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Arts and Ideas: Episodes

The poet Craig Raine discusses the ways in which borrowing and reshaping existing phrases is a feature of music and literature and why writers adopt a magpie approach to language.
On the centenary of Britain's entry into the First World War Dame Shirley Williams and Colonel Tim Collins introduce an anthology of poetry from the war. Recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music, before this evening's Prom, and featuring actors Roslyn Hill and Monty d'Inverno.

This ...
Rana Mitter talks to the actors Janet Suzman and Alexandra Gilbreath about Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Both women have played the part of Kate -- both in acclaimed RSC productions and both made it their own. They'll be discussing the play's sexual politics and what Shakespeare has to say to ...
Poet and librettist Michael Symmons Roberts and broadcaster Reverend Richard Coles on the literature which inspired John Tavener from George Herbert and John Donne to Blake.

This programme presented by Matthew Sweet and was recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of the ...
The Booker prize winning novelist Pat Barker, author of the Regeneration Trilogy on the subject of the First World War, and the poet Owen Sheers discuss writers', musicians' and painters' responses to war including the work of Keith Douglas, UA Fanthorpe, David Jones, Alun Lewis and the paintings of ...
Professor Rana Mitter discusses contemporary Chinese culture with a novelist and film maker Xiaolu Guo and Dr Katie Hill, an expert on Chinese Modern Art.
The event was recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of BBC Proms. To find out further information about the events ...
Does emotion or reason dictate the financial markets? Anne McElvoy is joined by Frances Hudson, Global Thematic Strategist at Standard Life Investments; Daniel Ben Ami, financial journalist, author of 'Cowardly Capitalism' Greg Davis, Head of Behavioural and Quantitative Investment Philosophy, Barclays ...
Billy Kahora, one of the writers nominated for this year's Caine Prize for African writing joins Philip Dodd to reflect on the way artists in Kenya respond to the political and religious unrest in the country.
Matthew Sweet interviews Karen Joy Fowler author of a novel which looks at the consequences of introducing a primate into a family and the human fascination with anthropomorphism with animal studies experts Susan McHugh and Giovanni Aloi. From Cape Town the South African man of the theatre Athol Fugard ...
With Anne McElvoy. Curator Frances Spalding and Dr Alexandra Harris discuss what portaits of Virginia Woolf convey of her character as a new exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery. Richard Flanagan's father was a Japanese POW on the "Death Railway". The Australian novelist's new book The Narrow ...
Philip Dodd is joined by political commentator Steve Richards to discuss the new production of Richard III which stars Martin Freeman and is set in the 1970s. Historian Joanna Bourke considers changing medical attitudes to pain. She's joined by Marion Coutts, who has written about her husband's death ...
Richard Linklater filmed the actor who stars in Boyhood over 12 years from a 6 year old to a college youth. Matthew Sweet and author Toby Litt review the project and discuss growing up. Artist Cory Arcangel talks about his book composed from tweets and working in digital media. He also explores the themes ...
'€˜Oh what a lovely Savas' begins Rana Mitter in this edition of Free Thinking, using the Turkish word for War. Along with Sean McMeekin of the Koc University in Istanbul, the novelist Kamila Shamsie, Naoko Shimazu of Birkbeck College and Erez Manela of Harvard University Rana puts Japan, China, India, ...
Yael Farber directs Richard Armitage in the Crucible at the Old Vic. She talks to Philip Dodd about fear, conspiracy and her South African roots. Also Liberalism past and present. Edmund Fawcett author of Liberalism: The History of an Idea is in the studio alongside historian and Telegraph writer Tim ...
From Paul Nash paintings of blasted tree stumps in the first world war to today's commemorative planting: Paul Gough, Gabriel Hemery and Gail Ritchie join Samira Ahmed to explore woods and trees in war and peacetime.
Jonathan Powell and historians Margaret MacMillan, Orlando Figes and Adam Tooze explore the Great Powers with Anne McElvoy. The First World War shattered the power balance in Europe. As we confront an uncertain world order, who are the great powers today, how has their role changed and where do they ...
Samira Ahmed discusses feminism with American artist Barbara Kruger and journalist Laurie Penny;and cartoonist Posy Simmonds talks about the role of cartoonists responding to politics and international affairs
The Thirty-Nine Steps first appeared in Blackwoods Magazine in August and September 1915 and depicts Europe on the edge of war in May and June 1914. It quickly became popular reading in the trenches and on the home front, and nearly a hundred years and three film adaptations later, its popularity is ...
A new collection of Ranter writings from the English Civil War sheds light on their extreme libertarian views. Anne McElvoy is joined by the book's editor Nigel Smith. Plus journalist Rod Liddle and Conservative Party politician Douglas Carswell discuss libertarianism today. New Generation Thinker Naomi ...
Philip Dodd talks to the artist, Sean Scully, about his latest show and explores our perception of colour with neuroscientist Jamie Ward and fashion expert, Caroline Cox.
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