Front Row: Archive 2014



Magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music.


  • Stewart Lee, Jonathan Creek, Versailles

    Stewart Lee, Jonathan Creek, Versailles

    25/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. Critic Matt Wolf discusses the reasons that new musicals from both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice will be closing early, on the same day. Comedian Stewart Lee returns to our screens this weekend with series 3 of the Bafta-winning Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle. This time satirist Chris Morris is taking Armando Ianucci's role as counsellor/interrogator, intercut with the cynical, meta stand-up that Lee is known for. He discusses the differences between the Stewart Lee we see onscreen and his real personality. Alan Davies returns to our screens in the first new series of Jonathan Creek for five years, the offbeat crime drama written by One Foot in the Grave's David Renwick. Davies reprises his central role as an inventor of magic tricks who also has a talent for solving mysteries. Critic Naomi Alderman gives her response to the show's return. Playwright Peter Gill discusses his World War I drama Versailles, about the treaty that would define the future of Europe, the Middle East and the re

  • The Book Thief Joseph Rykwert Isy Suttie Monologues for black actors

    The Book Thief; Joseph Rykwert; Isy Suttie; Monologues for black actors

    24/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. Based on the bestselling novel by Markus Zusak, the film of The Book Thief - starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson - tells the story of a spirited young girl Liesel in World War II Germany. Liesel finds solace from the war by stealing books and sharing them with others. Novelist Meg Rosoff reviews. Professor Joseph Rykwert is one of the few critics to win the prestigious Royal Gold Medal for architecture for a body of work that includes the ground-breaking book The Idea Of a Town. Written in 1963, it warned of the problems of traffic congestion in cities and the rise of the high-rise building. He tells John if anything has improved over the last 50 years. The comedian and actress Isy Suttie, from the TV series Peep Show, discusses her new stage role in a 'musical fable' The A-Z of Mrs P, about Phyllis Pearsall, the woman who set out to map an entire city in 1936, resulting in the classic A-Z map of London. Two books of monologues for black actors have been published to provide young pe

  • Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells Stalingrad David Grossman

    Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells; Stalingrad; David Grossman

    21/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Tom Sutcliffe Actresses Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells have created a sitcom, Doll & Em, about a Hollywood star who hires her best friend as her personal assistant. They talk to Mark Lawson about playing exaggerated versions of themselves and how their own close friendship inspired the series. The 1942 battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest in the history of warfare. Stalingrad 3D is the first Russian film made completely with 3D IMAX technology and is Russia's highest grossing film to date. Film historian Ian Christie reviews. Award winning writer David Grossman talks about Falling Out of Time. Combining drama, prose and poetry, the book tells the story of bereaved parents setting out to reach their lost children. David Grossman, whose own son died in 2006, discusses the art of writing about loss and grief. Producer: Timothy Prosser.

  • Nymphomaniac Joanne M Harris Robert Cohan

    Nymphomaniac; Joanne M Harris; Robert Cohan

    20/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    Nymphomaniac is the latest film from acclaimed Danish director Lars Von Trier. It stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Joe, a woman who describes herself as "nymphomaniac", telling her story to a man who has found her in the street after a beating. In the flashbacks to her past, the young Joe is played by Stacey Martin alongside a cast that includes Shia LaBeouf and Christian Slater. Antonia Quirke reviews. Joanne M. Harris, bestselling author of Chocolat, has written her first epic fantasy novel for adults, The Gospel of Loki. Based on ancient mythology, the book follows the rise and fall of the Norse gods from the perspective of the trickster Loki, popularised in Marvel's Thor comics which have recently been adapted into blockbuster films. Robert Cohan is widely described as the founding father of Britain's contemporary dance movement. His career, spanning over 6 decades, has included dancing with Ginger Rogers and the legendary Martha Graham. Cohan, who was born in America, discusses how he came to revolutionis

  • Andrew Sachs Martin Carthy Awards speeches

    Andrew Sachs; Martin Carthy; Awards speeches

    19/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson Andrew Sachs' new autobiography describes his journey from arriving in Britain as a young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany to playing Manuel in Fawlty Towers. He discusses the physical hazards of being Manuel and his reaction to the infamous prank phone-calls from Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. Tonight musician Martin Carthy is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Radio 2 Folk Awards. Carthy discusses his love of playing live, starting out in the early 60s, getting over his annoyance about Paul Simon's success with Scarborough Fair, and making his first album with daughter Eliza. John visits The Courtauld Gallery in London to discover the story behind one of the most beautiful and enigmatic objects in their collection; a seven hundred year old bag made in Northern Iraq. And with the film awards season in full swing, Stephen Armstrong looks at the art of the awards speech, from the inspiring, to the cringe-worthy and the downright bizarre. Producer: Gabriella Meade.

