Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


Adrian Lester in Red Velvet, Zaha Hadid, John Irving, Bruegel

February 2nd, 2016

Episode 1099 of 1502 episodes

Architect Dame Zaha Hadid will receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal from The Royal Institute of British Architects this week. She's the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right. She talks to John Wilson about her work. John Irving, author of hugely popular novels including The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany, discusses his latest book Avenue of Mysteries, an examination of miracles, damaged childhoods, the writer's life and the perils of the circus. Adrian Lester stars as Victorian actor Ira Aldridge in Red Velvet, the latest production from the Kenneth Branagh Company. In 1833 Aldridge became the first black actor to play Othello on the London stage when he was invited to take over from Edmund Kean. Playwright Gabriel Gbadamosi reviews. Pieter Bruegel the Elder is known for his highly-coloured, earthy and vivid depiction of rowdy peasants in 16th-century Netherlands. But he also painted religious works. For the first time his only three surviving grisaille paintings will be shown together at the Courtauld Gallery in London. Curator Karen Serres explains their significance. Presenter: John Wilson Producer: Angie Nehring.

Featured Podcast