The Power of Pinter, Javaad Alipoor, Richard Hawley's musical
The recent Pinter season at the Pinter Theatre in London, culminating in the current production of Betrayal starring Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox, suggests that Harold Pinter has a durability that other writers of his generation may not be able to claim. What are the qualities that give his work resonance to an audience today? The director Jamie Lloyd, theatre critic and Pinter biographer Michael Billington, and Dr Catriona Fallow, research fellow on the Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies project, tell Front Row why they think his work endures.
In his award-winning play The Believers Are But Brothers, Javaad Alipoor invited audiences to experience the world of young disaffected men online by joining a WhatsApp group. Alipoor talks to Stig Abell about the play which tells four fictional stories - an Islamic State group recruiter, two British recruits and an Alt-Right 'white boy' from California, and has which has now been adapted into a drama BBC Four.
Guitarist and songwriter Richard Hawley thought he hated musicals, realised that actually he quite liked them and went on to write one that opened this week at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Standing at the Sky's Edge is about Park Hill, the flats the that flank Sheffield like a city wall. It tells their story, from the optimism of their conception as an urban utopia, through dereliction and recent redevelopment and recovery. Woven through are Hawley's songs, and the professional cast is augmented by many local people. The writer, broadcaster and Sheffield resident, Paul Allen, reviews the show.
Presenter: Stig Abell
Producer: Julian May
David Bailey, Joseph Hillier Plymouth Sculpture
Photographer David Bailey has shot some of the most iconic portraits of the last six decades, from the Kray twins to the Queen. He talks about his life and career and how to achieve the perfect portrait shot.
Tomorrow the UK’s largest cast bronze sculpture is unveiled in Plymouth. John talks to artist Joseph Hillier, who has been working on the crouching female figure called Messenger for the last two years.
Sophie Wright from Magnum considers the different ways photographers have captured the body in a new exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, The Body Observed: Magnum Photos.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Timothy Prosser
Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton, Charlie Cox in Betrayal, plus TV drama Pose
Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton, and Charlie Cox star in a new production of Betrayal – Harold Pinter’s play based on his affair with Joan Bakewell. The actors discuss being on stage throughout the play, even in scenes they’re not scripted in, the difference between a Pinter pause and a silence, and how playing squash helped them get into character.
Plus the 1980's New York drag 'ballroom' scene in ground-breaking new BBC drama series Pose, which features five trans actresses in lead roles. Samira talks to creator Steven Canals, who was inspired by the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning.
And poet Caleb Femi’s new work to celebrate today's Spring Equinox, commissioned by Radio 4 as part of its Four Seasons day of poetry. Caleb performs Here Too Spring Comes To Us With Open Arms.
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Emma Wallace
The White Crow reviewed and tackling difficult issues in theatre
Ralph Fiennes' third film as director is The White Crow, the story of how Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev came from a peasant upbringing to be one of the greatest dancers, and how whilst on tour in Paris in 1961 he defected to the West from the Soviet Union. Critic Sarah Crompton reviews.
Last week dozens of well-heeled American parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged with involvement in a scheme to fabricate academic and athletic credentials to get their children into prestigious universities. And last week Joshua Harmon’s play ‘Admissions’ opened here. It’s about a woman who, devoted to improving diversity at her elite school, finds herself somewhat challenged when her son doesn’t get into Yale - but his mixed race best friend does. And this week another American play, ‘Downstate’ by Bruce Norris, opens at the National Theatre. This is set in a group home where four men, convicted of sex crimes against children and tagged, live. A man comes to confront his abuser, but our sympathies are not only with him. With Samira Ahmed the two playwrights discuss how and why, far from being escapist, the theatre is where contentious issues are imaginatively examined today.
Presenter : Samira Ahmed
Producer : Dymphna Flynn