  • Lynda La Plante Jon Hopkins The Smoke

    Lynda La Plante; Jon Hopkins; The Smoke

    18/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. Prime Suspect creator Lynda La Plante reveals her plans for a prequel focusing on the early life of DCI Tennison. Who will play the iconic detective? The makers of Spooks have teamed up with writer Lucy Kirkwood (Skins, Chimerica) to create a new Sky1 drama about firemen, starring Jamie Bamber and Jodie Whittaker. Sarah Crompton reviews. Andrew Graham Dixon reviews Strange Beauty, a new exhibition of German Renaissance painting at the National Gallery, which includes work by Hans Holbein and Albrecht Dürer. And musician Jon Hopkins on his Mercury nominated album Immunity, in which he uses real sounds such as exploding fireworks and creaking doors, on his relationship with Brian Eno, and on improvising for Coldplay.

  • Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker Lesley Sharp Only Lovers Left Alive

    Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker; Lesley Sharp; Only Lovers Left Alive

    17/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. The legendary film-making duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were commemorated today with the unveiling of an English Heritage blue plaque. The plaque was unveiled by Thelma Schoonmaker, film-editor and Powell's widow, and by film-director Martin Scorsese. Both talk to John about their love of Powell and Pressburger's work. The Welsh director Kieran Evans has won the BAFTA for an Outstanding Debut for his feature film Kelly + Victor. Evans, who started his career as a music video director, discusses what winning the BAFTA means to him. John talks to the actress Lesley Sharp (Scott and Bailey, Clocking Off) about A Taste of Honey, the taboo-breaking play which was written by Shelagh Delaney in 1958 when she was only 18. Set in working class Salford in the 1950s, it's about social prejudice and the volatile relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter. Only Lovers Left Alive, the latest release from independent director Jim Jarmusch, is a vampire romance drama nominated

  • Kevin Spacey, The Lego Movie, Glenn Patterson, film QAs

    Kevin Spacey, The Lego Movie, Glenn Patterson, film Q&As

    14/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Kirsty Lang As the US political drama House of Cards returns for its second season, actor and producer Kevin Spacey discusses the success of streaming and looks ahead to his plans for his remaining 18 months as artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London. The Lego Movie was the big hit at the U.S. box office last weekend, taking almost three times as much as The Monuments Men, and winning rave reviews in the process. Critic Jane Graham considers whether it's really just a long advert for a toy company. Belfast novelist Glenn Patterson's new novel The Rest Just Follows focuses on three teenagers in the city who are growing up amidst the Troubles in the 1970s. Patterson discusses the setting for his book, and his nomination for this weekend's BAFTA awards for his screenplay for the film Good Vibrations. John Travolta jets into London this weekend to take part in an on-stage interview about his career, following the example of Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone who also spent "An Evening With" a Br

  • Richard Rogers and Norman Foster Simon Parkes on Brixton Academy artist George Condo

    Richard Rogers and Norman Foster; Simon Parkes on Brixton Academy; artist George Condo

    13/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. Architects Richard Rogers and Norman Foster discuss their 50-year friendship in a rare interview together, and reveal which of each the other's buildings is their favourite, as the exhibition The Brits Who Built the Modern World opens at RIBA's new Architecture Gallery. In 1982 Simon Parkes paid just £1 to buy the former Astoria cinema in Brixton, south London. He turned it into the Brixton Academy and, over the next 14 years, put on gigs by the likes of The Clash, Bob Dylan and U2. On the publication of his memoir Live At The Brixton Academy, Simon Parkes gives John Wilson a tour of the historic venue. The US artist George Condo began his artistic career as an assistant to Andy Warhol but he has become renowned for his grotesque figures and portraits which feature misshapen limbs, asymmetrical eyes and terrifyingly toothy mouths, controversially notable in a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. More recently he has become widely known for a collaboration with Kanye West. Condo discusses his c

  • Line of Duty Tom Rob Smith Oh, What a Lovely War!

    Line of Duty; Tom Rob Smith; Oh, What a Lovely War!

    12/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Kirsty Lang. Oh What a Lovely War, Joan Littlewood's controversial musical satire about the First World War, is being revived in its original home, the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The 1963 production, which Littlewood intended would mock 'the vulgarity of war', was loved by audiences, but detested by some who saw its message as unpatriotic. Critic and historian Kathryn Hughes reviews the production and considers whether the play has the same impact today. After the success of the 'Child 44' trilogy, author Tom Rob Smith has just published a somewhat different type of crime novel. 'The Farm' is a psychological thriller, set in Sweden and England, which keeps the reader guessing throughout. He reveals how the main premise for the novel was inspired by a real life event very close to home. The first series of the television drama, Line Of Duty, found many fans for its study of police corruption. The writer, Jed Mercurio, has now written a second series with a new police officer, Detective Inspector Lin

