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Best-selling novelist Lawrence Norfolk and award-winning writer Joanna Walsh review a new edition of All Our Yesterdays, a novel by the acclaimed post-war Italian novelist Natalia Ginzburg with a new introduction by author Sally Rooney. Lawrence and Joanna also review Sun & Sea, a Lithuanian opera performance about climate change staged on an artif…
 
Curator Ekow Eshun on creating In The Black Fantastic: the UK’s first major exhibition dedicated to the work of Black artists who use fantastical elements to address racial injustice and explore alternative realities.With works from 11 contemporary artists from the African diaspora, it delves into myth, science fiction, traditions, and the legacy o…
 
Arthur Hughes, known for his roles in The Archers, in which he plays Ruairi, and the BBC2 drama Then Barbara Met Alan, details the significance of his portrayal as Richard III in the new RSC production as a disabled actor. Earlier this month the literary world was shocked by the announcement that after 50 years the Costa Book Awards, formerly the W…
 
Hot Girl Noel Leon came to the studio to talk to me about what it was like working as an "Influencer." When she told me that was what she did for a living I was appalled, however now Noel is focused more on comedy and less on influencing people, so we were able to have a really good conversation about how awful it is. For More Ari: Subscribe on You…
 
Playwright and BAFTA winning screenwriter Stephen Beresford has returned to writing for the stage with The Southbury Child, a co-production between The Chichester Festival Theatre and The Bridge Theatre in London. Stephen joins Samira to discuss his state of the nation play, focusing on a charismatic vicar at the centre of a controversy, in a Dartm…
 
Critic Ben East and academic Catherine Love review Rock, Paper, Scissors, a trilogy of plays written by Chris Bush to mark the 50th anniversary of Sheffield Theatres and A Film About Studio Electrophonique, a documentary about Ken Patten's influential home studio in Sheffield.The three separate but interlinking plays will be performed simultaneousl…
 
Rowan Atkinson is associated with a lot of ‘B’s – Blackadder, Bean, bumbling British spies... and now bees. He plays an inept house-sitter in a luxury mansion chasing after an insect in Netflix’s new Man Vs Bee. He talks about this, his iconic characters, and why making comedy isn’t always that fun.Artist Thomas J Price’s Warm Shores, a pair of 9 f…
 
As Glastonbury returns this week after a two year pandemic hiatus, a summer of festivals gets under way while some festivals are forced to cancel due to difficult conditions. We look at how the festival sector has struggled through the challenges of the last two years, and consider the importance of live music festivals to the UK economy and cultur…
 
Director Baz Luhrmann on the making of Elvis, his new biopic of Elvis Presley, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. Director Mathilde Lopez talks about drawing on her heritage for a new production of Bizet's opera Carmen at Longborough Festival Opera. Theresa Heskins, Artistic Director of the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme on Tom, Dick and Harry, a…
 
National Theatre Wales is about to open a new production described as a live documentary performance, Circle of Fifths. With cast and stories drawn from the local community, and taking place inside and out, it combines film, performance, storytelling, live music and dance, to tell stories of life, death and grief. The director Gavin Porter joins Fr…
 
Operatic tenor Freddie De Tommaso on his overnight breakthrough to stardom and performing at the First Night Of The Proms.We announce and speak to the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction.John Byrne, the Scottish artist, playwright and theatre maker: arts critic Jan Patience reviews the new retrospective of his work, A Big Adventure, open now at…
 
Chicago based artist Theaster Gates on The Black Chapel - his design for this year’s Serpentine Gallery pavilion, which is created each year by world class artists who have included Ai Wei Wei, Olafur Eliasson, Zaha Hadid, and Rem Koolhaus.The latest Pixar film is Lightyear, which tells the story of Buzz, the square-jawed astronaut, before he touch…
 
Comedian Anthony Devito who once attended a swingers party and I sat on a plane and talked about Kansas City’s least known underbelly of fat people hook ups. KC is known for their third rate barbecue and second rate jazz but they’re actually number one in multiple sex partners among people who should have no sex partners. This is not the first podc…
 
Fresh from performing at the Queen's platinum jubilee concert, singer-songwriter George Ezra plays in the Front Row studio from his new album, Gold Rush Kid.James Graham's new BBC drama, Sherwood, is set in a Nottinghamshire mining village still scarred by the 1984 strike. Former BBC correspondent and journalist Triona Holden, who reported on the d…
 
