceful reunification of Germany. Norman Lebrecht pays tribute to Masur who died at the weekend aged 88.
Ron Howard has proved himself an extraordinarily diverse director, from his Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind to Frost/Nixon, Apollo 13, Parenthood, Splash and Rush. His latest film, In The Heart of The Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Ben Whishaw, he explores the true story that inspired Melville's Moby Dick.
And if you're in need of some cultural inspiration this Christmas but have had enough of the obvious festive fare, Front Row have selected four arts experts to champion an alternative Christmas treat each day this week. Tonight, the art critic Waldemar Januszczak reveals his out of the ordinary Christmas image.
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