  • Richard Hamilton The Monuments Men Enrique Iglesias Tennessee Williamss hotel plays

    Richard Hamilton; The Monuments Men; Enrique Iglesias; Tennessee Williams's hotel plays

    11/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. George Clooney directs and stars in The Monuments Men, a drama set in the Second World War. Based on a true story, he plays a member of a group of curators and scholars attempting to rescue art works from the Nazis. The film co-stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman. Larushka Ivan-Zadeh reviews for Front Row. Tennessee Williams spent much of his later life living in hotel rooms, inspiring his 'hotel plays' which open this week in performance at London's Langham Hotel. John meets the director, set designer and cast from Defibrillator theatre to talk about the logistics of staging three plays in three different rooms on three floors of the grand hotel. Grammy-winning singer songwriter Enrique Iglesias began his career as a Spanish language artist before crossing over to the English market with hits like Bailamos and the global number one single Hero. Now releasing his tenth album, he talks to John about keeping his record contract secret from his father Julio Iglesia

  • Armistead Maupin Folio Prize shortlist Her Raphael Wallfisch

    Armistead Maupin; Folio Prize shortlist; Her; Raphael Wallfisch

    10/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. Armistead Maupin discusses The Days of Anna Madrigal, the ninth (and possibly final) instalment of his celebrated Tales of the City series of novels. Madrigal is reunited with the former tenants of 28 Barbary Lane, San Francisco, as they prepare to spend time at Burning Man, the avant-garde festival in Nevada. Transgender Anna is now 92, and determined 'to leave like a lady', and embarks on a road trip to the desert - to the brothel where she lived as a teenage boy. Her is the romantic tale of a man (played by Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the voice of his computer's operating system (the voice provided by Scarlett Johansson). Complications ensue when his feelings are reciprocated. Novelist Toby Litt delivers his verdict on this latest idiosyncratic movie from Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze. The inaugural shortlist of The Folio Prize was announced today. Chair of Judges, Lavinia Greenlaw, discusses the eight shortlisted books in the running for the £40,000 prize, whic

  • Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey Barkhad Abdi Salamander

    Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey; Barkhad Abdi; Salamander

    07/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With John Wilson. Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey of The Who have teamed up for a new project. Since he was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year, Wilko has been collaborating with Daltrey on an album, Going Back Home. They talk about their shared musical interests and Roger explains why Wilko reminds him of a young Pete Townsend. John talks to first time actor and former limo driver Barkhad Abdi, whose extraordinary performance as a Somali pirate in the film Captain Phillips opposite Tom Hanks has earned him Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta nominations. Salamander is the latest Euro-thriller to arrive on British TV - this time from Belgium, and in Flemish. Disguised as builders, a gang rob a top Belgian bank - but the burglars only target a small handful of the vaults, the ones belonging to the country's industrial, financial, judicial and political elite. These stolen safe-deposit boxes contain secrets that could bring down the nation. Crime writer Dreda Say Mitchell reviews. Hans Haacke and David Shrig

  • Babylon The Mistress Contract

    Babylon; The Mistress Contract

    06/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Kirsty Lang. Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, writers of the comedy series Peep Show and Fresh Meat, discuss their new TV drama, Babylon, in which they've joined forces with Danny Boyle. It focuses on the people and politics of the Metropolitan Police - both in the command rooms and on the streets - as they struggle to keep law and order under the constant scrutiny of social media. The Mistress Contract, a book written by an anonymous couple, has been adapted for the stage by Abi Morgan. Morgan, who is best known for her screenplay for the Thatcher biopic, The Iron Lady, documents the couple's relationship over the decades after they agreed to sign a "mistress contract." Sarah Dunant reviews. English National Opera is the latest opera company to start screening their productions live into cinemas around the country and worldwide. ENO's Artistic Director, John Berry, and Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, talk about the creative challenges of making an opera production that can sim

  • David Bailey Hanif Kureishi Isabella Rossellini

    David Bailey; Hanif Kureishi; Isabella Rossellini

    05/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Kirsty Lang David Bailey is one of the best known British photographers. He is perhaps most celebrated for his distinctive 1960s portraits but he has also worked in fashion, music and documentary in a career that has spanned five decades. A new exhibition of his work at the National Portrait Gallery, Bailey's Stardust, explores Bailey's diverse work from photographs taken in the East End in the 1960s, a self-portrait with Salvador Dali, to a series taken in the Naga Hills in Southern India. Charlotte Mullins reviews. Hanif Kureishi, celebrated for both his novels and screenplays, speaks to Kirsty about his latest book The Last Word. It follows the relationship between an elderly writer and his young biographer, who is commissioned to tell the story of the former's life. Having just sold his own diaries and manuscripts to the British museum, Kureishi talks about the complexities of looking back on one's life, collaborating on his latest film Le Weekend, and whether this new novel will indeed be his own