On our Thursday review panel this week: the film critic Leila Latif and Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge, review the British comedy horror film All My Friends Hate Me, directed by Andrew Gaynord and Howard Brenton's play Cancelling Socrates, directed by Tom Littler at the Jermyn Street Theatre…
 
Artist Paula Rego remembered. Following the sad news today of the death of one of the most important figurative painters of our times, we look back on her life and work with art critic Louisa Buck.Outgoing Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell on why she’s pushing the government to invest £100 million in primary school libraries.Stones in his Pockets…
 
Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a singer-songwriter, cellist and composer blurring the boundaries of classical, jazz, reggae and R&B. Performing live in the Front Row studio with Stephen Upshaw, viola player with the Solem Quartet, Ayanna reworks the roots reggae sound of The Abyssinians and shares part of her Island Suite, inspired by the poetry and stor…
 
Immigrant bartender comedian Colum Tyrrell and former bartender turned current gullible comic Caitlin Peluffo met me in the studio and had some fun talking about the ins and outs of being behind the bar. The bartender is the most important front-line worker in the nation and the backbone of our society. And these two were some of the worst in this …
 
Africa Oyé, the UK's largest festival of music from the continent of Africa, celebrates its 30th anniversary in Liverpool's Sefton Park this month. Its Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney, discusses the festival's history and chooses three tracks of music that reflect Africa Oyé's growth and reputation. What is a queer poem? Poets Mary Jean Chan and An…
 
To celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, Front Row discusses some of the cultural highlights of 1952.Samira Ahmed is joined by broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell, historian Matthew Sweet, film critic Anil Sinanan and the 20th Century Society’s Catherine Croft. They discuss Barbara Pym’s novel Excellent Women, the Bollywood classic Aan, surreal sounds…
 
Anthony Joseph – poet, musician, and academic – joins us to talk about his new poetry collection, Sonnets for Albert, which considers the personal impact of his absent father, and performs a selection of pieces.Tracey Emin talks to Natasha Raskin Sharp at Jupiter Artland sculpture park near Edinburgh, where her new exhibition includes a giant bronz…
 
Former hustler and current standup Ali Siddiq talks with a man who rarely hustles but still does tons of standup Ari Shaffir to talk about all the lessons life gives you. One guy slung dope, the other is one. It's a great conversation from Austin, Texas that brought two cultures together. That taught two peoples about each other. It's a lesson in c…
 
Actor Rory Kinnear plays ten characters- all the male roles but one- in the new psychological horror film from Alex Garland, Men. He joins Samira Ahmed to discuss how he approached playing multiple roles in this exploration of fear and loathing in the English countryside.The UK’s new City of Culture 2025 is announced. The Minister of Arts, Lord Par…
 
Meg Mason is the latest in our series of interviews with authors shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her novel Sorrow and Bliss is narrated by Martha, a woman whose path in life is shaped by her mental health. Katie Puckrick and Diran Adebayo join us to review the screen adaptation of John Wyndham's fable, The Midwich Cuckoos, the Edvard…
 
Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man is an outdoor exhibition on the Chatsworth House estate - a series of monumental sculptures from the festival in the Nevada Desert. Geeta Pendse speaks to Chatsworth’s Senior Curator, Dr Alex Hodby, and to Burning Man artist Dana Albany from San Francisco, who has come to Chatsworth to make a Burning Man scu…
 
48 years after the British jury gave them nul points at the Eurovision song contest, ABBA the avatars begin a long term arena residency in London. Samira talks to the director Baillie Walsh and the choreographer Wayne McGregor about creating the show.Terence Davies, director of some of the finest films ever made in the UK, such as Distant Voices, S…
 
Comedian Reggie Conquest converted to Islam over the pandemic. He talks to no religion former Jew current jerk comedian Ari Shaffir about how it happened. Reggie read the autobiography of Malcolm X (who would have turned 97 last week) and gained an interest in religion because of what he read in the book. Reggie knows very little about Islam but he…
 
Jason Solomons reports live from the Cannes Film Festival, with news of the surprise hits of this year's festival and who's in contention for the big prizes. The playwright John Godber on updating Teechers, a play that he wrote in the 1980s about his experiences as a drama teacher, for 2022. The British and Greek governments are due to meet this we…
 
