June 12th, 2015
Episode 930 of 1300 episodes
Alistair McGowan plays the role of Jimmy Savile in a controversial new play by Jonathan Maitland which opened last night. McGowan and Maitland discuss their mixed feelings about the project and how and why they chose to portray the serial paedophile. The novelist Amitav Ghosh talks about the final part of his Ibis Trilogy, Flood of Fire, which follows the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke, set during the turbulent times of the Opium Wars. A new exhibition by the Victorian artist Richard Dadd shows paintings from his early career, when he was seen as one of the most talented and promising artists of his generation, to paintings completed after he suffered a breakdown and was admitted to Bethlem psychiatric Hospital. Historian Kathryn Hughes reviews. As Wagner's German opera house Bayreuth prepares for the 150th anniversary performance of Tristan and Isolde, music critic and writer Norman Lebrecht considers the almighty row that is taking place between Wagner's two great-grand-daughters who run the festival. Presenter Kirsty Lang Producer Jerome Weatherald.