  • Reece Shearsmith David Hockney prints Blockbusters

    Reece Shearsmith; David Hockney prints; Blockbusters

    04/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Mark Lawson. The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville's Reece Shearsmith discusses his new TV series, co-written with Steve Pemberton. Inside No. 9 tells darkly comic stories from six separate settings, with guests including Gemma Arterton. The Dulwich Picture Gallery is holding an exhibition of David Hockney's printmaking, which will coincide with the 60th anniversary of Hockney's first print. The exhibition includes more than 100 works dating from etchings made when Hockney was an art student to more recent graphic works created using a computer. Richard Cork reviews. Harvard business professor, Anita Elberse, joins Mark to discuss her book, Blockbusters, an economic scrutiny of the entertainment business. She explains why there are no batting averages in the entertainment industry, the business link between Spiderman and Lady Gaga, and what she means by The Blockbuster Trap. The number of incidents relating to graffiti fell by 63 per cent between 2007 and 2012 according to a report from the British

  • Angela Lansbury, Richard Deacon, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Angela Lansbury, Richard Deacon, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    03/02/2014 Duración: 28min

    Mark Lawson talks to Dame Angela Lansbury, who returns to the West End stage after 40 years to play Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. She discusses her mother, an actress, her wish to return to Murder She Wrote, and her ambivalence about Hollywood. Philip Seymour Hoffman's death was announced yesterday. Anton Corbijn - who directed him recently in A Most Wanted Man - pays tribute to the actor, whose films include The Master, Doubt, Happiness and Capote, for which he won an Oscar. Mark talks to the Turner Prize-winning artist Richard Deacon, whose exhibition of sculptures and drawings is about to open at Tate Britain. For more than four decades he has used materials ranging from laminated wood and polycarbonate to leather, cloth and ceramic.

  • The Bridge stars, Jonathan Lethem, RS Thomas

    The Bridge stars, Jonathan Lethem, RS Thomas

    31/01/2014 Duración: 28min

    Jonathan Lethem talks about his latest novel Dissident Gardens. It's an epic family novel criss-crossing generations from the '50s to the present day, focussing on Rose, an American Communist. Based on his own upbringing and radical grandmother, Lethem describes how even as a youngster he guessed he'd never be able to stand for President, as there surely would have been a 'problem with my files'. This weekend the final two episodes of The Bridge are screened on BBC4. The series, which has spawned many international remakes, follows a Swedish and a Danish detective working on a case together, and explores the cultural differences that inform their relationship. Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia, aka detectives Saga Norén and Martin Rohde, discuss the surprise popularity of the show and the challenges of acting with someone who is speaking a different language. This week a crisps manufacturing company admitted they had used a photograph of the late Welsh poet R.S. Thomas to advertise a competition on their packets,

  • Ralph Fiennes, EL Doctorow, The Last Leg

    Ralph Fiennes, EL Doctorow, The Last Leg

    30/01/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Mark Lawson. Ralph Fiennes discusses his latest film The Invisible Woman, about the relationship between Charles Dickens and his mistress, which Fiennes stars in and directs. In his latest novel, the American author E L Doctorow takes us on a journey into the mind of a man who, more than once in his life, has been the cause of disaster, albeit inadvertently. In Andrew's Brain he thinks and talks about the various events of his life that have lead him to this point in time. E L Doctorow describes how he came up with this particular character, and the novel-writing process. This week sees the return of Channel 4's topical comedy series The Last Leg. The show became a hit when it was first broadcast during the 2012 Paralympics and this new series will provide an offbeat take on the forthcoming Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Presenters Adam Hills and Josh Widdicombe discuss the surprise popularity of the format and the appetite for representations of disability on television. Producer Jerome Weat

  • Matthew McConaughey Mary Chapin Carpenter Nathan Filer

    Matthew McConaughey; Mary Chapin Carpenter; Nathan Filer

    29/01/2014 Duración: 28min

    With Mark Lawson. Matthew McConaughey is Oscar nominated for his starring role in Dallas Buyers Club. He lost 47 lbs to play Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician who became an unlikely AIDS activist after being diagnosed with HIV in the mid-1980s. He discusses the physical endurance of the part and his recent career renaissance. Nathan Filer, a registered mental health nurse, has won the Costa Book of the Year award with his debut novel The Shock of the Fall, a story about loss, guilt and mental illness. A surprise win, Filer beat the favourite Kate Atkinson with her novel Life after Life, and other award winning writers Lucy Hughes-Hallett for The Pike, an account of the life of Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, and poet Michael Symmons Roberts for his collection Drysalter. Nathan Filer tells Mark about what the award will mean for his writing. In the week that Rory Kinnear won twice at the Critics Circle for best actor and most promising playwright, David Edgar muses on the long tradition of the actor/write

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