Melly Still on directing ‘The Wreckers’, by Ethel Smyth, the first ever opera by a woman composer to be performed at the Glyndebourne Festival.Morgan Quaintance and Hettie Judah join us to review Emergency, the new film directed by Carey Williams and the Cornelia Parker exhibition at The Tate.Ivor Novello Awards: Sam Fender’s track Seventeen Going …
 
Bafta-winning actress Joanna Scanlan on learning Welsh and acting in the language for the very first time in Y Golau - a new crime drama for S4C and BBC iPlayer, set in rural Carmarthenshire and simultaneously filmed in Welsh and English.Indu Rubasingham on directing The Father and The Assassin - a new play by long-time collaborator Anu Chandrasekh…
 
Dave Smith joins me to have our annual (except last year) what’s up with America. We covered everything. From the new baby exterminator laws to the current President, to the media’s attack on Joe Rogan, to the crime wave (of which I’m responsible for some) to homelessness, to Elon Musk, to the war in Ukraine. Dave gives an honest and non-biased run…
 
36 years after playing pilot Pete Mitchell in the first Top Gun film, Tom Cruise returns to the role. Now Mitchell is one of the US Navy's top aviators, a courageous test pilot and instructor. He can dodge planes in the air but avoiding the advancement in rank that would ground him proves more difficult for him. Larushka Ivan Zadeh reviews the film…
 
On today's Front Row review, we discuss directors taking a new look at much loved works: Daniel Fish’s Broadway production of Oklahoma!, now at the Young Vic in London, explores the darker aspects of the musical. Conversations with Friends, the debut novel by bestselling author Sally Rooney, has been adapted for television, following the lockdown s…
 
Film directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, otherwise known as ‘the Daniels’, join us to discuss their much anticipated sci-fi, multiverse film - Everything Everywhere All At Once.The artist Maurizio Cattelan is being sued over the authorship of some of his most famous works. Art critic Louisa Buck and lawyer Mark Stephens join Front Row to di…
 
Eurovision decided to ban Russian participation this year on the grounds that it might bring the contest into disrepute, following the invasion of Ukraine. Dean Vuletic, author of Postwar Europe and The Eurovision Song Contest, spoke to Tom Sutcliffe, ahead of tonight's first semi-final in Turin.The hashtag #BookTok has been viewed on TikTok 52.6 b…
 
Joe List, Luis Gomez, and Keryn Feehan join me on my rooftop for a wild all-over-the-place conversation that started with friendship and ended in a love child for which 23 states wouldn’t allow early termination. These are 4 of the dumbest people you know . For real. List is probably the smartest because he knows how to spell the word Movie. Luis i…
 
Clio Barnard talks to Samira Ahmed about directing the television adaptation of Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel The Essex Serpent. It stars Claire Danes as Cora Seaborne, a naturalist who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a giant serpent living in the marshes. Cora thinks it might be a living fossil. She meets Will Ransome, the local vicar, …
 
Singer songwriter PJ Harvey tells us about Orlam, her narrative poem set in a magic realist version of the West Country - a rural, and at times gothic, coming-of-age story and the first full-length book written in the Dorset dialect for many decades.Radical Landscapes is the name of a new exhibition exploring human connections with the landscape, a…
 
This year’s Brighton Festival has two guest directors for the first time in its history. One of them, Tristan Sharps, artistic director of Brighton based theatre company dreamthinkspeak, joins Elle to discuss the literary inspiration behind his immersive production, Unchain Me, and his collaboration with fellow guest director, Syrian architect Marw…
 
Everyone is happy at this time of year if you're an NFL fan; new draft picks- new hope towards a championship. The Buffalo Bills drafted at a bunch of positions, fans were hoping they'd address. Ben Grimaudo and David Palermo address their "feelings" on the Bills draft. Follow Numb Bills Fan everywhere. Subscribe to the podcast! Subscribe to YouTub…
 
Nathaniel Price discusses his drama First Touch, opening at the Nottingham Playhouse, about an aspiring young footballer growing up in Nottingham in the 1970s. Inspired by real life events, it explores the ways predatory abusers exploit positions of power within a community, in this case how the actions of a paedophile football coach almost go undi…
 
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