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Front Row

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  • Boiling Point and Hanya Yanagihara's To Paradise reviewed, Costa Children's Award winner Manjeet Mann
    Writers Okechukwu Nzelu and Stephanie Merritt join Tom Sutcliffe to review Hanya Yanagihara’s novel To Paradise, eagerly awaited by fans of her Booker-shortlisted A Little Life. Over three distinct time settings it tells a vast story about the United States, Hawaii, love and responsibility, taking in climate change and pandemics along the way. And we’ll be looking ahead to a few of the book titles our critics are looking forward to this year. Tracey MacLeod, one-time restaurant reviewer and critic on Masterchef, joins us to review Boiling Point, the one-take, fast-paced film set in a professional kitchen, starring Stephen Graham Following the attack on the sculpture of Prospero and Ariel outside BBC Broadcasting House, art historian Dr Chris Stephens, Director of the Holburne Museum, gives us an insight into Eric Gill and the problem of bad people making good art. Manjeet Mann joins us to discuss her Costa Children's Award winning novel The Crossing. Written in verse, it tells the story of Natalie and Sammy, two teenagers from opposite worlds, who are both overcoming their own grief.
  • Ascension, John Preston on Robert Maxwell and is vinyl manufacturing at breaking point?
    Kirsty Lang speaks to John Preston who has won the Costa biography award for Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell. As a new vinyl pressing plant opens in Middlesbrough, we hear about the long delays facing bands because of the LP renaissance. And filmmaker Jessica Kingdon discusses her award-winning observational documentary Ascension. Filmed in 51 locations across China, Ascension explores the pursuit of the Chinese Dream through the lives of the people living it, accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack. Presented by Kirsty Lang Produced by Laura Northedge
  • Winner of TS Elliot Prize for Poetry, Unboxed, Folk at the Hampstead Theatre
    We talk to Joelle Taylor fresh from her win last night of the 2021 TS Eliot Prize for Poetry for her collection of poems which explores her life as a lesbian. 2022 has three big cultural events in store: Unboxed, the Birmingham Arts Festival marking the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Samira is joined by the man behind two of them, Chief Creative Officer Martin Green. We also hear from BBC News Culture Editor Katie Razzall, to unpack Unboxed, once dubbed the Festival of Brexit. And Folk, currently playing at the Hampstead Theatre chronicles Cecil Sharp’s mission to preserve England’s rural folk music. Writer, Nell Leyshon and director, Roxana Silbert discuss the process of adapting this real life history for the stage. Presenter: Samira Ahmed Producer: Simon Richardson
  • Sheffield Crucible Theatre at 50, Philosophy in the Gallery, Self Esteem
    As Sheffield's Crucible Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary, Nick Ahad talks to Artistic Director Robert Hastie. Sheffield pop star Self Esteem on her award-winning album Prioritise Pleasure. Plus public debates about philosophy at Sheffield's Graves Gallery. Photo: Presenter Nick Ahad on location at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield Photo credit: Nick Ahad
  • Joe Wright on Cyrano, Costa poetry winner Hannah Lowe, A Hero
    In his latest film Cyrano, director Joe Wright has tackled the 1897 French verse drama, Cyrano de Bergerac. He joins Tom Sutcliffe to discuss turning a classic into a musical and dispensing with Cyrano’s prominent nose. The winner of the Costa Poetry Award Hannah Lowe talks about her collection The Kids, an autobiographical series of sonnets which paint a picture of the decade she spent teaching in an inner city London school. She tells us why an age-old form mastered by Shakespeare is perfectly suited to tackling the politics of race and class in contemporary Britain. And critics Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and Kohinoor Sahota discuss the palme d'or winning Iranian film A Hero. Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe Producer: Laura Northedge Production Co-ordinator: Lizzie Harris

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